I know from experience and some introductory study of the laws of Niddah that rabbis typically try to find leniencies wherever possible in issues of family purity. In many instances, a Posek will rely on a technicality to permit a husband and wife to be together even though common sense might dictate that the likelihood is extremely low that a particular stain, or even series of stains, came from any source other than uteran blood.

I appreciate the delicate nature of these questions, as well as the importance of finding ways to be lenient in these matters. I also understand that in many communities, women must trek far distances, even today, to get to a Mikvah, and that even when a Mikvah is easily accessible and clean some women find it difficult to go.

But in instances when the rabbi knows that a woman can easily access a clean, warm, Mikvah with friendly attendants, and the particular woman asking the question enjoys the experience and has no emotional or personal difficulty getting ready or accessing the Mikvah, why isn't she encouraged to be stringent and go "just in case", when the leniency being applied is based on a technicality and the woman wouldn't need to separate from her husband for any extra time (she could go that night)?

I understand that we don't. But why not?

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    I do not understand your question. When a lady has a question it usually would restart the 7 day counting period. So by the Rabbi being stringent it would be more than that evening. In what case would a women gain by a lenient ruling only that day? Commented Jun 16, 2013 at 21:07
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    The reason that Rabbis try find all sorts of leniencies is not because the Rabbis feel sorry for the married couple. Halocho does not work like that. - Staining is not bleeding; and only bleeding makes one a Niddah. The staining laws are stringencies that have been universally accepted - but with their own set of rules. Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 13:31
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    @BabySeal, thanks for your insights, and Mazal Tov on being a Chosson!
    – Seth J
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 16:00
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    @BabySeal Belated mazal tov! And many acharonim argue on that principle! (i.e. some acharonim explain that hargasha was part of a ראיה being דרך ראיה and not being abnormal, a la רואה דם בחתיכה. Today, when lack of hargasha is the norm, its lack does not detract from the normalcy of the ראיה and she is a niddah de'oraisa. Additionally, the Sidrei Tahara based on Rashi understands that the whole point of hargasha is to know that the blood came from her, but if she has tight underwear on and it is surely from her, then lack of hargasha doesn't matter.) Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 21:46
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    @BabySeal The 3 things classically are urination, bedika cloths, and sexual intercourse. A full-blown flow is treated the same way re halachos niddah as yEz indicated for whatever reason, but the Gemara's original three examples (cf. Niddah 57b) are as I listed, not as you did.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 4:09

4 Answers 4


Aside from the previous answers, the concept שלא יהא לבו נוקפו may apply here - see Niddah 12a that discourages doing a bedika/examination directly after/before intimate relations - as a matter of course - because it may scare off the husband. If we suggest going to Mikva even when she is 'legally' tahor, they may be uneasy in a similar situation if Mikva is not available.



A woman who has been to mikve has a chazaka of being "clean" therefore whenever a question comes up (excluding days where she must check herself i.e days 30,31) the Rabbi needs concrete evidence to break that chazaka so any reason to say the stain came from some place else is enough to keep the chazaka in place and it's not considered being lenient. However once a woman sees nidah blood then her chazaka is one of a "unclean" woman and in that case you need a strong case to make her "clean" so the same blood she sees during her clean days maybe declared clean while if she saw the same type of blood during a "hefesk tahara" it would be declared unclean.

The concept of Chazaka is one of the main pillers of halacha. However you can look at the following to get an idea how it is used in the laws of Nida

Nida 15a כל הנשים בחזקת טהרה לבעליהן

Shulchan Aruch Siman 184, Seif 9

  • Thanks for this answer. Can you add a source to support it? Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 13:01
  • @MonicaCellio There are good sources for this in Mishneh Torah, Isurai Biyah. One of the main reasons is that a woman is only tameh from the torah if she has a flow of blood from the main room of the uterus accompanied by a hargasha. All the laws of stains are D'Rabbinan. If I have time I'll add them, or you can just read them here: mechon-mamre.org/i/5109n.htm You can also poke around in the previous chapters for more info. But since a ketem is rabbinic I would think the principle of a doubt from the torah be stringent, a doubt from rabbinic be lenient applies. Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 9:18

The Chassam Sofer, cited in Pischei Teshuvos 190:10, says that the entire concept of kesamim (impurity through stains) to which the rules of "technicalities" are applied was really only instituted for the purposes of the laws of ritual purity and impurity, and only for purposes of consistency was it applied to the prohibition of a woman to her husband. Therefore, nowadays when we do not have practical applications of ritual purity in this regard, the entire concept of kesamim is only an artifact, the whole idea only exists in the context in which it was rabbinically instituted, and there is no prohibition to discuss beyond that.

Therefore, in all of these leniencies due to technicalities, it is not being lenient in the face of a prohibition, but rather there is no prohibition of which to speak except for in the context in which the original rabbinic prohibition was created.


The Mishnah (Niddah 58b) addresses this question:

מעשה באשה אחת שבאת לפני ר"ע אמרה לו: ראיתי כתם, אמר לה: שמא מכה הייתה ביך? אמרה לו: הן, וחיתה. אמר לה: שמא יכולה להגלע ולהוציא דם? אמרה לו: הן. וטהרה רבי עקיבא. ראה תלמידיו מסתכלין זה בזה, אמר להם: מה הדבר קשה בעיניכם? שלא אמרו חכמים הדבר להחמיר – אלא להקל שנאמר (ויקרא ט"ו) ואשה כי תהיה זבה דם יהיה זובה בבשרה, דם ולא כתם

In other words, a stain does not make a woman a niddah min ha-torah, but only miderabbanan. The rabbis therefore have the authority to be meikil on their rules. See http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%92%D7%A9%D7%AA_%D7%A0%D7%99%D7%93%D7%94

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    The posters here are mistaken. Just because it is uteran blood does not necessarily make her a nidda. Of course if it isnt then she isnt a niddah which this answer says. Even uteran blood the woman has to 'feel' it leaving her body. Exactly what kind of a 'hargasha' feeling is necessary is beyond the scope of this comment. If there is no hargasha feeling she is not a nida min hatora and that is why there are kulos by staining. Not because of the reason this poster mentions.
    – user2800
    Commented Jun 17, 2013 at 22:28
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    Not sure what you are talking about--all I did was quote a mishnah & link to the Wikipedia page on הרגשת נדה.
    – wfb
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 1:15
  • Your quote was regarding a 'mako'. A wound and therefore not uteran blood. This is not the issue. Hargosho or lack of it is about uteran blood.
    – user2800
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 4:01
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    It is not about דם מכה, but about תלייה בדם מכה--since there is no הרגשה, R. Akiva could be תולה בדם מכה (which works even where the דם is bigger than a כגריס). Look it up.
    – wfb
    Commented Jun 18, 2013 at 21:06
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    @user2800 - the gemara at the end of the sugya says that we are toleh (on a makko etc.) by a kesem because a kesem is only m'dirabanan. According to many explanations, the underlying reason that a kesem is only m'dirabanan is because at the biblical level we can assume there was no hargasha, but m'derabanan we worry about an unnoticed hargasha like the gemara says at the beginning of the perek there. Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 21:45

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