Hashchatat Zera Levatala

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This is the approved revision of this page, as well as being the most recent.


  1. It is forbidden to waste seed and it is a very serious sin. In fact, the Zohar writes that it is the most serious sin in the entire Torah.[1]
  2. It is forbidden for a man to make himself erect intentionally or bring himself to inappropriate thoughts. If the thoughts come to him he should avert his attention to Torah thoughts.[2]
  3. It is forbidden for a man to sleep on his back or front so that he doesn't become erect.[3]
  4. It is forbidden for an unmarried man to hold his 'ever' when he is going to the bathroom.[4]
  5. It is permitted to wear underwear today.[5]
  6. It is forbidden for a men to hold his ever so that he doesn't come to have inappropriate thoughts. Even when going the bathroom he should not hold his ever except from the corona and further away from his body. For a married man it is permitted to hold his ever when he's going to the bathroom.[6]


  1. It is noteworthy that it is possible to do teshuva for this sin. The greatest path for kapara for this sin is learning torah. For ways to achieve kapara for this sin see Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 151:7.[7]


  1. Niddah 13a, Shulchan Aruch E.H. 23:1
  2. Shulchan Aruch EH 23:2
  3. Shulchan Aruch EH 23:2
  4. Shulchan Aruch EH 23:3
  5. The Gemara Niddah 13b conclude that it is forbidden to wear michnasayim since they cause shichvat zera to be emitted. This is codified by the Rama EH 23:6 though he discusses theoretically how it might not apply today. The Pitchei Teshuva 23:4 quotes the Atzi Arazim that writes it is muter to wear an underwear which doesn't have a pocket which is fitted for the ever, which certainly could cause shichvat zera to come out. The Aruch Hashulchan 23:7 is also lenient remarking that it is obvious that people always wore underwear. Otzar Haposkim EH 23:20 quotes Ezer Mikodesh who is lenient with our underwear, but also cites Sefer Zichronot who is strict with tight underwear.
  6. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 3:14, E.H. 23:4
  7. Keter Rosh of Rav Chaim Volozhon fnt. 58 writes that learning Torah saves oneself from the punishments of this sin. Furthermore, those who teach that there's no way to do teshuva for this sin are themselves sinning in pushing people away from Torah.