If a Jewish man and his Jewish girlfriend have sex regularly, what is the best way to atone for this? I know that it's kares, but is there any way to atone ?

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    – Chatzkel
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 3:03
  • Why is this punishment kares? Because she was a niddah? Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 3:49
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    @CuriousYid yes because unmarried women do not go to the mikva after their time of nidda they retain the status
    – ezra
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 3:51
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    They should get married.
    – The GRAPKE
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 7:35

2 Answers 2


Assuming that premarital sex is a sin (and many authorities agree that it is):

When a person sins, he makes teshuva (repentance). Part of making teshuva is absolving not to perform the sin again.

If a person has no real intention of changing his actions, then his teshuva is pretty much worthless. As the Sages say:

With regard to one who says: I will sin and then I will repent, I will sin and I will repent, Heaven does not provide him the opportunity to repent, and he will remain a sinner all his days. (Mishnah, Yoma 85b)

God isn’t going to take you seriously if you ask him to forgive you and you have no real motivation to refrain in the future.

  • Im not a particularly religious jew @ezra, but I know that when I get married, I will have my sins forgiven and try to do better going forward.
    – Nossiee
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 4:03
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    @Nossiee We’re not always perfect, yet we should strive to do what is right. I’m not saying you have to wake up tomorrow and be 100% observant, but you should know the consequences of your actions and own up to them. Know that there are many mitzvos you can perform, even if you fall short in other areas.
    – ezra
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 4:06
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    Dear @Nossiee: You need to get in contact with a Rav with experience in kiruv. Your dilemma is one that will be familiar to him, and he will be able to help guide you.
    – N.T.
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 4:21
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    @Nossiee I wouldn’t. You should talk to a rabbi. On top of that, you should continue to perform the mitzvos you ARE observing with strength.
    – ezra
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 4:37
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    @Nossiee other than everything that has already been said, please be aware that your hormones are no different from those of billions of people worldwide, including millions of Jews. Among Jews there are other young unmarried people who work to control their hormones until they are able to get married. It's not easy, but it's not impossible. There also people, not necessarily Jews, who practice sexual abstinence. The "I can't" mentality is an illusion. A person can certainly go on and enjoy life even during sexual abstinence. Look up the topic, there's a lot of info out there.
    – Harel13
    Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 12:04

I have seen firsthand 2 cases of couples who lived together unmarried and became religious during that time. In both cases their rabbis had them move into separate apartments and only see each other in public for 3 months prior to getting married.

This is not a general rule, just the specific advice given in these specific cases, and is provided purely for informational purposes.

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