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

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Tiny specks

11 November, 2008

Question:

Thank you very much for your service.

The seven clean days have become a very stressful time for me. Recently I have occasionally noticed tiny specks on my cloths. These specks usually do not seem to be associated with any discharge. They are often dark in color. I check my cloths before I use them. I recently asked a couple of rabbis if I should bring such shailas, they responded that the size is irrelevant. If the color is questionable then I should bring it in. I have at times examined my cloths with a magnifying glass to try to determine if specks are lint/threads so that I don't have to risk delaying my immersion by bringing cloths to a rabbi (occasionally they were lint). On various occasions with various rabbis I have had issues with rabbis getting back to me in a timely manner. I am scared to do my inspections on the seventh day (especially in the afternoon) because if I do have a shaila about a speck I wouldn't want to worry about contacting a rabbi in time for me to immerse. I want to dismiss my shailas as OCD, but when I ask a rav about them they seem to think that they are legitimate shailas. I am afraid my anxiety concerning my bedikahs may eventually cause shalom bayit issues. Do you have any advice?

1) Are there times that I can outright dismiss specks? for example if they resemble lint or thread or are of a certain color?

2) Would I be able to only do the morning bedikah on the seventh day to alleviate my worry about having a shaila so soon before immersion?

Thank you again!


Answer:

We are sorry to hear of the difficulties you are experiencing.

1) Specks that are yellow or light brown (such as the color of coffee with milk) can be dismissed. Any speck that is reddish, brownish or black should be brought to a rabbi for evaluation. If you are certain that a speck is lint or a thread, then it too can be dismissed.  

2) In your case we recommend that you perform one bedikah per day throughout the shivah neki'im (and not just on the seventh day). In this way, you can minimize the possibility of finding these specks and alleviate the accompanying stress.

We do suggest that you speak to your local rabbi about the stress and anxiety you experience while waiting to receive an answer about your bedikot. He may be willing to be more flexible and "on call" to answer your questions and evaluate your bedikot in a more timely manner if he understood the stress it is causing you.

We also suggest you speak with your physician about your anxieties, especially if you experience them in other areas, or if it interferes with your daily functioning.

Please don't hesitate to be in further contact with us.


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