Is one allowed to see his wife undressed. If not, is he allowed to just see her nurse their child. To put it generally, do all the laws of Tznius also apply between a man and his wife?


1 Answer 1


See Rambam, Kedusha, Isure Bia, 21, 9 (This is about the wife when she is not nidda):

ט אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁלָּאָדָם, מֻתֶּרֶת הִיא לוֹ; לְפִיכָּךְ כָּל מַה שֶׁאָדָם רוֹצֶה לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ, עוֹשֶׂה--בּוֹעֵל בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְצֶה, וּמְנַשֵּׁק בְּכָל אֵבֶר שֶׁיִּרְצֶה, וּבָא עָלֶיהָ בֵּין כְּדַרְכָּהּ, בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא כְּדַרְכָּהּ, בֵּין דֶּרֶךְ אֵבָרִים ‏{ ‏חלק זה לא נמצא בגירסא של מכון ממרא_: וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא ‏‏יוֹצִיא שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע לְבַטָּלָה. ‏עד כאן. ‏}‏ וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן מִדַּת חֲסִידוּת שֶׁלֹּא יָקֵל אָדָם אֶת רֹאשׁוֹ לְכָךְ וְשֶׁיְּקַדֵּשׁ עַצְמוֹ בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת דֵּעוֹת. וְלֹא יָסוּר מִדֶּרֶךְ הָעוֹלָם וּמִנְהָגוֹ שֶׁאֵין דָּבָר זֶה אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לִפְרוֹת וְלִרְבּוֹת: ‏

... so, what he desires, it's permitted to make it with his wife ... {he hase to be careful, not to lose seed @Double AA signaled me that this part is absent in accurate version of Mechon Mamre}.

But the ideal behavior is Kedusha. See Rambam Deot 5, 4:

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁלָּאָדָם מֻתֶּרֶת לוֹ תָּמִיד, רָאוּי לוֹ לְתַלְמִיד חֲכָמִים שֶׁיַּנְהִיג עַצְמוֹ בִּקְדֻשָּׁה: ‏

A scholar need to adopt a holy behavior despite that his wife is always permitted for him.


צְנִיעוּת גְּדוֹלָה נוֹהֲגִים תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים בְּעַצְמָן: לֹא יִתְבַּזּוּ, וְלֹא יְגַלּוּ רֹאשָׁן וְלֹא גּוּפָן.

Scholars comportment is very modest, they don't humiliate themselves an do not discover head and body.

Isure Bia 21, 10:

אָסוּר לְאָדָם לְשַׁמַּשׁ מִטָּתוֹ, לְאוֹר הַנֵּר ‏

It is prohibited to have marital relationship near the light of a candle.

  • 1
    mechon-mamre.org/i/5121.htm#10 is the accurate text of the Rambam. Your edition has errors.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 13:03
  • @DoubleAA fixed. Interesting, I was thinking machloket between Tosfot and tosfot Rid and Rambam
    – kouty
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 13:16
  • Yes, it's certainly relevant.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 13:25
  • It appears the Rambam already wrote a rough draft for parts of Issurei Biah in his lengthy commentary to Mishna Sanhedrin 7:4. The language there also doesn't have any caveats: ומותר לאיש שיבא על אשתו שלא כדרכה ודרך אברים וכפי מה שירצה. That further supports that the "well except for..." in most Ashkenazi texts was a corruption. He also specifically calls out the harsh ascetic language used by some Talmudic rabbis and says "yep, Halacha doesn't follow them, move on." sefaria.org/…
    – Shalom
    Commented Oct 3, 2021 at 12:25

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