- A non-frum relative asked me an interesting question based on some aspects of halacha I was trying to explain in other matters. The Torah prohibits a couple from having relations before she has gone to the mikveh. The relative asked: Is there a difference between the time of bleeding and when “sheva nekiim” in terms of the nature of the issur?
- And second, if the issur of the Torah is on bi’ah, does that mean that any other sexual contact between them is an issur d’rabbanan, or would abstaining from any other sexual contact besides bi’ah simply be considered a “chumra”?
- There is no difference at all between the days that she is actually bleeding and the subsequent days. The torah says, (Vayikra 18-19) “And to a woman who is unclean from niddah you should not get close to have relations”, meaning that as long as she is unclean as a result of her bleeding, the relationship is prohibited. It is not because she is bleeding now, but because of the tumah and ervah that the bleeding caused. The only way for her to rid herself of this tumah is by immersing herself in a kosher mikvah.
- Other sexual contact with anidah is far from a chumrah, it is an issur d’orayso. The torah says “lo tikravu”, don’t get close, and chazal learnt from the Sifra, said that this means to include kissing hugging etc. with a woman who is a niddah. IN fact the midrash learns that we may not kiss etc. an ervah from niddah.
- The Shulchan Aruch Y:D 201-1 (based on Rambam Isurei Biah 11-18) reads, “A woman does not ascend from her tumah by washing herself in a pool or bath… she is still unclean and having relationship with her is punishable by kares, until she immerses her whole body at once in a kosher mikvah or spring…”.
- See Toras Kohanim ( Sifra) 13-15, Rambam Isurei Biah, 21-1, Sefer Hamitzvos- Lo Taaseh 353.