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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
Menu

Retracting a declaration of niddah

3 May, 2016

Question:

I'm learning "Jewish Family Life" and have a question about when a woman states she is niddah, then taking on niddah status – even though it turns out she is not actually niddah.

It seems like if she states she is niddah – then she is. But if she said it because "she was embarrassed by husband's PDAs –" so she tries to rebuff with her statement or "she's not feeling well" so she tries to deter with her statement – meaning: she knows she's not – but says she is. The book says that is okay – and she's not niddah.

Then the third example of when she would also not be niddah: when she mistook a stain, says she's niddah, then the rabbi says: she's clean. Then even though she said she was niddah, she is not.

So, the question: When would this rule ever apply – that she states she's niddah and then actually becomes niddah?

All these exceptions seem to negate the power of her words.

Thank you:


Answer:

A woman's statement that she is niddah – even if she really isn't – is enough to render her niddah and require the complete taharah process. However, if she offers a valid excuse why she made that statement, then she may retract and is not required to complete the clean days and immerse. The examples you gave, as well as others (such as the statement was made in anger/they were in a fight, etc.), are brought down in the poskim. Some poskim do question whether a woman may retract if she declared herself niddah as a practical joke (and it wasn't obvious at the time that she was joking). The point is that a woman's word is taken seriously, and unless she offers a valid excuse, her word can actually render her niddah.

This matter should not be taken lightly, and even if the excuses mentioned are considered valid (i.e., she's sick or embarrassed or angry) a woman really should not rely on this tactic to push off her husband. Communication is so important in a relationship and it is much better for husband and wife to be straightforward with each other. Obviously we are not referring to the situation where a woman thought she was actually niddah and later found out it was an error. In that case there is nothing wrong with retracting, since she clearly had no intention to "trick" her husband.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.

B'hatzlacha!


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.