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Specks on bedikot, hargashah, and OCD

31 October, 2016

Question:

I really struggle with OCD when it comes to niddah issues. I just find this mitzvah very overwhelming. I have tried my best to make things easier (got a heter to do less bedikos) and I have a rabbi that I email OCD questions to but things still creep up.

For example:
1) I know the colour of a bedikah is fine but I will see a little speck of dust or thread and feel that I need to have it checked. It always comes back fine. Do you think I can ignore a little black speck if I am confident it is just dirt? It looks the same every time.

2) I am constantly worried about hargashas. I have read all the articles on your site and I know what I'm feeling is not a technical hargasha. I also think at one point I created a chazakah that these feeling aren't blood. But yesterday, in my 4th clean day, I was getting out of the shower and felt a little vaginal flow or lubrication. Not a hargahsa. I immediately put on white underwear. Then I contemplated doing a bedikah. I asked my rabbi who knows my issues and he said not to do one. The problem is I am still worrying. Do you think I should have done a bedikah when I got out of the shower?

Thank you so much for your help.


Answer:

1) If you find a speck of dust or a thread on a bedikah cloth, and it can be lifted off the cloth without leaving any stain or residue, it may be disregarded and does not invalidate the bedikah. This is especially true if you are confident that the speck is dirt.

2) Feeling wet or lubrication, or feeling a discharge exiting your body is not considered a hargashah. Therefore you are not required to perform a bedikah after feeling these sensations. Most women nowadays do not experience hargashot, so unless you are sure that you experience them, you can assume that you don't.

You should follow your rabbi's advice and only perform the number of bedikot that he advised. Do not perform any additional bedikot, even if you feel wet or a discharge. Performing too many bedikot may lead to an irritation or wound, which can cause halachic issues during the clean days.

Finally, if you have not yet tried therapy, it is worth looking into. Short term cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often effective for OCD.

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

B'Hatzlacha!


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