June 10, 2022

Yevamot 75

Much of today’s daf (Yevamot 75b) deals with the laws of a פצוע דכא – someone with wounded or crushed testicles whom the Torah (see Devarim 23:2) restricts from marrying into the ‘the assembly of God’.
Unfortunately, just like the many people who choose to quickly skip through dapim addressing such topics, there are men who are born with, or who – in response to illness or as a result of an accident have undergone – physiological changes which now limit them from fathering a child or from having sexual relations and who, just like today’s daf, choose to skip through and avoid directly addressing these issues.
In response, I would like to say two important things:
Firstly, until relatively recently, it was rare to find a modern, thoughtful yet practical discussion of this topic in the English language. However, with the translation of Rabbi Eliezer Melamed’s ‘Simchat HaBayit U’Virchato’ – which contains an entire chapter on this topic and which is available to be read online for free – it means that people experiencing such challenges can learn more about the halacha which, if merely learnt from the Gemara, may lead to misinterpretation and errors. To read the first section from this chapter see https://bit.ly/3MFmUc0, and then click below to read the subsequent sections.
Beyond this, I would strongly urge any men experiencing such challenges to visit their GP. This is because what they may think to be an unfixable problem may not necessarily be the case, and while men have a tendency to avoid addressing these issues, most difficulties such as this won’t go away unless they do. Moreover, the choice not to address such issues early on simply means that the issues increase especially if such an individual then gets married, with the cost of such avoidance to themselves and those they love being extremely high.
Overall, we are taught that our study should be put into practice, and for those for whom this topic is relevant, I urge you to do so.
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