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

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Husband’s arm in cast

29 December, 2011


My husband fractured his elbow and is in a cast for another week and a half when I will be a niddah. He cannot tie his shoes or do anything else that requires two hands.

Am I allowed to tie his shoes for him during this time? If so, what are the guidelines for what I can help him with vs. what I cannot help him with?

Thank you.


When the husband is ill or incapacitated and the wife is in niddah, anything that does not involve direct contact is permissible (e.g., tying his shoes, buttoning his buttons, helping him put on his jacket…), especially if no one else is available to help. You should be careful to avoid touching him directly (e.g., touch only his shoelaces).

Assistance that does require actual physical contact should be avoided if possible, but in cases of extreme need, it may be permissible, taking care to touch through a barrier of clothes (i.e. touch his arm that is covered with his sleeve, and not his bare skin).

If you have specific actions or scenarios you are concerned about, please get back to us with more details.

You may also want to read our article on Harchakot, Disability, and Illness: An Occupational Therapy Perspective.

We wish your husband a refuah shleimah!

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