Looking for an article: internet responsa and masturbation

Justin Jaron Lewis's picture

For my course on Religion & Sexuality, I am trying to locate an article I read recently that dealt with responsa on the internet around the topic of masturbation. It discussed at some length an anonymous, learned responsum that takes the unusual position (in the Orthodox/Haredi context) that the traditional prohibition of male masturbation was always intended to apply only to married men, and only if they are deliberately avoiding procreation. Thank you in advance to anyone who can identify the article I'm looking for!


Justin Jaron Lewis


Categories: Query

I suspect that Justin Lewis is looking for Yakir Englander and Avi Sagi's "Guf Uminiyut Basiah Hatzioni Dati," a book which came out in 2013.

For what it is worth, I would use that work very cautiously, as I think there are deep flaws in its method and often in simple reading of sources. You can see my review in English here: https://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/yoel-finkelman-on-body-and-sexual... and in Hebrew here: https://musaf-shabbat.com/2013/07/19/%D7%A0%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%9D-%D7%A8%D7%...

Yoel Finkelman
National Library of Israel

Dear Prof. Lewis
You probably meant to refer to this discussion in the internet:

Nevertheless, see as well the opinion of R. Israel Zeev Gotesman z"l, one of the greatest scholars in the Yeshivot world in the last generation, who legitimate it for any positive reason (like procreation). See his exact opinion here:
And see Shulhan Aruch, Even haEzer 23:1 and Beit Shemuel and Ezer Mikodesh on this text.

In general, the bibliography around this topic is enormous. However, the best work I know of on the development of this topic in the Halakha and Kabbalah is the PhD. of Shilo Pachter:
Shemirat haBerit: LeToldotav shel Issur Hotzaat Zera leVatalah, Jerusalem 2006.
In addition, I see this modern teshuva as particularly important:
See R. Yitzhak Rones, Hitmodedut Hinukhit ve-Hilkhatit im Issur Hotzaat Zera LeVatala,
which you can download in the link:

Admiel Kosman
Potsdam University