I know that wasting seed is the worst sin in Judaism and a Jew who committed it is considered very wicked. Yet, I am not sure about wasting seed ? is it a sin or not?

I am a gentile wanting to convert to Judaism seriously, and I used to have this addiction, and I stopped committing it since almost between 3-4 weeks but sadly today I fell for it again, especially that I drank beer and I felt slightly intoxicated-not drunk though. But I didn't had the intention to get intoxicated. I know there is no excuse for sin no matter what.

Anyway, since I heard that the ones who desire to convert to Judaism may have a Jewish soul already, that means it might be a heavy sin if I committed it no matter whether it's a sin or not for a normal gentile.

Anyone knows?

P.S: I searched for similar questions in this website yet I couldn't find any.

  • 1
    from what I remember it wasn't listed in Mishneh Torah amongst the sheva mitzvos bnei Noach – warz3 Aug 14 '15 at 17:44
  • 6
    "I know that wasting seed is the worst sin in Judaism" Actually, that would seem to be Avoda Zara and/or Murder. – Double AA Aug 14 '15 at 17:57
  • 2
    @DoubleAA and what makes me concerned even more, is that I did read in a Jewish website that: " "Wasting seed is more severe then manslaughter, for here he is spilling his own blood and the blood of his children. In the Zohar parshas vyache it says all evil people can repent except those that commit this sin."" – mil Aug 14 '15 at 18:00
  • 1
    @DoubleAA Does that mean that there is no hope to be forgiven even if I did repent ? – mil Aug 14 '15 at 18:01
  • 4
    @mil True repentance atones for all sins. – Loewian Aug 14 '15 at 18:07

One is not judged by the 613 commandments unless one is born Jewish or formally converts. A non-Jew could feel they have a Jewish soul, but may eat pork aplenty until converting. (In fact, non-Jews are not supposed to observe the Sabbath, which leads to some discussion about whether someone studying for conversion should somehow break his Sabbath observance for five minutes!)

As for whether it's included in the Seven Noahide commandments -- there's discussion about it, like there is about everything else -- but the simple answer is no, it's not on that list, and therefore it's not something to be concerned about.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    So I understand from your comment about Pork that even though I may feel that I have a Jewish soul, it's still not a sin ? – mil Aug 14 '15 at 17:49
  • 1
    @Mil exactly. By law, unless you undergo conversion, you can eat all the pork you want. The "Jewish soul" thing is that some people may want to undergo conversion. But until that point, the only laws (and therefore the only sins) are the Seven Noahide ones. – Shalom Aug 14 '15 at 18:06
  • 1
    @mil - If you weren't born Jewish, the 613 commandments don't apply to you. Basically, when G-d said that, He wasn't talking to you. Whether or not you think you have a "Jewish soul", you were born into the religion that G-d wanted you to be born into. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Aug 20 '15 at 16:24
  • 2
    Er and Onan had a status of bnei noach as they were before Matan Torah and that is the source of wasting seed which is considered killing the potential child which is why midah kneged midah they were both killed by G-d, and killing is one of the 7 noachide laws – user15464 Oct 31 '17 at 0:01
  • 1
    #Shalom Please dont answer from the top of your head. Please give sources. – Rh Haokip Jun 5 '19 at 2:14

The Tzitz Eliezer brings opposing sources in his responsa discussing whether Bnei Noach are 'neherag' for wasting seed. Either way it seems undesirable from the remaining sources that he brings i.e. the gravity of the sin of wasting seed from the Talmud and kabbalistic sources. He writes:

The response in Dovev Meisharim… writes that Rabbi Yochanan reasoned that also Bnei Noah are not neherag on transgressing [wasting seed] like an Israelite… which is not so according to the Rambam who holds (Hilchos Melachim, 9:4) that Bnei Noach are neherag for transgressing [wasting seed]...

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Rambam Melakhim 9:4 doesn't mention wasting seed? I'm not sure your translation is accurate. – Double AA Mar 21 '17 at 12:01
  • What does the gravity of the sin of wasting seed have to do with whether or not it is desirably for those for whom there is no sin? Sleeping with a Niddah is a grave sin, but sleeping with you pure wife is not undesirable since there is not sin. – Double AA Mar 21 '17 at 12:03
  • עוברין means fetuses, not transgressing – b a Jun 5 '19 at 9:10

I do not know of any source that says what is the punishment for a non Jew for wasting seed. But I do know G-d does not approve it and dislikes it very much! Therefor a non Jew must also be very carful with this sin and any type of forbidden relations. If a non Jew has already committed the sin, his Teshuvah should be by not repeating the sin anymore, having regret and remorse, educating others about the severity of the sin and living a life of truth and honesty. Non Jews are not obligated to study Torah and some subjects they are prohibited to learn (only because spiritually it can harm them) but there are many other subjects that non Jews can and even must learn in order to know how to act as Noahides and also to know what G-d is expecting from them. Since a non Jew can not correct the sin of wasting seed by learning Torah, my suggestion is to support a Jew that does learn Torah and by that the Non Jew can benefit from the Torah the Jew learnt.

Rabbi Alon Anava has an excellent video for both Jews and non Jews regarding this. Here are some other videos with links below:




| improve this answer | |

Tosfos (Sanhedrin 59b) explains that the source for the prohibition to waste seed is from Pru Urvu; thus a Noahide would not be forbidden (because a Noahide is not commanded to procreate.

However Tosfos in other places (Chagiga 2b) implies that a Noahide is commanded in Pru Urevu [in accordance with the Sheiltos 165 and the pashtus of Yevamos 62]. Accordingly, the prohibition would apply equally to non-Jews.

If, however, the prohibition is from Lo Sinaf (see או״ז א-קכ״ד, סמ״ק רצ״ב), we are unable to extrapolate from a non-Jews' obligation of Pru Urvu. And although a non-Jew is also prohibited from adultery, we cannot compare it to a Jew's adultery, because they are derived from different pessukim, and therefore what constitutes 'adultery' by one would not be conclusive evidence for the other. [Like the parameters of murder are different for a Jew and non-Jew (abortion, for example), although both are prohibited from murdering.]

| improve this answer | |

It is absolutely a terrible sin for non-jews. God killed Onan, a non-jew for wasting seed. Torah scholars will always point out that one of the reasons God destroyed the world with a flood was partially because of the sin of wasting seed. It's included in the Noahide laws (of which there are far more than seven) under the category of sexual transgressions

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    About Onan, he was the son of Yehuda, it's as jew as it gets those days, and his sin was not giving his wife pregnancy. It's not clear that wasting seed is part of his sin. – Alaychem goes to Codidact Jul 27 '19 at 22:49
  • @Alaychem is right. See my answer above. This sin does not refer to non-Jews. – Turk Hill Jul 27 '19 at 23:42
  • Welcome to MiYodeya Eliezer and thanks for this first answer. Can I recommend you take the tour to get a sense of how the site works? Also since MY is different from other sites you might be used to, see here for a guide which might help understand the site. See in particular the focus on sourcing your answers: since we don't know you, unless you provide sources to back up your claims, there is little reason to believe them. Great to have you learn with us! – mbloch Jul 28 '19 at 4:25
  • Where are your sources? – Dan Weisberg Nov 24 '19 at 16:05

You must log in to answer this question.

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