I was shown Shulchan Aruch Harav 619 :

וְעַל כָּל פָּנִים יִזָּהֵר שֶׁלֹּא לְכַסּוֹת רַגְלָיו, זֵכֶר לַדָּבָר "וַתְּגַל מַרְגְּלֹתָיו" שֶׁל בֹּעַז, שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹא לִידֵי חִמּוּם:
One should at least leave his legs uncovered, as alluded to by the uncovering of Boaz’ legs (Ruth 3:7), so that one’s body will not become excessively warmed.

If i understood correctly that on yom kippur men should not cover their feet so not to get sexually aroused.

What did the uncovering of Boaz' feet symbolize? What does it have to do with arousal?

  • I think it has everything to do with being excessively warm leading to a nocturnal emission.
    – ezra
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 0:46
  • @ezra sorry I do not see any connection between that and Boaz
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 0:47
  • I don't there is a connection. I believe the reference was given so that you would understand what the Baal HaTanya meant when he said "uncovering the legs."
    – ezra
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 0:48
  • Perhaps the reason Naomi told Ruth to uncover Boaz' feet while he slept on the floor was to allow him to wake up naturally. With a drop in the temperature, his feet would get cold. A very simple and practical way for him to wake up from sleep without causing alarm.
    – Lesley
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 13:48

2 Answers 2


Perhaps it is a reference to the Gemora, Sanhedrin 19b

אמר רבי יוחנן תוקפו של יוסף ענוותנותו של בועז תוקפו של בועז ענוותנותו של פלטי בן ליש תוקפו של יוסף ענוותנותו של בועז דכתיב (רות ג, ח) ויהי בחצי הלילה ויחרד האיש וילפת מאי וילפת אמר רב שנעשה בשרו כראשי לפתות

See Rashi there that explains that he got an erection.


It seems that "uncover Boaz' feet" means lit. to uncover his nudity (See the Hizkuni to Shemos 4:25 in which he explain the language of "feet" with this conotation). Although I did not see the classic meforshim infer this in the posuk to Rus, I think that given the context it would imply that he had an arousal.

  • Wow this explains give a different meaning to the story of Boaz (and maybe the Shulchan Aruch Harav)
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 10:07
  • And the next pasuk "woman lying at his feet" ruth 3.8
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 10:09
  • Are you saying she coused the arousal? (By uncovering his feet)
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 10:10
  • sefaria.org/Chizkuni,_Exodus.4.25.3?lang=bi
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 10:27
  • I don't think this is a question of if she caused this or not 'per se', I'm just saying that the language used in Rus implies an erection there and the SAH uses that to infer that one should not put himself in a position that could lead to an erection. Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 3:15

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