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

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Intimidated by laws

30 June, 2004


I’m terrified of geting married, because all these laws of niddah seem so complicated and I don’t know if I’m committed enough to keeping them. Rather than getting married and worrying about the halacha or worrying about transgression of halacha, I’ve been just avoiding getting married. I know it sounds stupid, but I’m a ba’alat tshuva and I just haven’t ever felt comfortable with the laws of niddah. I’m conflicted though, because I think having come this far with my observance that to not follow these laws would make me feel hypocritical. Is there anything I can read or anything you can tell me about the halacha to ease this fear of mine?

Thanks for providing this service. I just found it, but it’s comforting and not nearly so embarrassing to know there are women available to ask such questions.


We suggest that you read Rikvah Slonim’s book Total Immersion. It is a collection of essays by women, many from non-frum backgrounds, about how they approach this mitzvah. You might also want to visit, which includes a helpful introduction to the theory and practice of mikveh.

These rules sound complicated, but over time one gets used to them. I am sure the rules of keeping kosher also sounded complicated at the beginning. There are also resources, such as this site, for consultation as questions arise. If you wish to further discuss specific issues in these laws that make you uncomfortable, feel free to get back to us. You can also call Nishmat’s Golda Koschitzky Women’s Halachic Hotline, and speak directly with a yoetzet. In general, it is better to try to keep something and make an occasional mistake (we are all human), rather than to avoid the situation totally.

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.

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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.

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