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

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Evaluating brown

7 May, 2006


I did my hefsek tahara on Friday, and it came out fine. Later, when I did a bedikah, it was brown. I assumed it was bad, and did another hefsek on Shabbat. This came out fine, and the bedikah afterwards was clean too. However, today (Sunday) the bedikah was a light brown. I have found nothing on my white underwear since my period stopped. I stopped using the birth control pill a month ago, and I am assuming that this is affecting my flow.

I went off the pill while on vacation a few months ago, when I forgot to pack them, and had the same brown spots. I showed them to a Rav, and he said they were fine.

I don't have a Rav I can use in my community, and I am getting a little frustrated with these brown spots. How can I learn what brown is acceptable and what is not? I heard that if it's lighter than coffee, it's ok.

Thanks for your help!


We hope you did (or can still do) another bedikah on Sunday that can serve as a hefsek taharah if your brown bedikah is not acceptable.  You are correct that a light brown stain with no hint of red is often ruled acceptable, but it is best evaluated by a Rav.  To evaluate your brown stain, you should bring (or even express mail) it to the Rav you have worked with in the past.  Since this is a matter of color, we cannot evaluate it over the internet.

To learn what is and is not acceptable, we suggest asking the Rav why he permitted a given brown and whether you need show that same color to him again.  You could even ask him to meet with you to go over some basics of how he rules on colors.  Over time, you should develop more competency in this area.

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.

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