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As far as I can tell, the halacha discusses three parts of a woman's cycle:

  1. The Niddah flow itself.

  2. The 7 clean days following the flow.

  3. The 11 days following that, during which a woman is assumed Tahor and one who has a flow is considered a Zavah.

What about the rest of the month? Assuming the Niddah flow itself lasts less than a week (which is almost always the case according to WebMD), there are at least 3-5 days unaccounted for.

My current thought is that in those days a woman is not assumed Tahor, and her flow does not make her a Zavah, but I'm not sure.

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First, the seven days after the flow stops are midirabannan - a rabbinic enactment - and they are part of the Eleven days of Zivah.

The d'oraysah cycle is 7 days niddah, regardless of how long the flow actually lasts, and then eleven days within which if she sees blood it is considered zivah. After the eleven days if there is any flow that will be considered that her monthly flow came early, and that will reset the cycle.

See Rambam, Issurei Biah 6.

  • 1
    how do you know it is midirabannan - a rabbinic enactment and not that the jewish woman voluntary accepted this stringency – hazoriz May 23 at 16:34
  • My understanding is that Rebbi made the enactment when there was a flow, and the voluntary stringency is for spotting. See the lines immediately preceding he passages you posted. – simyou May 26 at 8:30
  • The Rambam you cite has a constant 7 days/11 days cycle, so if a woman sees blood on day 1 of niddah and then on day 26, counting from there, the second one is dam zivah, according to Rambam (7 niddah days, 11 zivah days, 7 niddah days, and then 1 day into zavah days). – magicker72 Jun 23 at 5:02
  • @magicker72 I do not believe that is a correct reading. In 6:2 we see that if she has a set day for her period that always resets the count, so if for example that is 22 days the woman has a 7-11-4 cycle, where in the last five days she would be niddah. In 8:6 Rambam discusses establishing 30-day cycles, which does not fit with a strict 7-11 cycle. In ch. 6 the Rambam does not address a woman with a cycle more than 18 days but without an established pattern. 6:6 starts out saying it only applies when there is an established cycle, and apparently does not apply otherwise. – simyou Jun 24 at 13:49

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