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

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Separate rooms during niddah?

25 November, 2015

Question:

I am currently teaching a Kallah, and she asked me whether it was permissible for a husband and wife to sleep in separate rooms while she is niddah. She said that she thought it would be best that way – in terms of controlling temptation – but her mother told her it was not allowed.

Later in the conversation she said that she and her fiance had bought one queen sized bed, and there was no room in their future bedroom for anything else, which was another reason why she thought that sleeping in separate rooms was a good idea.

I told her that I did not think there was anything halachically wrong with it, but that it might not be the best thing for their marriage overall.

Should I advise her to return the queen and buy two twins until they get a bigger room/house? What are your thoughts? Is there anything halachically wrong with sleeping in separate rooms?

Thank you for the service you provide.


Answer:

It is permissible for the couple to sleep in separate rooms.  However, like you, we would discourage a kallah from planning to do so.

That halacha permits yichud even during niddah indicates that there are certain basic levels of intimacy that do continue even during niddah.  In addition, this heter is founded upon an expectation that husband and wife will rise to the challenge of maintaining halacha even in their room at night alone.  We suggest encouraging your kallah to rise to that challenge and not to give up on the intimacy of sharing a room when it is permitted.  They could purchase twin beds, perhaps with a bed doubler if they are sensitive to the crack in between them.

It might help her for you to put the challenge of sexual temptation in perspective alongside the other temptations to sin that we experience and overcome and to present harchakot as the appropriate (and sufficient) tools developed by our Sages to overcome this particular challenge.  Behatzlachah!


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