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Bavli P'sachim 112:2 has a story of an angel of destruction who would work daily (see Rashash) until asked to quit. When she requested some time to work, the rabbi she was talking with allowed her Tuesday and Friday nights: the g'mara warns us, therefore, not to go out alone Tuesday and Friday nights. (This is more famous, I think, from the Rashi at the start of B'chukosay.)

Obviously, this g'mara needs to be understood on an appropriate level, and there are some obvious, major questions one can ask on it (such as "why did the rabbi accede to her request?"). But I have one minor question: why those nights specifically? (Someone once told me that those are nights that people didn't tend to be out anyway: market days were Mondays and Thursdays, so people would travel to and from the cities on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. But what about Saturday nights (motzae shabasos)?)

Of course, maybe a fuller understanding of the whole agada would render this question moot, as it would make the reason for Tuesday and Friday nights obvious, but I don't have such an understanding. (Such is most welcome as a response to this question. Maharsha and Ben Y'hoyada both say nothing.)

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See also judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/9543 – msh210 Aug 18 '11 at 17:49
See the Abudraham, towards the bottom of the first column: hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=26840&pgnum=78 – Menachem May 15 at 5:02
up vote 4 down vote accepted

See Sefer Chasidim (517) these are the nights during which scholars spend intimate time with their wives and would stay indoors.

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Thank you, but that sort of begs the question. Why are those the nights scholars spend intimate time with their wives? (Or does Sefer Chasidim answer that? I haven't a copy.) – msh210 Dec 17 '10 at 17:37
It's on Hebrewbooks, at hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=41862&pgnum=281. He says that the scholars would come home on Friday night from shul (where they learned all week - Kesubos 62a), and would be intimate with their wives then. Then they would abstain until Tuesday night, in order to guarantee that their wives wouldn't go into labor on Shabbos (see Niddah 38b and Rashi there for the exact calculation). And they would leave on Wednesday morning to go back to shul. – Alex Dec 18 '10 at 20:16

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