I think someone in another question here (or on another site?) said he was told by his "chassan teacher" not to look at his wife unclothed. It seems like this is not the real halacha to me, or at least not everyone holds it. What are the opinions?

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    The tag of clothing seems to be a little out of place this time ;)... – Yehoshua Dec 31 '12 at 8:42

It is definitely allowed according to halachah; this teacher was probably speaking about what he felt was the pious and holy way to behave. But the truth is that one must be extremely careful when trying to act "beyond the letter of the law," that he should not damage his Sholom Bayis in the process. The Chazon Ish in his "Iggeres Kodesh" (cited in Mishkan Yisroel page 50) puts it as follows:

ההסתכלות באשתו מותר מפני שרצון התורה באהבה ביניהם, והאהבה היא ההכנה למצות עונה העתידה

In other words, the primary and overriding goal is to foster a healthy and comfortable relationship. Any practices that are done on account of "perishus" and "kedushah" should not detract from that.

(I would hope that the aforementioned chassan teacher conveyed these nuances.)

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    It should be mentioned that the view of certain chassidus (most notably Ger) leans heavily towards "perishus" behavior. But as SimchasTorah pointed out, this is really not the proper forum for extended discussion about these matters. – Dave Jan 26 '11 at 3:39
  • Where is this in the Chazzon Ish itself? – Yehoshua Dec 31 '12 at 8:43
  • @Yehoshua - If you mean Sefer Chazon Ish, it's not there. I don't know where (or even if) the Iggeres Kodesh is printed. – Dave Dec 31 '12 at 17:15
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    is the Chazon Ish referring to looking at your wife clothed or naked? – michael Oct 16 '13 at 18:03
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    Is there a link to the text quoted by Dave? It would appear to me that he is referring not to gazing but rather looking at a girl who he plans to marry (as opposed to not looking at her at all before he marries her). Hence "העתידה". Link to full text may shed some light on this matter. – user4714 Jan 1 '14 at 23:12

It seems that at least once it is permitted to look, not only permitted but there is a presumption that he did (this excludes her genitalia (which is forbidden to be looked at source and here)

Rambam Ishut 25.6 and Shulchan Aruch E"H 117.10

If [a husband] had relations with his wife and waited several days, and [afterwards,] claimed that he discovered a blemish only then, his words are disregarded. [This applies] even if [the blemish] is in the folds [of the woman's skin] (meaning, for example, under the armpit or under the breasts and the like) or on the sole of her foot. [The rationale is that] we presume that a man will not drink from a cup unless he checks it well first. [Therefore,] we assume that he knew [of the blemish] and accepted it.

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  • "which are forbidden to be looked at source and here)" note that that is highly debatable. By all indications it isn't the opinion of rama or rambam. – mevaqesh Jan 9 '18 at 16:12
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – mevaqesh Jan 9 '18 at 18:06

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