Wednesday, August 23, 2023


 Shabbos (140b) Rav Chisda advised his daughters: Act modestly before your husbands: do not eat bread before your husbands, do not eat greens at night, do not eat dates at night nor drink beer at night, and do not ease yourselves where your husbands do, and when someone calls at the door, do not say ‘who is he’ but ‘who is she?’ Rav Chisda held a jewel in one hand and a seed grain in the other; the pearl he showed them but the seed grain he did not show them until they were suffering, and then he showed it to them.

 Rashi (Shabbos 140b): He held a jewel in one hand and a worthless seed in the other – He told his daughters that when her husband wants to caress her out of desire for intercourse – he will typically hold her breasts in one hand and with the other hand will touch her genitals. The jewel he should be shown – refers to letting him hold her breasts in order to increase his desire – but the genital area he should not be allowed to have immediate access. This causes his lust and love to increase and it distresses him. When he is fully aroused he should be allowed access.

 Mishna Halachos (07:225). The sefer Maskil el Dahl writes that when it is not at the time of fulfilling the mitzva one should be careful not to kiss and hug his wife – even if she is not a nida – in order not to have lustful thoughts. Nevertheless at the time of sexual relations see Lechem Mishna (Ishus 15:18) who writes that it is prohibited to touch his wife’s genitals. However in Shabbos (140b), Rav Chisda advised his daughters according to Rashi to delay their husband’s touching their genitals in order to get them aroused. Thus it would seem that Rashi holds that it is permitted! Perhaps then the Lechem Mishna prohibited touching inside the vagina and not just touching. Also look at the Meiri (Shabbos 140b) who explains the incident with Rav Chisda differently and according to his understanding it is not relevant to the question at all. ... In these type of matters it says in the Torah, You shall be holy to your G‑d. If one sanctifies himself below then they sanctify him above as well as meriting male children who are good and fit to posken halachos

Netziv (Shabbos 140b) He held a jewel in one hand. Rashi’s explanation is astounding! It seems that this is the real explanation of this gemora. A women’s husband has obligations to her regarding jewelry and intercourse.That is what our Sages said that a woman is only for her beauty and children. Thus Rav Chisda is wisely hinting to his daughters that they can ask their husbands directly for jewelry in order to beautify themselves for him.In contrast G-d forbid that they ask him directly for intercourse. Rather they can have intercourse if they seduce him and get him very sexually frustrated. The pearl is an allusion to jewelry, while the seed is an allusion to intercourse and procreation. 

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