Is sexual activity permissible on the Sabbath?

Иегуда Ади Девир

The laws outlined in the Torah encompass 39 categories of activities that are prohibited during this sacred day. Broadly speaking, these restrictions include refraining from heating food over a flame (cooking or reheating), refraining from operating electronic devices, including phones, abstaining from using transportation, refraining from taking items outside the home – even small ones tucked in pockets – unless there’s an eruv in place, which is a symbolic enclosure that demarcates an area where observant Jews reside within a city or neighborhood.

Furthermore, the prohibitions extend to not engaging in writing or tearing paper and not handling objects that are typically avoided on the Sabbath – such as money, phones, and pencils – due to the reasons mentioned earlier.

In addition to the explicit prohibitions, certain actions that might not inherently fall under the list of 39 forbidden types of work are also discouraged on the Sabbath, as they don’t align with the spirit of the day. These actions are categorized as “Shvut,” indicating that they contradict the restful and reflective nature of the Sabbath – for instance, participating in sports.

It’s worth noting that intimate relations are not classified as one of the 39 prohibited activities on the Sabbath, nor are they classified under the “Shvut” category. As such, they are considered permissible within the context of Sabbath observance.

This explanation has been provided by Rabbi Eliyahu Essas.

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