Modesty During Tashmish

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  1. It is forbidden to have tashmish in a room with a Sefer Torah, Tefillin, or Mezuzot.[1] A Sefer Torah should be moved to another room and if that is impossible one should set up a wall of ten tefachim in front of the Sefer Torah. However, it is insufficient to place the Sefer Torah in a double covering.[2]
  2. The Tefillin should be moved to another room or covered with a double covering. One of the covers can't be the regular covering for it.[3] There is a dispute if one should use the leniency of a double covering if there is an option to leave them in another leave. The strict halacha is that a double covering is sufficient even if one could move it to another room.[4]
  3. If there is a mezuzah on the inside of the door in the room it should be covered before tashmish. Some hold that it is sufficient if the mezuzah is covered with any non-transparent cover.[5] Others hold that it needs a second covering on top of the regular covering it usually has.[6] See Mezuzah#Bathrooms_and_Bedrooms.
  4. It is forbidden to have tashmish in a room with printed sefarim. Some poskim permit it if they’re covered with one covering while others require two coverings.[7]
  5. There is a dispute if the covering of the sefer counts as one of the coverings.[8]
  6. It is sufficient to place the sefarim in a cabinet that is ten tefachim tall if it has doors. Alternatively, the sefarim can be placed in a bookcase that is 1x1 amah with a height of 3 amot if it covered with one covering.[9]
  7. It is permitted to have tashmish in a room with tashmishei kedusha or tashmishei mitzvah.[10]


  1. Shulchan Aruch YD 282:8, Shulchan Aruch OC 40:2, Magen Avraham 40:2
  2. Shulchan Aruch YD 282:8
  3. Shulchan Aruch OC 40:2
  4. Betzel Hachachma 6:27 cites a dispute between the Bet Yosef YD 282:8 who explicitly permits using a double covering even if it is possible to move the tefillin to the other room and the Ravyah (Brachot no. 78). He quotes the Tashbetz 3:26, Mateh Yehuda 40:2, and Alfasi Zuta Brachot ch. 3 who are lenient unlike the Shiltot who is strict. His conclusion is that the strict law is like Bet Yosef. He mentions that certainly one can be lenient in a hotel, boat, or even visiting someone's house and you only have one room to use a double covering and not have to move the tefillin to another room.
  5. Aruch Hashulchan YD 286:12-15
  6. Magen Avraham 40:2
  7. Mishna Brurah 40:7 writes that sefarim require a double covering. Regarding printed sefarim, Ginzei Hakodesh 4:13 p. 63 quotes Rav Chaim Pinchas Sheinberg and Rav Nissim Karelitz as being lenient with one covering for printed sefarim. On the other hand, he quotes Rav Elyashiv and Rav Wosner as being strict.
  8. Maharam Shik EH 149 is strict since the cover is part of the sefer. See Kaf Hachaim 40.
  9. Ginzei Hakodesh 4:13
  10. Ginzei Hakodesh 4:15 citing Avnei Nezer 376:16