1. The De'Oraiso prohibition of the sexual act itself is clear and indisputable.

  2. Because we hold that "אין אפוטרופוס לעריות" (Ksubos 13b, roughly "no one can be trusted against illicit relations"), we suspect every man can easily slip into a De'Oraiso prohibited behavior, therefore we do "משמרת למשמרתי" and forbid אביזרייהו דעריות - all kinds of sexual closeness, e.g. hugging and kissing and even ייחוד alone.
    I've seen tons of Halochos on heterosexual אביזרייהו דעריות but have never seen a discussion about homosexual closeness.

  3. We also hold that "לא נחשדו ישראל על משכב זכר" (Kiddushin 82b, "Jews are not suspected of homosexual acts"), therefore if two men exhibit attraction and affection we, seemingly, do not hold them as transgressors and, probably, do not forbid such behavior (?).

  4. Toward the gay parade in Jerusalem this week R"L, my guts say something is wrong with HS אביזרייהו דעריות too, but I can't find sources.

What are the sources of the prohibition of homosexual אביזרייהו דעריות?
Or if it is automatically transferred from heterosexual prohibitions - what are sources for that transference?

  • How do we know abizrayhu on adultery, incest, and bestiality? Why do you assume homosexuality might be any different?
    – Loewian
    Jul 29, 2018 at 12:28
  • @Loewian HS IS different as "לא נחשדו ישראל על משכב זכר" therefore if we see a gay couple kissing we don't have a "חזקה" that this act will lead to משכב זכר, unlike in heterosexual case when we DO suspect.
    – Al Berko
    Jul 29, 2018 at 16:13
  • The shulchan aruch mentions yichud by males, that if not forbidden because לא נחשדו it is preferable to refrain from doing it.
    – user218076
    Jul 31, 2018 at 12:29
  • Lo nechshadu yisroel al mishkav zachar does not apply in societies where homosexuality is common.
    – user6591
    Apr 3, 2019 at 1:59
  • 1
    @AlBerko לא נחשדו is the default assumption unless we have reason to believe otherwise, like any חזקה. Two men kissing affectionately would reasonably remove any favorable judgement
    – robev
    Apr 3, 2019 at 18:19

2 Answers 2


There is a machlokes between Maimonides and Nachmanides regarding whether the issur of לא תקרבו לגלות ערוה (one should not come close to violating forbidden relationships) is a Torah prohibition or just rabbinic. Both agree that it is certainly assur. This prohibition would include all forbidden relationships including HS.

Furthermore, there is a commandment of ונשמרתם מכל דבר רע (guard yourself from "bad" things), which includes not seeing or engaging in things that will bring one to spill seed in vain. Certainly, any form of sexual interaction, even if not actual sex, should fall under that prohibition.

  • 2
    "This prohibition would include all forbidden relationships including HS." How do you know this? That's the most important part of the answer and you don't explain how you know it
    – Double AA
    Apr 3, 2019 at 15:14
  • In the Sefer hamitsvos of the Rambam in negative commandment 350 he mentions the issur of HS relations. In negative commandment 353 after the list of all arayos he counts the issur of לא תקרבו.
    – ASL
    Apr 3, 2019 at 15:55
  • Interesting idea for a source. Where does he count Niddah? This could be Rambam Leshitato with a broad definition of Ervah.
    – Double AA
    Apr 3, 2019 at 16:50

Homosexual intercourse is one of the forbidden relationships - Arayot - that is biblically prohibited.

Whilst the Rambam does not specifically target homosexuality he says that any form of sensual affection shown towards one of the Arayot (this would include another man or a woman married to someone else) is אסור and is being עובר a לאו.

רמב"ם איסורי ביאה כא:א

כל הבא על ערוה מן העריות דרך איברים או שחבק ונשק דרך תאוה ונהנה בקרוב בשר הרי זה לוקה מן התורה.

  • I'm not convinced a male is an Erva to a male. You assume it with no source. (Not everyone agrees a Niddah is an Ervah either btw; Ervah is a specific legal category.)
    – Double AA
    Apr 3, 2019 at 15:12
  • 1
    @DoubleAA Rambam (Issurei Bi'ah 1:4) seems to be include male-male as "arayos": ...העריות שיש בהן מיתת ב"ד... ואלו שמיתתן בסקילה: והשוכב עם זכר... Apr 3, 2019 at 18:55

You must log in to answer this question.

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