25 December, 2003
Hi, we are a newly married, dati leumi couple living in Israel. Recently, we have been to many of our (also dati leumi) couple friends for Shabbat, etc, and have noticed that they have 1 bed in their bedroom – 2 mattresses type of thing, definitely on one bed frame. We have noticed this definitely on one couple and possibly in other friends houses. This is surprising to us, because we both learned that the halacha is clear – the beds must be entirely separate, at least so that the covers do not touch, during niddah. And because at least one of these couples seemed to be more machmir about many things than we are – specifically harchakot.
We do not plan on changing what we do – keeping our beds entirely separate during niddah. But we would like to be lomed zechut on our friends, or just clear about the whole issue. Is it halachically ok for the mattresses to be separate but the bed frame not? Is there any heter for that?
A couple can own any kind of bed they want. The issue is how they sleep during the time that the wife is niddah. At that time, the beds on which they are sleeping have to be separate and not touch. Some couples do this by moving one mattress to the floor. Other have a king size mattress and a trundle bed or couch. A bed frame may even be constructed so that it converts to two separate beds. Thus, the arrangement you have observed in your friends' bedrooms does not necessarily indicate that they are not fulfilling the halacha to its maximum. Nevertheless, even if only because of appearances, the setup you described is not recommended.
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