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Shomer Negiah

Can I not be Shomer Negiya for the purpose of marriage?

GYE Corp. Thursday, 02 February 2012

I know you are not a Rav, but I have a question: What do you think of one who stops being shomer negiya in order to eventually get married? If he doesn't engage in anything that is not permitted, is this an acceptable compromise for a chozer betshuva? I simply don't think I could get into a serious relationship while being shomer, and my community isn't, so it's either this or I'll never find a girl.


Dear Jew,

Not being "Shomer Negiah" is not a Halachic option, and furthermore, it would only make your challenges with Shmiras Habris far more difficult.

To touch a woman who is unclean (which all women are before they are married) biderech chiba (in a loving way) is abizraya de'arayos and according to many Poskim is yehareg ve'al ya'avor! (be killed and don't transgress).

I am sure that if you take upon yourself the higher standards that Hashem asks of us, i.e. to be for him a holy nation, then He, who controls the world and makes all matches, will surely help you find you a match worthy of someone who is careful in this area. If, however, you are not careful in this area, you may likely end up with someone on a very low spiritual level, and I think you may want to ask yourself, “is this the kind of girl I would want to be the mother of my kids?”

I highly suggest following the time-worn and proven method of "match-making" or dating in a Kosher way. Please read through this wonderful page for great articles on why the kosher match-making/dating methods works so much better.

You can even search for your “bashert” online today (see below for some sites). Therefore, you don’t need to rely only on the girls in your community at all. You can find a great girl who shares your interest and your desire to do what's right. Then you can start communicating, first by e-mail, then on the phone, etc… And when you feel that this is someone who could realistically be your wife, you can travel to meet her in person.

Some great on-line dating sites, where you can easily find a girl of your caliber, who shares your interests:

A great book to get on the subject of abstinence before marriage: "The Magic Touch: A Jewish Approach to Relationships" by Gila Manolson.

Some great articles on being Shomer Negiyah:

By the way, just for your info in the future, if you want to ask Halachic questions anonymously on-line, see this page. (Not always can I answer Halachic questions, as I am not a Rav – although this one was pretty straight forward :-) .


Some great posts from the forum on the issue of being “Shomer Negiya”

Someone wrote on the forum:

I'm a baal Teshuva from my early teens. However my aveiros of nishuk (kissing) with a niddah continued, even though I did know that what I was doing was a no-no, but it wasn't until I learned a sefer from the Chafetz Chaim that I realized exactly how big of a no-no…. a Yehareig v'Al Yaavor, and that's what gave me to resolve to finally STOP.


“Shemirateinayim” writes on the forum:

I hit rock bottom in the middle of first year beis medrash, and started to turn around. I found a book 'The magic touch by Gila Manolson' and found out about the concepts of shomer negiah and girlfreinds being assur. So I checked up the Igros Moshe, and learned that “assur” meant “Yehareig velo Ya'avor”. That's when – and why – I started being shomer einayim. My addiction lessened over the years in yeshiva….


“HabaLitaher” writes on the forum:

I had no enjoyment in my Torah learning for a year, and was about to walk away wholesale, until two things happened simultaneously.

#1. I started being shomer negiah, and walked away from a world in which my mind was filled with GIRLs, GIRLS, GIRLS…. The Torah has a hard time getting in when it has to fight for space right next to Chani, Shani, Chaya, Leah etc… (all of them in various states of wardrobe malfunction)…

#2 I found a limud that I was interested in, it was not necessarily what my yeshiva was doing, but I set learning it as my goal and I worked on it every single day… It was a hard and log process, but when I made that siyum it was one of the greatest moments of my life, and ever since then torah-learning has been a serious part of my life, and a great source of joy and inspiration…


“Emes” wrote on the forum:

My family wasn't frum at all. It's still a mystery even to me where my pull towards yiddishkeit came from. Possibly cheder, but all I remember about that was learning to read Hebrew. Whatever the source, from a young age I felt that being religious was the right thing to do. We didn't do it, but we should. No one else from my family seemed to feel that way.

When I was studying for my degree my best friend phoned me up and invited me toIsrael. Aish HaTorah were piloting their first Jerusalem Fellowships from South Africa. We thought we were getting a cheap trip to Israel, but had I known the outreach nature of the program beforehand I think I still would have gone. Like I said, there was always something inside me that said being being religious is the right way to live.

The program was perfectly suited for an ignoramus like me. I went to a public school with a fair percentage of Jewish students, and came out with a spectacular lack of Jewish knowledge, as is to be expected. They presented in a palatable way how pleasant and fulfilling it is to be frum, and I was eager to accept the message. One of the presentations was on Tznius and Shomer N'giah (cunningly set towards the end of the program, after they'd softened you up) and I absorbed it with a happy heart like all the rest of the lessons I was thirsting to learn.

I had made a girlfriend on the tour, and after that lecture we sort of danced around each other in a way I would have found strange a few weeks before. Back home I distinctly remember walking along the street one day and suddenly realizing that 50% of all my thoughts and energies were now free to use as I wished. No more anxiety about 'does she like me?' or 'how do I look?' or 'where am I going to get money for a date' or a million other concerns. Quite liberating!