Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
Menu

Sitting together

5 March, 2006

Question:

Can a husband and wife sit on the same couch when she is in niddah? Does the chair/ couch become tamei automatically when she sits on it, and if so, how long does it stay that way?


Answer:

Ashkenazi practice is that, when the wife is in niddah, a couple may not sit together on a seat where the movement of one person can be felt by the other. This could apply to sitting together on a couch. But it is not the case for a sturdy sectional couch if they are on different sections. Therefore, a couple may sit on the same couch if it is sectional, or has separate pillows along the seating surface, as long as they are not sitting close enough to touch.  They may also sit next to each other on a sturdy, hard bench or other such immovable surface.

Whether or not sitting together on a sectional or sturdy couch is appropriate may also depend on the circumstances.  If they are with a group of people, sitting together is less of a problem. In a more intimate setting, the couple should use common sense.

Nowadays, the laws of tum'ah no longer have practical applications.  There is not usually any reason for a husband to hesitate about sitting down at a place his wife has vacated.


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. All health and health-related information contained within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for consulting with your health care professional. The advice is intended to offer a basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider but not individual advice. Although every effort is made to ensure that the material within Nishmat's Women's Health & Halacha Web site is accurate and timely, it is provided for the convenience of the Web site user but should not be considered official. Advice for actual medical practice should be obtained from a licensed health care professional.

For further questions or comments: 

The Nishmat Women's Health and Halacha Site is a public service of Nishmat, The Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study for Women. This project and others like it are made possible by contributions from people like you. If you have benefited from the service, and wish to enable us to help others, click here to donate.


Users of Internet filtering services: This site discusses sensitive subjects that some services filter without visual indication. A page that appears 100% complete might actually be missing critical Jewish-law or medical information. To ensure that you view the pages accurately, ask the filtering service to whitelist all pages under yoatzot.org.