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Why separate beds?

Can you please provide the halachic basis for keeping two separate beds between husband and wife for niddah purposes? Are there any exceptions to the rule?

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your question.

This is one of a series of rabbinic enactments designed to prevent inadvertent physical closeness between a couple while the wife is niddah. They are outlined in the Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 195:1 (based on a statement in the Talmud, Shabbat 13a). In the Shulchan Aruch it states that "he should not sleep with her in a bed". For this reason, most niddah observant couples have two beds that can be moved apart when the wife is niddah.

There are no exceptions to the requirement for separate beds. However, some couples find other arrangements, such as a couch, fold away bed or trundle that one spouse uses during the forbidden time frame.

This internet service does not preclude, override or replace the psak of any rabbinical authority. It is the responsibility of the questioner to inform us of any previous consultation or ruling. As even slight variation in circumstances may have Halachic consequences, views expressed concerning one case may not be applied to other, seemingly similar cases.

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