Hole in the Sheet: Intimacy Issues Response on Ask the Rabbi
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Hole in the Sheet

I heard that observant Jews have relations through a hole in a bed sheet. I tried finding the source, but was unsuccessful. Is this true?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

The story goes that two tourists were walking through Mea She’arim, an Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem. As they were looking at all the children playing in the street and the merchants selling their wares, the tourists looked up at a laundry line and saw a sheet with a hole in the middle. One asked his friend if he knew what it was. Taking his best guess, the friend said it must be a special sheet that married couples uses for relations.

The first guy noticed strings tied to each corner of the sheet. "And what are those strings on the four corners?" he asked.

"To tie to the four bed posts," his friend replied.

I'm not sure if this story is true, but whatever the case, the "sheet" they saw was a "Tallit Katan," the 4-cornered garment that religious men wear. This garment has "Tzitzit" fringes tied on each corner, and a hole in the middle to slip over one's head (like a poncho).

As far as how a Jewish man and woman are supposed to have relations, the Code of Jewish Law (OC 240) proscribes that during relations, both the man and woman must be completely unclothed. This is because the Torah wants the husband and wife to be as intimate as possible, without any separation between them.

The moral of this story: Hire a tour guide!

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