Balancing modesty & intimacy
10 November, 2006
What is considered modest dress for sleepwear for the wife? Husband?
What is considered modest dress when walking to and returning from the shower or bath for the wife? Husband?
What is considered a modest way to dress and undress in the room together?
Is it possible to act too tznius, thereby causing your spouse to feel awkward or self-conscious?
It is wonderful challenge that Hashem gives us but how do you act in a normal way without becoming too comfortable around ones spouse and thereby acting in an immodest way? Or being too self-conscious and causing an awkward and uncomfortable feeling in the home?
This is an excellent question. Finding the right balance of modesty and intimacy during niddah is a challenge for many couples. The answers depend on each member of the couple and, to some extent, on the norms of the community in which they live.
In general, modest dress for the wife during niddah, both for sleepwear and for going to the bath, is dress that she would wear walking around the house in front of, say, her children. Anything sexually enticing would be inappropriate, but her standards need not be those she to which she holds herself on the street or in front of guests. For example, many women leave their hair uncovered when they are home with their families, including when they are niddah.
These goals can often be met comfortably (and un-self-consciously) with the purchase of a nice, modest bathrobe and nightgown or pajamas.
When she is niddah, the wife should avoid dressing or undressing in a room when the husband is present.
As we wrote before, there is no specific restriction placed on the husband's attire during niddah. However, it is not appropriate for him to dress in a way that his wife finds sexually provocative. In other words, his sleepwear and wear en route to bath need not differ during the niddah period unless the wife finds them provocative. Whether he undresses in the room in her presence is also up to her.
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.