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

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Harchakot during engagement?

14 June, 2006

Question:

Thank you so much for such an informative website. I recently became a kallah and would like to know one thing in particular: do the harchakot when a woman is a niddah apply exclusively to a married couple and not to males and females who are unmarried? That is, are my fiance and I allowed to pass objects to one another, sit on the same surface, etc. or do the same laws apply now as they will when we are IY"H married?
I'd greatly appreciate a response to this question.


Answer:

Mazal tov on your upcoming marriage!

The laws of harchakot are designed to be stricter after the couple is married. The reason for this is the assumption that once a couple are allowed to have relations not during niddah, the separation required during niddah is greater. Since a couple may not have relations before marriage, a lesser degree of separation is required, and an unmarried couple may pass things to each other as long as they take care not to touch each other in the process. Obviously any situation that would lead to physical contact, or to attraction and intimicy that could lead to transgression, shold be avoided. An engaged couple must also be extra careful to avoid situations of yichud (being alone together in a private place).

We wish you much hatzlachah and a pleasant engagement!


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