Why is it forbidden to sleep on your front/back?

I understand there is a source for it

Is it forbidden for a man to sleep on his stomach?

But what's the reasoning behind it?


Rashi (Berachot 13b) explains as follows:

שמא יתקשה אברו בתוך שנתו ונראה לרבים והוא דרך גנאי

Perhaps his organ will harden in his sleep and it will be seen by the public, and it is unseemly.

  • Rashi in the Gemara seems to define פרקדן, specifically as lying on back, however the רא״ה and other commentaries define it as lying on either stomach or back and because it will lead to impure thoughts. The Rambam in דעות פרק ד הלכה ה & משנה ברורה ס׳ רלט ס״ק ו both rule that’s both front and back are forbidden.
    – ASL
    Nov 30 '20 at 21:13
  • Would this halacha not apply if one is sleeping in a private room without public access?
    – user17319
    Dec 1 '20 at 14:41

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