Today morning I was reading the newspaper, when a film review called The rabbi and his daughter caught my eyes. Eventually it turned out that it was reviewing a recent, not really kosher film. Putting aside these concerns, the relevant part of the plot is that a married woman meets her previous female lover, and engages in a relationship with her. Actually her marriage was an effort to overcome her attraction to other women.

There are debates, whether lesbian relationships are forbidden by the Torah or by rabbis (or forbidden at all), but I would like to know, whether such a woman is considered an adulterer and what are the halakhic consequences of her extra-marital relationship?

  • Check out Yevamot 76a
    – Double AA
    Apr 17, 2018 at 11:44
  • Who says it's not forbidden at all?
    – robev
    Apr 17, 2018 at 12:09
  • @robev More seriously, as I understand Rambam forbids it based on the Sifra's interpretation of Vayikra 3:18 (top right 4th row). But does it only refer to marriage or any relationships? If you take Yevamoth 76a and Chullin 92b it's not 100% clear for me. (Obviously it would be tough to go against Rambam, but still.) Apr 17, 2018 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


The Shulchan Aruch, Even Ha'Ezer writes סימן כ' סעיף ב' "נשים המסוללות (פי' המשחקות ומתחככות) זו בזו, אסור, ממעשה ארץ מצרים (ויקרא יח, ג) שהוזהרנו עליו. וראוי להכותן מכת מרדות, הואיל ועשו איסור. ויש לאיש להקפיד על אשתו מדבר זה, ומונע הנשים הידועות בכך מלהכנס לה ומלצאת היא אליהן The Beis Shmuel there writes, that she does not become forbidden to her husband or to a cohen (as a זונה because of this).

In short: 1 - It is forbidden - even for a single girl - based on a pasuk. 2 - She deserves to be lashed [מכות מרדות which is not done now]. 3 - She should not associate with others who act that way. 4 - She is not forbidden to her husband, as an adulterer would be.

  • 1
    Yepp, it's quite the same that I linked from Mishneh Torah. I was hoping something more recent. Let's see if others add something more. Apr 21, 2018 at 21:03

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