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1577 – Brachos and Tefilos – (Klal 4 Siman 10) – Libo Roeh Es Haervah 3 – Tight Underclothes

D'var Halacha
D'var Halacha
1577 - Brachos and Tefilos - (Klal 4 Siman 10) - Libo Roeh Es Haervah 3 - Tight Underclothes

 We are beginning siman 10. We have learned about the concept of libo roeh es ha’ervah, that there must be some type of separation between one’s heart and the ervah in order to recite devarim shebikedusha. The Chayei Adam clarifies that there is no issue with other parts of the body being visible to one’s ervah; the issue is only regarding the heart. For example, there is no issue with the ervah being visible to one’s legs, so if one is wearing a long robe, as long as they are wearing a belt to separate between the heart and ervah, it is sufficient. 

The Chayei Adam adds one more caveat. He writes that the male ervah cannot touch another part of the body, such as the leg. It is not a problem if the ervah touches the kis (scrotum), and it is not a problem for the kis to touch other parts of the body. The Mishnah Berurah brings an opinion that even the kis should not touch one’s legs, but it is a chumrah and not required meikar hadin.

The Gemara in Niddah, 13b, says that if a man wears tight fitting clothing around the ervah area, we are concerned that the clothing will rub against the ervah and cause him to become aroused. Therefore, the Gemara says that michnasayim, which is assumed to mean pants, are assur to wear. This Gemara is brought in Shulchan Aruch Even Ha’ezer 23:6 by the Rema. The Darkei Moshe raises the question why people are not careful about this issue, and suggests that maybe the concern was primarily at the time of Chazal, when they were careful about tumah and taharah. However, he points out that the Rosh quotes this Gemara as halacha lemaaseh, which means the Rosh holds it applies even nowadays.

The Aruch Hashulchan and Piskei Teshuva suggest that if a person does not make a specific part of the underclothes shaped in the shape of the ervah, it is not a problem. They understand that the Gemara was referring to a specific style of clothing in which the clothing were shaped around the ervah, so pants are certainly not a problem. 

Either way, we certainly see that a man should be careful not to wear tight underclothes. 


  • The concept of libo roeh es haervah is that it is assur for the heart to be exposed directly to one’s ervah. 
  • One must create a separation between the heart and the ervah with a tight fitting garment, one’s hands pressed against the body, with half of their body under water, or with dirty water.
  • As long as the ervah is covered, it is muttar meikar hadin to recite a bracha, even if they are bare chested.
  • The ervah cannot touch other parts of the body, but, meikar hadin, it can touch the kis. Some are machmir regarding the kis as well. 
  • A man should be careful not to wear tight fitting clothes around the ervah.


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