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

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Difficulty with not passing

7 March, 2005


I have been married a year now and I find that the Harchakos involving handing or passing objects to one another are very difficult to keep. For instance, if my husband and I are walking outside, I'm carrying something that can't be put on the floor like a plate of food or a crystal vase and I have to blow my nose. We don't have any children yet, but IY"H when we do, do I really have to put the baby on the floor in order for my husband to pick him up? This is hard to implement. Do you have any suggestions?


The harchakot involving passing get easier to navigate with practice.  For instance, in your example, you would hold off blowing your nose till you found a fence, fire hydrant, bench or something else on which you could lean or place the fancy object.  Your husband could help you find such a place. 

When you, IY"H, have a baby, you can put him or her down on a bouncer, an infant seat, on the couch (with you holding on till a moment before your husband does), etc.  With cooperation, creativity, and, again, with practice you will maximize the amount of time that you can fully comply with this halacha.  However, should a situation arise in which it would, chas veshalom, pose a danger or risk to your baby to put him or her down, you would pass directly, taking great care not to touch.

When a child reaches an age at which he or she can propel him or herself, there is room to allow passing between the couple when the infant reaches out and motions toward the other parent.  Infants can also be manipulated to reach out to a spouse.

Our video, Niddah in the Postpartum Period, includes advice on handling harchakot with a young baby.

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