Husband’s arm in cast
29 December, 2011
My husband fractured his elbow and is in a cast for another week and a half when I will be a niddah. He cannot tie his shoes or do anything else that requires two hands.
Am I allowed to tie his shoes for him during this time? If so, what are the guidelines for what I can help him with vs. what I cannot help him with?
When the husband is ill or incapacitated and the wife is in niddah, anything that does not involve direct contact is permissible (e.g., tying his shoes, buttoning his buttons, helping him put on his jacket…), especially if no one else is available to help. You should be careful to avoid touching him directly (e.g., touch only his shoelaces).
Assistance that does require actual physical contact should be avoided if possible, but in cases of extreme need, it may be permissible, taking care to touch through a barrier of clothes (i.e. touch his arm that is covered with his sleeve, and not his bare skin).
If you have specific actions or scenarios you are concerned about, please get back to us with more details.
You may also want to read our article on Harchakot, Disability, and Illness: An Occupational Therapy Perspective.
We wish your husband a refuah shleimah!
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.