I am an Italian noahide.

Unless I am mistaken, in terms of sexual conduct the prohibitions established by the Noahide Law are the following (see Rambam’s Mishneh Torah-Melachim uMilchamot 9:5):



Homosexual intercourse between males


I have not found in any halachic source a statement according to which the Noahide Law prohibits the Gentiles from practicing prostitution (in the technical sense of a paid sexual intercourse), obviously if the prostitution conduct does not integrate one of the four prohibited activities indicated above.

Is it therefore correct to say that prostitution, per se, is lawful for the Gentiles on the halachic level?

With this question I do not intend to assume an apologetic position towards prostitution, but only to frame the case on the level of the Noahide Law.

Of course I consider the hypothesis in which prostitution is not prohibited by the law of the national state, in which case I believe that such conduct is also prohibited by the Noahide Law , which includes, in its seventh precept, the command to establish laws and courts of justice.

  • 1
    Isn't this just a short marriage?
    – Double AA
    Dec 20, 2019 at 12:58
  • @Double AA I wouldn't say so. In all Western legal systems, including Italian, marriage is a legal transaction that determines, for both spouses, specific rights and duties completely absent in the case of prostitution.
    – Amos74
    Dec 20, 2019 at 14:01
  • I don't see why a Noahide-legal-system marriage would have any of that. How exactly do you understand the Adultery rule you cited? Sleeping with someone married according to Italian law?
    – Double AA
    Dec 20, 2019 at 14:04
  • @Double AA Certainly, marriage between Gentiles is governed by state legislation; as far as I know, the only peculiarity on the halachic level is that if a Gentiles husband and wife de facto separate without a legal separation promulgated by a judge, the Halakhah qualifies them already divorced, as Rambam explains in the Mishneh Torah.
    – Amos74
    Dec 20, 2019 at 14:15
  • 1
    @Amos74 Wouldn't you think the inverse of that statement is also true? If a gentile man and woman live together without a legal marriage, that halakha would qualify them as married.
    – Daniel
    Dec 20, 2019 at 16:40

2 Answers 2


There is a similar question here on pre-marital relations versus wasting seed (Can a Noachide have pre-marital sex if he stipulates that the relationship is permanent until a given condition?). The short answer is that men and women can form and break relationships at will, according to my Rav, who sits as the av beis din in my city. I've asked how this leniency is different from prostitution, to which the reply was, I believe, there is none, it's allowed.


I'm not a rabbi so please DON'T rely on this as I'm only saying it conversationally.

The Sdei Chemed Maaroches Alef # 152 discusses opening a brothel for a non-Jewish clientele. According to all opinions it would be forbidden to do so if the harlot is a married women as even a non-Jew may not go to such a harlot.

If she isn't it is more complicated. All opinions quoted in the Sdei Chemed prohibit a Jew from opening a brothel no matter who the clientele is but some seem to only have an issue with the Jew who heads it. They don't seem to have an issue with the non-Jew who goes there and sees a single woman. They give reasons for forbidding such a venture but leading people astray (lfeni iver) is not among them.

As above ask a rabbi if this is relevant.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .