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The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

The Joy of Text Ep. 407: On Matzah and Sex (Yerushalmi Pesachim 10:1)

by Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on April 15, 2019)
Topics: Source Sheets, Halakha & Modernity, Belief & Observance, Food & Kashrut, Gender, Halakhic Methodology, Marriage & Family, Sex & Niddah, Pesach

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These sources accompany the Matzah and Sex episode of the Joy of Text podcast.


1. Yerushalmi Pesahim 10:1

ירושלמי פסחים י’:א’
ר’ יודן נשייא סחה וצחא שאל לר’ מנא בגין דאתא צחי מהו נישתי.
א”ל תני ר’ חייה אסור לאדם לטעום כלום עד שתחשך.
א”ר לוי האוכל מצה בערב הפסח כבא על ארוסתו בבית חמיו והבא על ארוסתו בבית חמיו לוקה.
Rabbi Judah the prince swam (on erev Pesah) and was thirsty. He asked Rabbi Mana: “Since I am thirsty, is it permissible for me to drink?”

He responded: “Rabbi Hiyyah teaches in a braitta – It is forbidden for a person to taste anything (in the afternoon of erev Pesah) until it becomes dark.”

Said Rabbi Levi: One who eats matzah on Erev Pesah is like a man who has intercourse with his betrothed wife in his father-in-law’s house (while she is still living with her father and before she has come to live with him).  And a man who has intercourse with his betrothed wife in his father-in-law’s house is given lashes.


2. Rambam, Laws of Hametz and Matzah, 6:12

רמב”ם הלכות חמץ ומצה פרק ו הל’ י”ב

אסרו חכמים לאכול מצה בערב הפסח כדי שיהיה הכר לאכילתה בערב, ומי שאכל מצה בערב הפסח מכין אותו מכת מרדות עד שתצא נפשו.

The Sages forbade a person to eat matzah on erev Pesah in order that there should be something distinctive about his eating at night.  And if a person eats matzah on erev Pesah, we give him “lashes of rebellion” (lashes for violating a rabbinic edict) until his soul departs.