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

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Not strict about harchakot

8 November, 2015

Question:

My husband and I are very strict about physical affection during times of nidah, but we are not strict about the gidarim. We would never do anything that would lead to the ultimate sin. My question is, does not following all of those extra stringencies apply as breaking nidah laws and come with the punishments associated with it, or is it only the ultimate sin which brings upon those punishments?


Answer:

While all of the laws of niddah are to be taken seriously, there are different levels of prohibitions among them. Intercourse while niddah is the most serious, and its punishment is karet. Other types of affectionate contact are still Torah level prohibitions, however they do not receive the punishment of karet. Harchakot that do not involve contact are yet a lower level, yet they still are rabbinic prohibitions to be adhered to and taken seriously. The purpose of the additional stringencies is to prevent a couple from ever reaching greater prohibitions. Sexual urges can be very strong, and difficult to withstand temptation when forbidden. If a couple begins acting leniently with the lighter restrictions, it can very easily lead to them engaging in more serious prohibitions.


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