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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
Menu

Mikveh while in committed relationship

31 August, 2019

Question:

I am a divorced woman and I’m in a committed relationship. I would like to go to the mikvah so I could be sexually active and not be sinning. What are the halachos attached? Would I count 5 + 7 clean days and then dip in the mikvah? Do the same laws of niddah from marriage apply here?


Answer:

We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question.

In order to remove your niddah status, you would have to observe the five-day wait followed by seven clean days and immersion, as a married woman does.

However, you should know that this does not remove all halachic barriers to having relations. There is a decree against single women immersing in a mikveh in order to deter couples from having relations outside of the context of marriage. Additionally, a man and woman are not permitted to be secluded together (yichud) as a matter of rabbinic law, even if both are single and she is not in niddah.

According to many halachic authorities, including Rambam, having relations outside of the context of marriage violates a Torah-level prohibition.

It can be very difficult, especially for a sexually experienced couple, to have a committed relationship without relations. Observing the laws of niddah does address the punishment of karet. However, marriage is the only type of commitment that halacha recognizes as a permissible framework for relations.

Please let us know if you have any follow up questions.


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.