When to ask a question
28 July, 2003
Does a stain on a bedika cloth always need to be shown to a rav? Are there any circumstances in which I can decide without the rav? Also, I know that for underwear stains, if you have shown a stain to a rav and gotten a psak that it is ok and then get a similar stain, you can rely on your own knowledge based on the previous psak. Does this hold true for bedika cloth stains as well?
If the status of the stain is clear to you, then you do not have to show it to a rav. If you are not sure, then you either have to assume that it is not ok and behave accordingly, or else ask a rav. In general, it is in a woman's best interests to ask.
Learning what constitutes an acceptable bedikah (or stain) is a matter of practice. In the beginning, anything that is not clear or light yellow should be shown to a rav. Over time, you learn which light browns are clearly ok and which are questionable. When you are sure, you can rely on yourself. When you are not sure, you have to ask. When in doubt, err on the side of asking. This applies both to stains and bedikot. It is important to realize that the rules of spots on bedikah cloths are more stringent (see article on ketamim), and thus if something was ok on underwear, do not assume that the same color is ok on a bedikah.
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