Following are some supposedly authoritative sources claiming that they do, others stating they don't, one that said both, and proof that a very famous and highly regarded rabbi, did have sex through a sheet with one of his wives.
In his 2007 book God is Not Great, Hitchens wrote about sex between Orthodox Jewish couples:
"Orthodox Jews conduct congress by means of a hole in the sheet, and subject their women to ritual baths to cleanse the stain of menstruation"
"Orthodox Jews may not conduct congress by means of a hole in the sheet, but they do subject their women to ritual baths to cleanse the stain of menstruation."
Jewish writer Evelyn Kaye, former president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, wrote in her 1987 book The Hole In The Sheet:
"... the story of The Hole in the Sheet. Personally, I have never seen such a sheet. I do not have any first-hand knowledge of the actual design of such a sheet. But whenever I mention this story to an Orthodox Jew, there's a moment of immediate recognition that this is they way it should happen. Or at least they way the story says it should happen.
In order to protect the modesty of the wife during intercourse, a sheet is kept between her and her husband, with a hole at the appropriate place for the correct connection to be made.
If you want to be an outstanding Jew, and if you want to make sure that you see nothing at all, I'm sure that the sheet is probably the best idea. However, human nature is notorious weak, and who knows but in a moment of unexpected passion even the most Orthodox of the Orthodox may throw the sheet aside? On the other hand, perhaps they don't."
- Wives must walk behind their husbands
- After giving birth, wivese cannot go to a mikvah bath for 6 months
- Men cannot show any affection towards their wives (foreplay) even during intimacy
- Men cannot be with their wife (outside of mikva night) unless they get permission from their superior
"The Jerusalem Talmud (Yevamot 1b), a somewhat less authoritative source for the codification of Jewish law and custom than the Babylonian Talmud, relates that Rabbi Yosi ben Halafta had sexual intercourse five times "through a sheet." The reason for this was that he was required to perform the rites of levirite marriage, the practice of marrying a sister-in-law whose husband has died childless. Levirite marriage, no longer practiced today, was enacted solely for the purpose of procreation. Under normal circumstances, sex with one's sister-in-law is considered adulterous. In order to reconcile this seeming contradiction, he used a sheet, thereby minimizing the sensual component. This rather obscure source does not appear as a precedent for encouraged behavior in any canon of Jewish law or compilation of communal custom."
The cited entry in the Jerusalem Talmud about Rabbi Yosi having sex through a sheet reads:
"[N] Does that which Abba Saul said regarding one [who is obligated to perform levirate marriage] with his sister-in-law accord with R. Yosé b. Halapta? For R. Yosé b. Halapta? entered into levirate marriage with his sister-in-law. He ploughed five times and planted five plantings, and he had sexual relations through a sheet [so as to preserve the chaste character of his action], and these are the [results of his sexual relations]: R Ishmael b. Yosé, R. Eleazar b. R. Yosé, R. Menahem. b. R. Yosé, R. Halapta b. R. Yosé, and R. Abedemos b. R. Yosé [The question is to be answered affirmatively. A proper motive is required in entering into levirate marriage.]"