There is a famous mishnah in Sanhedrin (7:7) about a Ba'al Ov [necromancer]

בעל אוב זה פתום המדבר משחיו

A Ba'al Ov: this is the one who speaks through his armpit

As we know, armpit flatulence is like speaking through one's armpit, as such is it assur to partake in armpit flatulence ?

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closed as off-topic by msh210 Mar 23 at 22:18

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  • 1
    Not while wearing Teffilin! – Dr. Shmuel Mar 15 at 16:44
  • Isn’t this why Tefillin is placed there, to prevent this from happening? – DonielF Mar 15 at 17:40
  • You must have been in too many Jewish summer camps as a teenager – DanF Mar 15 at 17:46
  • Ah! That's what I should have done when the ChaBadniks came at me w/the tefillin outside of the concert! A nice stirring rendition of "Ah'dir Huu". – Gary Mar 15 at 22:03

I always assumed that the term "flatulence" was "wind" that specifically emanated from the alimentary canal out the anus. Yes, I've been to numerous sleep-away summer camps as a teenager, and I have heard those annoying armpit noises. It's not "flatulence", but, I see that you think that it sounds like it, so, fine, I'll go along with your idea...

I entered the term "flatulence" in Google and it provided another definition:

inflated or pretentious speech or writing; pomposity

So, this definition certainly relates to your claim that armpit flatulence is speaking from the mouth. Moreover, it is pompous speech.

Well, Pirkei Avot 4:4 says:

מאר מאד הוי שפל רוח

This has two definitions that apply to your question:

1 - "One should be exceedingly humble". So if that armpit noise is pompous speech, then, this Mishnah suggest that one should not do it. (It doesn't say that one is prohibited from doing it; it suggests against it.)

2 - "One should make low wind" - I.e., if you're going to make armpit flatulence at all (I thought it was a stupid habit - even as a teenager. It's still "stupid", but I'll admit that kids do stupid things.), at least don't be noisy.

In terms of halacha, BTW, one may not say Shema where there is a bad smell such as one from alimentary flatulence. This armpit noise does not emit any foul odor. It's a different problem if the armpit, itself, smells bad, regardless of the flatulence.


Though necromancy through an armpit was a form of idolatry, making it “communicate” flatulence, which is typically done in jest, would be considered letzanuta d’avodah zarah which is permitted by the Talmud (Meg. 25b):

אמר רב נחמן כל ליצנותא אסירא בר מליצנותא דעבודת כוכבים דשריא

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