Relations Before Marriage (cont.)


Hi again, I’d tried to email back re the response that you sent me to your question but it got kicked back to me, saying the address is not monitored. Here’s the content of the email I tried to send—if there’s anyway you can further respond:, I realize that the issue of premarital sex and mikkveh are rather intense for an email, and I will consider calling Rav Cohen. To be honest, however, I’m not sure I’m comfortable doing so. The fact that this email made it possible for me to ask the question in the first place! . I know we’re not supposed to be having premarital sex, but we are, so we’d prefer to be as halachic about the situation as possible. My boyfriend thinks it’s pretty clear in the gemora I should be going to mikveh, etc, but I’d like to hear more. If there is anyway you could say more, I’d REALLY appreciate it. Apologies if I’m asking for too much. Miriam

15 years


  1. As I mentioned the topic is extremely complex and involved. It basically centers around whether such a relationship as yours has any Halachic sanction or not and it is far more complicated than thinking that one can draw a conclusion from Gemoras. That is why I suggested that you speak with Rav Cohen as he has the Halachic “shoulders” to give you a definitive answer one way or the other which is something that I am not prepared to do. I am happy to give you some background to the problem but I must emphasize quite clearly that without consulting an expert posek any decision that take will not have any Halachic validity.

    There are basically five different approaches amongst the Rishonim and Achronim.

    1) There is an Issur La’av (prohibition of a Negative Commadment)

    2) There is an Issur Aseh (prohibition of a Positive Commadment)

    3) There is an Issur Derabanan (prohibition of a Rabbinical Commadment)

    4) That it is permitted in theory but not to be implemented

    5) That it is permitted without any conditions

    Amongst the Rishonim the Rambam is adamant that it is forbidden for an unmarried woman to go to the Mikve in order to allow intimacy to take place. Some later authorities learn that the Rosh and the Tur are in agreement with the Rambam some learn that the severity of the prohibition is less than the opinion of the Rambam.

    Amongst the Achronim the the Avnei Nezer examines the whole subject thoroughly and concludes that he feels that it is an Issur Aseh but he cannot rule definitively. According to the Avnei Nezer it is a “Safek Dioraisa” which must be ruled stringently. Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinski writes in his Responsa Achiezer that the doubt centers around a Negative Commandment (Safek La’av) and not a Positive Commandment. Rav Moshe Feinstein, in his work the Iggros Moshe, also rules that it is fo

    Best wishes from the Team