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Requirment of Intimacy

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Rabbi Gideon Weitzman

23 Tishrei 5767
Question
Does a Married couple have an obligation to be intimate regularly (assuming the wife is not Niddah) Does the Shulchan Aruch provide a minimum weekly or monthly. If so, can you provide a reference where and why.
Answer
Shalom U'verachah, While the halachah does speak about frequency of relations this is not set as an obligation on the couple, rather as the husband's conjugal obligation to his wife. This means that the wife can demand a certain minimum frequency of relations or else request a divorce. However this is not a maximum or even a suggestion rather an obligation on the husband that he should please his wife if she demands it. Of course if the wife does not want to have relations the husband is not bound by this frequency. In general I would stress that marital relations are a method to bring the husband and wife closer and therefore should not be bound by legal limits, rather the best frequency is the one that is appropriate for both husband and wife. The Rambam (Hilchot Ishut 14) and the Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 76) set the frequency by the husband's profession. If he has to travel for his job then he is less bound than one who is at home every day. Kol Tuv
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