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I'd seen a clip from a TV show that's about Orthodox Israelis in which a married couple has a bed that's one big frame, upon which two mattresses can either slide together or apart, depending on the time of the month.

As there's a common frame I strongly assume even when the mattresses are apart, you could feel something when the other person rolled over or moved around, so this is not a halachically valid option.

So where did the TV producers get this idea? Are there people that use this setup? Is there a halachic source (perhaps minority) for it? Or did someone in the props department just decide it looked cool, without checking their religion consultants?

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when you ass-u-me... –  user1095 Jan 30 '12 at 13:54
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"ASUM" = "Avno Sakino UMasao" -- it causes everyone to stumble. –  Shalom Jan 30 '12 at 14:35
    
How far do the beds move apart? Movement might be a geder against touching (compare with the halacha of placing an object between spouses on a moveable platform). If the beds move far enough apart, that might circumvent the problem. –  YDK Jan 30 '12 at 15:58
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These types of beds are relatively common in stores in Israel; they're referred to as מיטה יהודית, a Jewish bed. You can see pictures here: google.com/… –  ChaimKut Jan 31 '12 at 10:21
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I did not see the show but we have this type of bed. One bed is stationary and is connected to the headboard while the other bed is moveable. The movable bed looks like it's attached to the headboard when you move it but it's not. In reality the movable bed is it's own bed and you could even put it in another room and it wouldn't look strange but the non-movable bed would look really strange on it's own. lol

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Hi Baruch, welcome to Mi Yodea! It seems you're not talking exactly about the question, but something similar. Please make sure the answer fits the question. Good luck! –  JNF Oct 28 '12 at 10:51
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@JNF, it sounds to me like it very well could be what was seen by the asker. –  Isaac Moses Oct 29 '12 at 17:45
    
@IsaacMoses, Baruch is mentionning seperate beds with a shared headboard - not a single frame. –  JNF Oct 30 '12 at 9:37
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This article addresses the question. If the two mattresses share the same "base" (which I read as the commonly used term "bed-frame"), then it is a problem. It is only not a problem if the outer rim of the headboard/footboard of the bed are not connected to a common base. I don't know what show you are referencing, but if I understand you correctly, the beds are supported by the same physical structure, which merely allows the beds to slide apart. If that is the case, then it is not adequate for Niddah purposes. I would assume that it is either a mistake on the part of the props department, or else it is a common misconception that some religious couples in Israel rely upon and which was then employed by the show.

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A base is not a bedframe, a base is a base and a bedframe is a bedframe. Most beds consist of three parts, the bedframe (which may or may not contains the headboard and footboard), the base, and the mattress. In simple beds the base is a piece of wood that is the size of the matress or larger, in fancy beds, the base looks like a mattress but is hollow. Just for a point of reference, most California king sized beds come with two bases and one bedframe. –  avi Jan 30 '12 at 17:14
    
@avi In standard beds (ie., not full bedroom units with headboard, etc.) the "bed frame" is a metal frame on legs or wheels (often interchangeable) that support the mattress (and sometimes box spring). It looks like this: samsclub.com/sams/shop/… Not having seen the show, I cannot be sure what Shalom is referring to, but I'm pretty confident that the article is referring to something with this sort of thing supporting the actual mattresses. If they are separate, fine; if they are connected/shared, not so. –  Seth J Jan 30 '12 at 17:31
    
Cont... Whether it is metal or wood is inconsequential. What matters is whether or not some unit is jointly supporting both beds. If there is a surrounding unit enclosing the beds, which each has its own support structure, it is ok. If the enclosing unit is connected to them, or if the support structure itself is somehow connected, even if they slide apart on rails, it is a problem. –  Seth J Jan 30 '12 at 17:34
    
The slats of wood, or metal that goes across the bedframe to keep the mattress from sagging in the center would be the "base" –  avi Jan 30 '12 at 17:34
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If there's not enough space in the room to separate the mattresses you can even just put a divider between them. It's a common problem in Israel where apartments are very small. –  Robert S. Barnes Dec 25 '12 at 9:41
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Two beds on one frame is permissible, as long as the beds themselves don't touch while the wife is in niddah.

I have even seen furniture companies make this type of bed specifically for the religious Jewish community.

http://www.yoatzot.org/question.php?id=6479

Also see here, #26 http://www.milknhoney.co.il/holy/7.html (this site also leaves a footnote, from where this list is derived).

Unfortunately, I can't find a picture of the two bed / one frame designs that I have personally seen in furniture stores. However, image #5 on the site below demonstrates another way that would work:

http://www.oddee.com/item_96939.aspx

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Will, the article you linked to contradicts your assertion in your answer. It says that if the two mattresses share the same "base" (which I read as the commonly used term "bed-frame") then it is a problem. It is only not a problem if the outer rim of the headboard/footboard of the bed are not connected to a shared base. I don't know what show Shalom is referencing, but if I understand him correctly, the beds are supported by the same physical structure, which merely allows the beds to slide apart. If that is the case, then it is not adequate for Niddah purposes. –  Seth J Jan 30 '12 at 14:18
    
I didn't see the same TV show that Shalom is talking about - but in the the two beds / one frame that I've seen, the beds each have their own base - they merely slide across grooved channels, together or apart, as needed. Thus, the two beds on one frame (again, the ones that I have seen) do not share a base, and are permissible to be used, pushed apart, with ones wife who is a niddah. –  user1095 Jan 30 '12 at 17:12
    
Are the grooves not considered a base? –  Seth J Jan 30 '12 at 17:26
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@SethJ no the grooves would be a frame... –  avi Jan 30 '12 at 17:36
    
But if the base is in some way connected via the frame, then it is a problem. How can they be sliding on a groove but not be connected? –  Seth J Jan 30 '12 at 17:43
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