May a couple, living in Israel during a war or when Israel is under a constant barrage of rocket and other types of terrorist attacks, engage in marital relations? May a couple living outside of Israel engage in marital relations while millions of Jews elsewhere are experiencing danger and terror?

I recall learning that in times of danger it is not appropriate for people to engage in marital relations. I think the gemarah talks about this in reference to the people on the tayvah not engaging in relations


2 Answers 2


The Talmud (Taanit 11a) proscribes marital relations during a famine. (See Tosfot and Rambam regarding if this is an obligation or supererogatory.) The Shulchan Aruch rules this way in OC 240:12 and 574:4 (exceptions are given for childless couples and on the night the woman goes to the Mikvah) and the Rama there extends the law to other times of pain ("שאר צרות"). We have responsa from the First World War (Darkei Chayim veShalom 656) and the Yom Kippur War (Tzitz Eliezer 13:21) permitting marital intimacy. See this article for more details and definitely CYLOR.


Rav Aviner said that it is correct that such a Halachah does exist during times of distress, however this is not a time of distress. It is a time of salvation. We need to see things in prespective. A time of distress is the Holocaust. When Rav Aviner was born in Nazi-occupied France, his family hid him so he was sent to a concentration camp, but as we know, most babies were. Now we have Tzahal! When an enemy attacks, we attack back and crush them. Military experts say that based on the difficulty and complexity of this mission, the number of soliders who have fallen is much lower than expected. On a personal level, we are greatly pained by the loss of each and every soldier, but on a national level, we are in the best state since the beginning of our Exile 2000 years ago. Baruch Hashem for Hashem's loyal agents Tzahal!

Based on personal correspondence

  • Just clarifying - it is salvation because we are fighting back, or because of how successful the mission has been? Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 14:47
  • 1
    Why can't times of salvation be dangerous? Why do miraculously low death tolls make it not dangerous? I don't understand this answer at all.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 29, 2014 at 21:45

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