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

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What CAN we do during niddah?

14 January, 2024

Question:

It seems that there are only blogs and advice on what NOT to do during niddah.

I’m looking for ideas on what I CAN do during this time.

It’s just frustrating when reading all of the rules – it seems that I’m only allowed to sit alone and do nothing – touch nothing. (?)


Answer:

Thank you for reaching out. We understand your frustration after reading through lists of rules of what is not allowed, and you are certainly not alone in feeling this way.

The harchakot during niddah are intended to prevent excessive intimacy that could lead to forbidden actions. But it is important that the husband and wife still maintain and build a strong emotional connection even–or especially–during this time period.

Some suggestions for things you can do during niddah that may help you and your husband express affection for each other: write sweet notes to each other, send texts or call regularly during the day just to check in, make a special dinner, get each other small gifts, compliment each other, smile at each other, tell each other all the little things you appreciate about your spouse, etc. We recommend sitting down with your husband and discussing what might be the most helpful for each of you.

Making time to spend together may also help you feel less alone. You can work on a creative project, pursue a hobby together, or even just go for a walk.

Some couples find that the time during niddah is an opportunity to strengthen other relationships, either together or separately. For example, it might be a good time to spend Shabbat with extended family, or for you to meet up with friends for dinner.

You may find it helpful to read some books on the philosophy of halacha that explore the challenges of taharat hamishpacha, some of which can be found hereThe Eden Center blog also has posts that address similar concerns, such as this one.

Lastly, although we understand that reading detailed rules of what cannot be done during niddah is frustrating, reviewing some of our articles on “Conduct while Niddah” may help you to better understand these halachot. With knowledge and creativity, and working together with your husband, we hope that many of the harchakot will begin to feel more natural to you, and act as just subtle reminders during niddah.

We hope this helps. Please write back with any further questions.


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