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

  • Hebrew
  • English
  • Espnaol
  • Francais
  • donate

Not strict about harchakot

8 November, 2015


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?


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.

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