Women Are Entrusted With The Laws of Niddah
Many people have not gone through an in_depth study of the laws of
Niddah. Nevertheless, with even a basic understanding of these laws, a
woman can make very far_reaching determinations concerning her Niddah
status. Since our Rabbis have instituted many safeguards the
chances are slim that even an imprecise determination would lead to
a violation of a Torah law.
Although in many cases any woman can decide about her own blood, a rabbi
should be consulted as needed. The rabbi will occasionally make a more
lenient determination than the woman might have, having a fuller and more
thorough understanding of the halacha including its rabbinic safeguards.
Additionally, after referring her questions to the rabbi on numerous
occasions the woman will herself gain a fuller understanding of the
halachic issues involved, and will herself become better able to make
more complicated determinations.
1. According to the Torah women are believed with regard to everything
concerning their Niddah status. This includes the determination whether
she is not niddah or is niddah due to a stain etc.
2. The woman’s credibility is not questioned, unless it happened that the
woman was niddah and claimed falsely to have had immersed. In that case
she is never again believed until it is clear that she has completely
repented from this grave offense.
3. A man cannot have marital relations with his wife if he knows she was
niddah until she indicates that she has properly immersed. Amorous
intimations on the night of her supposed immersion are enough of a hint
by the wife that she has immersed. This applies even if there is a blood
stain on her clothing since it might be due to her involvement with meat
or other staining substances.
4. If a woman said to her husband that she is niddah and subsequently
said that she is really not niddah she is considered niddah, unless she
gives a good reason for her earlier niddah pronouncement. If she does not
give a good reason she must do a hefsek betahara, count seven clean days
and immerse. This immersion should be without a prior blessing since she
knows that she was really not niddah. Examples of “good reasons” are: she
claims to have felt weak and could not stand having relations; that her
parents were in close proximity; that she had a stain which proved to be
pure; or anything of the like.
5. If the couple had an argument during which the wife claimed to be
Niddah, they may have relations if she comes to lay with him. The husband
should understand that she claimed to be Niddah because of the argument.
6. This applies even at the time when she is expecting her period (see
chapter discussing separating at the time a period is expected and the
chapter on how these times are figured)
7. If a woman claimed as her excuse that she was “only joking” she is
considered niddah, however, if she is known to play such practical
jokes, she is not considered niddah. This type of joking is unbecoming to
the woman and she should desist from it in the future. If she gave an
otherwise unlikely reason for her claiming to be niddah the rabbi should
8. If a woman said that she is niddah and immediately retracted and said
that she is really not niddah, she is believed and is not considered
9. The above rules also apply to a woman who had immersed and claimed
that she hasn’t.
10. If a woman had a stain and she claims that a knowledgeable person
told her that it does not affect her status, she is believed. However, if
the authority was questioned and did not corroborate her story, saying
either that she never asked him or that he had determined her to be
niddah, he is believed and she is considered niddah.
11. If a woman claims that a knowledgeable person told her that marital
relations are permitted and another individual claims that the authority
said that she is really Niddah, the woman is believed.
12. There are additional rules on this subject and the rabbi should be
consulted if there are doubts.