In Hilchot Ishut the Rambam gives different requirements to men to fulfill their conjugal rights obligations (http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/952888/jewish/Ishut-Chapter-Fourteen.htm).


  • Healthy men who are pampered and indulged - every night
  • a talmid chacham - once a week
  • a worker - twice a weak
  • a seaman - once every six months

The shulchan aruch gives the same halachah.

What is the motivation behind these numbers? Is this the lower limit, the upper limit? If marital relations is a holy act, why should it be limited? If marital relations is negative, why should the pampered and indulged men have it every night?


1 Answer 1


The periodicity of visits of the husband at home and his work*, and how mach he remains valid and strong after hardness of labor and business(Source Mishna Keubot 5, 6, difference between "walkers" and "workers", see also Gemara Ketubot 62a, the words of SA EH 76,1 are according to his strength and his work). When a woman will marry a seaman, she doesn't protest against the fact that doesn't come up often enough. So she cannot require "Ona" more frequently.

If a woman is already married to a worker, and he decide to be a seaman, she can prevent it following the halacha and claim what is rightly her SA EH 76, 5. The only allowance to force the woman to accept is when he want to go away to Yeshiva.

The number is a minimal requirement, i.e. a maximal interval between onot

See SA EH 76

Thank you to @Shalom for remember me the work criterion and lower number.


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