If a man is in a physical situation where he is unable to have an erection will there still be an issur of yichud (the prohibition of being alone with someone that it is forbidden to have relations with. See SA EH Siman 22)?

Over there the Shulchan Aruch (EH Siman 22 Sif 1) the Machaber writes that yicud is ossur because it causes "liglos ervah" (to reveal "ervah".) Meaning that from the yichud (seclusion) of these 2 people could come to a situation of relations between them. Is the gezera however specifically in a case where actual relations could take place or even other forms of physical contact that might be ossur between these 2 people (this is essentially what the question boils down to.) And therefore even if the man is unable to obtain an erection still there would be an issur yichud because we are afraid that some other form of physical contact will take place between the 2 people aside from relations.

  • I would assume that there would be plenty of "other forms of physical contact that might be ossur between these 2 people", which don't require him to have an erection. Unless your question is dealing with a specific case (in which case, I would advise that you CYLR), it might be better phrased in such a manner that the man in it is completely incapable of performing any activity with the woman that would be defined as ervah.
    – Shimon bM
    Feb 6, 2013 at 12:58
  • @ShimonbM there seems to be a misunderstanding in my question I fixed it. Hopefully it makes more sense now.
    – Yehoshua
    Feb 6, 2013 at 13:14

2 Answers 2


Tzitz Eliezer (Vol. 6, Siman 40, Perek 22, Ois 8, and Vol. 7 Siman 46 and Vol. 12 Siman 67) says that it is allowed.

However, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Iggros Moshe Even HaEzer Vol. 4 Siman 65 Ois 10) says only rabbinic Yichud is allowed, but cases which are forbidden Biblically are not.


Nechpa B'Kesef Vol 2 Even Hoezer 19 says that the prohibition from the Torah is specifically to avoid actual relations, and one who is unable to have relations there is no prohibition. However, he says, it is definitely prohibited M'Drabanan, and it is disgusting and the way of fools.

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    Does anyone have any bio information about the author of that work?
    – Double AA
    Feb 6, 2013 at 17:38
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    he.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Feb 6, 2013 at 17:39
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    @GershonGold Great find. How did you get to this?
    – Yehoshua
    Feb 6, 2013 at 20:11
  • This NB is quoted in the TZ (first ref.) that @Reb Chaim linked to in his answer. TZ opines that NB would only assert a rabbinic prohibition where physical contact would lead to sexual relations. In such a case seclusion should be avoided.
    – Oliver
    Nov 3, 2017 at 16:54

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