To my understanding of Halacha, Jews are prohibited against prostitution/harlotry, but gentiles are not, as the noahide laws don’t have the same prohibition against pre marital sex. However, may Jews benefit from the profit of gentile prostitutes sold to gentile clients or no?

Such as, in a situation mentioned by @Shalom in the comments, "...if a non-Jew walks into my hardware store and buys a bucket of paint, and while walking out she says "oh by the way, that hundred-dollar bill I just handed you was paid to me by someone yesterday for my escort services", can I keep that money. Or do we say that the money itself becomes non-kosher?"

  • What issue might there be?
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 4 at 1:47
  • 1
    As the Torah clearly says you can't use proceeds of prostitution as a sacrifice, that's implying they're otherwise permitted. (Whether a nice thing is a different story...)
    – Shalom
    Commented Mar 4 at 2:05
  • Specifically in the context of your second paragraph, there was a known practice by the Baba Sali zt"l that he had two separate pushkas in his home for when he would receive visitors. Many would come to receive his prayers and blessings, and would donate cash to tzedakah after receiving his blessings. Baba Sali would instruct his Gabbai (personal assistant) as to which pushkah the cash should go, according to the personal station of the individual donating. One pushka was for "Kodesh" and one pushka was for "Chol". Commented Mar 4 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


Rama OC 153:21

הגה אסור לעשות מאתנן זונה או מחיר כלב דבר של מצוה כגון ב"ה או ס"ת ודוקא מהאתנן עצמה אבל אם נתנו לה מעות באתנן מותר לקנות בהן דבר מצוה ולא מקרי זונה אלא איסור ערוה אבל אלו הפנויות הקדשות שמקדישות דבר מותר לקבל מהן (רבי' ירוחם נ"ג ח"א)

Rem"a: And it is forbidden to use the compensation of a zonah (ie. prostitute) or the exchange of a dog to make something for a mitzvah - like a synagogue or a Torah scroll. And that is specifically from the [object used as] compensation itself; but if they gave her money as compensation, it is permissible to buy a mitzvah item with it. And it is only referred to as a zonah if it involved a sexual prohibition (ed. from the Torah), but regarding unmarried prostitutes, it is permissible to accept [the compensation] from them. (Rabbenu Yerucham 3:1)

  • 2
    I don't think this answers the question.
    – shmosel
    Commented Mar 4 at 5:15
  • 2
    It is showing that prostitution isn’t issur hanaah
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Mar 4 at 5:20
  • מצות לאו להנות נתנו. Also, it sounded like the question was about whether the profiteering itself was permitted, not so much about using the profits after the fact.
    – shmosel
    Commented Mar 4 at 5:42
  • 1
    Also, it shows some benefit is prohibited and the question remains if that applies to gentile prostitutes
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 4 at 12:54

You must log in to answer this question.

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