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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate

Embarrassed and frustrated by not passing

2 October, 2012


Hello. I am at the end of my rope with the "no–passing" halacha. Time after time I am presented with situations where there is some urgent need to pass something to my husband, and the constant obsessing necessary to ensure that the time of month is taken into consideration before doing so is taking over our lives. Taking a shopping bag from my husband so that he has enough hands with which to unlock the door, or passing him a hammer while he changes a lightbulb, is constantly interrupted by talk about periods that is embarrassing for me and annoying for him. My husband has a hard time thinking about two things at once and if he needs me to pass him something, he is unlikely to simply and gracefully get the point if it is not automatically in his hand. I am terrified that something that we must constantly be on guard about in private will eventually be talked about with people around. In addition, I find constant reference to unappetizing bodily functions to be an unromantic turn–off and completely degrading to the wife.

Is there any heter to be able to pass things?


We are sorry to hear of the frustration you feel with this halacha. Keeping the laws of niddah can be quite challenging.  Unfortunately there is no heter to disregard the halacha of passing items while niddah, even if it is causing you significant frustration. 

The satisfaction that we get from doing mitzvot is not always a result of the emotional connection that we feel towards the mitzvah. It is possible to gain tremendous satisfaction from withstanding challenging situations to keep mitzvot that we find difficult and frustrating. We hope that you will find the strength within to overcome this challenge.

On a practical level, the difficulty with passing often gets better with time, practice and experience. If there are specific situations that keep coming up, it can be helpful to brainstorm ways of managing these situations gracefully and privately so you can prepare yourself for the next time they come up. For example, if you know in advance that passing will be necessary, you can try to do so at a time when there is a convenient table or chair on which the item can be placed.

We are concerned that you feel that niddah has to be a pervasive focus  and negative force in your relationship. Niddah does not need to be constantly discussed, and menstruation does not need to be explicitly mentioned when gently reminding him of your halachic status.  You may find it helpful to speak with your kallah teacher or a local rebbetzin to discuss your feelings about niddah. Alternatively, if you would like to discuss these issues with a yoetzet halacha in person, let us know where you live and we can see if there is one in your area.

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

We wish you much hatzlacha!

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

Accessibility Toolbar