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Confessions of a 612er

Room 612 (or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Do Not Disturb Sign)

Guest Post by Anshel M.

Some call it being a “612er”, those of us that are shomer mitzvos but can’t seem to adhere to shomer negiah. I happen to be a card-carrying member, and can tell you that’s it’s no easy life.

Sometimes you read in the news about some heinous crime, ones on which at least two people had to have collaborated. What always fascinates me is the question of how the conversation must have come about to commit such a thing. How did they find each other? Who brought it up first? A similar question may come to mind when you consider the hardship one endures once they’ve decided to get laid.

It typically starts over kiddush. Things are winding down and you have to consolidate seating. Soon you’ve found yourself facing the opposite sex and the next thing you know you’re playing footsie with somebody you thought you knew better. No one can even detect it because us 612ers are pros. Sing a niggun, pass the cole slaw, down a l’chaim, and give a dvar Torah without missing a beat, we are a coordinated folk if nothing else. Next the both of you have volunteered for afterward clean up and within minutes you’re playing grab-ass in the siddur closet.

Sound satisfying? Not really. Chas v’shalom you should find yourself actually liking the person, wanting to do it again, even date. Sneaking around, my friend, is a delicate dance.

I make my home not down the street from shul but a good 1.4 miles away for this reason. Somebody might slip and grab the other’s hand, a swat on the butt, someone might notice you walking home together to kill off those last couple hours of shabbos in privacy and though there’s no proof of contact, there is proof of yichud laws cast aside.

The solution is to take it out of town. No-tell motel, the whole megillah. You can’t stray too far from the other frummies though, or how are you going to keep kashrus? There’s certainly no romance in woofing down ramen cups and cold deli fare all weekend. Then again there’s no easy way to answer the rabbi’s inevitable question “And you’re married, the two of you?” How long can you really choke on the words “Nah, we’re just friends”? That’s always a mood-crusher. She hears that enough times and you’re definitely not getting any.

So you suck it up. You pack your phylacteries and find out just how much sex she’s going to be demanding in your ketubah. Just don’t forget the Do Not Disturb sign or the maid will walk in and–gasp!–then you’ve got a real chillul Hashem on your hands.

{ 53 comments… add one }
  • Tova December 12, 2011, 11:05 AM

    I’m not sure I understand the 612er phenomenon. Is negia an actual prohibition within the Torah? This isn’t being asked with malice, but with genuine curiosity.

    • Philo December 12, 2011, 12:28 PM

      Tova, I think there are 3 words in your question whose definitions are ambiguous: “negiah”, “prohibition”, and “Torah”.

      “Negiah”: I’ve noticed lately that many 20-somethings use the term to mean sexual activity rather than simple touching.

      “Prohibition” and “Torah”: If the woman goes to the mikvah, the Torah has no problem with sexual activity whatsoever. However, much of the Orthodox world sees “Torah” as including not just Talmud, but every posek up till and including contemporary times. Thus every chumrah is “Torah” to them and is a “prohibition”.

    • Philo December 12, 2011, 12:36 PM

      Argh – I wrote a comment here but I used a word (starts with s and ends with x) that caught it in t6he moderation filter. Guess it’ll appear later, when Heshy’s moderating.

    • Dan December 12, 2011, 1:04 PM

      Yes, touching a woman who is an erva is considered to be the issur of “lo tikrivu lagalot ervah,” “do not come near to uncovering n-dity” and d’oraisah. (look what we must to do get around the spam filter)
      Since single girls are usually a nidda, which is an erva, it falls under that issur.

      Regarding a single girl who is not a nidda, it seems it may fall under the prohibition of “lo tihyeh kediesha b’vnos yisroel-” “there shall not be a whore among the daughters of Israel.”

      I don’t know if this second one has a similar “lo tikrivu” injunction which would prohibit touching.

      • Tova December 12, 2011, 1:38 PM

        Can two people in a committed relationship really be considered “whores”?

        • Dan December 12, 2011, 1:57 PM

          I translated “kedeisha” as whore, since that is translation used. However, it does not mean it is the correct translation.

          If it makes you feel better, you might wonder if “kedeisha” really means “sxually loose person.” Or something along those lines.

          And it very well might. It is often used to refer to a whore, (like by the story of yehuda and tamar), but there is a different word “zonah” which also usually refers to a prostitute, and may be the real word which means “sx for money.”

          I will ask my dad, who is pretty good with the etymology of hebrew words.

          • Dan December 12, 2011, 2:40 PM

            Ok, so my dad says that according to Rav Hirsch, the following:

            The root “kadosh,” usually translated as “holy,” means to be above nature, by placing morality above your human desires.
            The root “kadeish” means the exact opposite. It means to be natural, by placing human desires above morality.

            Thus, the Torah uses the root “kadeish” to mean “a person who is designated to immorality” in some way.

            My dad and I did some more research.
            See Rashi and Ramban here: http://he.wikisource.org/wiki/%D7%9E%22%D7%92_%D7%93%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%9D_%D7%9B%D7%92_%D7%99%D7%97
            They seem to translate the word as “someone who is designated for loose sex,” such that she sits in a house of prostitution. This still would not imply payment, but does imply a certain designation.

            But see Rambam (and compare raavad) who says that if a single girl has sex, she and the man violate this prohibition. Here:http://www.hebrewbooks.org/rambam.aspx?rid=2856
            But see Rambam here: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/rambam.aspx?mfid=83142&rid=3946
            which implies that it is only if she is “muchenes” “prepared” for unmarried sex, which presumably would only include if she does it routinely. See also kessef mishneh

            • Dan December 12, 2011, 7:53 PM

              The interesting thing about this Rambam, is that it seems as if it would actually be better if they did it just once in a while, than if they were in a committed relationship.

              The rationale is simple. If the act is wrong, then being in a committed relationship and doing it all the time just makes things worse.

              • Tinok ShenishBeth December 13, 2011, 4:44 AM

                It’s nice when father and son can bond…over whores.

                • DRosenbach December 13, 2011, 5:51 AM


                • Dan December 13, 2011, 5:54 AM

                  That would be a “lav.”
                  If the father was married to her, then it is a real erva, but if the father only had sx with her, then it is a “lav.”

                  It is in yevamos, but I don’t have time to look it up right now.

  • A. Nuran December 12, 2011, 11:22 AM

    I’m a different kind of 612er. Can’t stop grafting fruit trees.

    • Em December 12, 2011, 12:24 PM

      Best comment!

    • Philo December 12, 2011, 12:29 PM

      I hear you. My weakness is taking eggs out of a nest without chasing away the mother bird. SO tempting, I just can’t help myself!

      • U Avi December 12, 2011, 12:49 PM

        Man I know that is the worst. Guess I amam a 611er I am having a hard time blotting out the name of amalek.

        • Philo December 12, 2011, 12:55 PM

          Avi???? I am shocked!!!! You haven’t killed an Amalekite today???? Did you eat bacon too???

          • U Avi December 12, 2011, 1:18 PM

            I know man I am just totally dropping the ball. Ugh now that I think about it I think I forgot to bench after eating that clam chowder 73 min ago!!!

            • Dan December 12, 2011, 1:27 PM

              Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to get below like 500.
              Many don’t apply outside Israel, or to non-kohanim, or when there is no beis hamikdash, or require highly specific circumstances (like yibbum).

              • U Avi December 12, 2011, 1:35 PM

                THANK YOU DAN!! Although I could have used that a little sooner, I just davened and I think my chest is already bruising from selach lanu.

    • OfftheDwannaB December 12, 2011, 12:31 PM

      That is hilarious.

      • Tinok ShenishBeth December 13, 2011, 4:52 AM

        Agreed. I laughed so hard, I almost had to say asher yatzar!

    • Heshy Fried December 12, 2011, 5:20 PM

      The funny thing you actuall y do that sort of thing and it’s not a joke.

      • A. Nuran December 13, 2011, 11:41 AM

        Actually did the “leave the corners of the fields for the gleaners” thing. My “fields” consist of one planter of saffron crocuses. I harvested the stamens from most of the planter but left the flowers in the corners with a sign saying “Please feel free to take the stamens”

  • talking stam December 12, 2011, 1:12 PM

    heshy, you really add some new pictures of frum couples making out. i bet this couple has shidduch age children already!

    • Heshy Fried December 12, 2011, 5:21 PM

      I have no way to find them, maybe when I get married I’ll ask my wife if we can contribute to the stock photos of frummies making out.

      • OfftheDwannaB December 12, 2011, 7:05 PM

        Worth it.

      • talking stam December 13, 2011, 9:12 AM

        why wait until you get married? i’m sure you can find a willing girl, and since its for business not pleasure you can get a heter…

  • Person December 12, 2011, 5:09 PM

    Not trying to judge, but I feel like it is impossible to really be a 612er. I mean literally pretty much no one can be a 612er or 613er but besides that, chances are, if you are breaking Negiah, you are a little lax about some other things if not outright breaking them.

  • Anon December 12, 2011, 7:48 PM

    What I find interesting is whether the reaction to this whole pre-marital thing would be different if the couple hadn’t quite gone all the way but kind of just blew off some steam, so to speak, in other ways… what would the reaction be to a guy and girl getting a hotel room and engaging in some oral? I would say that’s wayyyy more common than “going all the way”…

    • Tinok ShenishBeth December 13, 2011, 1:08 AM

      Who pays for a hotel room to blow off steam (or just blow anyone)?

      If you shell out for the room, you may as well commit.

  • ISR December 13, 2011, 6:32 AM

    What about with a non-Jewish woman? Possibly no issue there on negiah they dont have niddah as far as I am aware and all that Kadaisha business also shouldn’t apply….

    • ISR December 13, 2011, 6:34 AM

      obviously a question for Dan the expert….and his Dad…

      • Tinok ShenishBeth December 13, 2011, 8:38 AM

        Shhhhh… You’ll only encourage him.

      • Dan December 13, 2011, 10:11 AM

        A non-jewish woman is a d’rabbanan, which is apparently traced back to the court of Shem son of Noah. It is cited in tosfos in yevamos on 16b.

        Regarding niddah, they do not have laws of nidda d’oraisah. However, there is d’rabbanan nidda which applies to non-jews, and is part of the “gzeiras nash’gaz.”

        The kedeisha business wouldn’t apply, as you noted.

        • Anon December 13, 2011, 10:13 AM

          There wouldn’t be a kedeisha problem because all non-jews are whores anyway. hee hee

          • Outskirt December 13, 2011, 10:27 PM

            Go to hell.

          • A. Nuran December 14, 2011, 3:19 AM

            And smutty-minded, socially-retarded, emotionally-stunted trolls are tiresome.

            • Dan December 14, 2011, 6:15 AM

              On a website committed to satire, where nobody objects to anything that tars all frum people with big (usually funny) brushes.
              Just you try posting something about a different group, and whoa do you get it lambasted.

              You guys are pathetic and small minded.

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