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

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Looking at toilet paper as hefsek

1 April, 2009


I have been looking at my toilet tissue all day today, noticing it is perfectly clean, looking forward to having a good hefsek this evening. Unfortunately, I remembered to do my hefsek late. I rushed, and finished (with moch in case) by 5 min past sunset. Can I count this day? Does the toilet tissue count for anything? Would it have made a difference if I had worn white today? Thanks:


A hefsek taharah must reach inside all the crevices of the vagina. Therefore, wearing white underwear or wiping externally with toilet paper are not acceptable substitutes for a hefsek taharah.

The hefsek taharah must be performed before sunset. If you inserted the cloth by sunset, even if you did not remove it until after sunset, it would be valid. If the cloth was not inserted before sunset, then unfortunately you may not count the next day as day one of your shivah neki'im. Please get back to us if there are extenuating circumstances that would make an earlier immersion critical (such as known infertility, or serious shalom bayit issues).

While the hefsek taharah should preferably be performed in the late afternoon, we recommend performing an additional bedikah in the morning, so that if you forget later in the afternoon you may rely on it as your hefsek and start counting the shivah neki'im the following day.   

Please feel free to get back to us with any further 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.

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