Sunday, 21 August 2016

Derech Eivarim

Someone called us with a shailah:

His wife is in her 8th month pregnancy and has a lot of sciatic pain and numbness in the legs and backside, which makes relations painful for her. He wanted to know if there is any heter of sex with his wife without penetration, such as derech eivarim?

I remember seeing a teshuvah in the booklet called "D'var Seser" where an (anonymous) Rav was matir derech eivarim where medical reasons prohibited penetration. But I don't know if we can be somech on this Rav, since I don't know who it is.

Rabbi Morgenstern replies:

I realize the very difficult situation the husband finds himself. However, he should be encouraged that his wife is already in the 8th month and before he knows she will already have given birth. Hopefully her difficulties will disappear with the birth and shortly thereafter they will be able to return to a more "normal" married life. Perhaps he should also look at it as an investment for the future. If a woman gets the emotional feeling that married life is more for the husband then the wife, irreparable damage might be done to their relationship which could wreak terrible havoc in their future relationship. It might be advisable that he should show understanding that he is as interested in her wellbeing as in his own, and understands that things will be good for both of them in the future.

It is accepted today that one must not do anything with his wife which will bring himself to zera livatala, which is defined as losing zera outside the usual place one does the mitzvah in the woman's body.