The Gemara said that when someone asks another to marry, there's a concern for dam chimmud. That's why chosson & kalla shouldn't see each other during the week before the wedding.

But they see each other at the wedding! Why are not we concerned about dam chimud?


4 Answers 4


Dam Chimmud happens whenever she commits to getting married and starts preparing for the Chuppah. (Shulchan Arukh YD 192:2)

Nowadays that is usually a few months before the wedding. As long as she counts 7 clean days after that she's fine. (Issues can arise if wedding dates are changed, but seeing each other has nothing to do with it.)


Dam chimud is from a sudden proposal, not a preplanned event.


Regarding your assertion that "chosson & kalla shouldn't see each other during the week before the wedding.":

You may want to read Rabbi Dr. Ari Zivotofsky 's essay on the subject of What’s the Truth about ... a Chatan and Kallah Not Seeing Each Other before the Wedding?.


"This practice has no basis in Talmudic or medieval writings, and the absence of early literature suggests that it is of recent vintage."

It has been suggested that this custom of not seeing each other a week before the wedding is based on superstition and was widespread among AngloSaxons and other medieval peoples. They had arranged weddings, which were often called off when the couples saw each other before the nuptials"

He brings anecdotes from previous generations when this custom was not all that popular.

(As an aside, in my parents circles the custom was 3 days, not a week.)

As to your question, about dam chimud, he further states:

"Rabbis Kaplan and Forst both suggest that the rationale for the custom relates to the halachah of dam chimud—concern that meeting the chatan may cause the kallah to have a discharge that could invalidate the shivah nekiyim (seven clean days before going to the mikvah).

However, the logic here is flawed. Chazal (Niddah 66a; YD 192:1-3) require that upon accepting a marriage proposal or setting a wedding date, a woman has to observe seven “clean days,” due to the concern that she may discharge some blood as a result of the excitement. However, this halachah only applies to her initial acceptance of a marriage proposal. Even if a woman accepts a marriage proposal without ever seeing her intended, upon seeing him, she need not be concerned about dam chimud.

Thus, the link between the halachah of dam chimud and the need to separate the week before the wedding seems weak at best.

Even Rabbi Forst, who cites dam chimud as a basis for the practice, concedes in a footnote: “Nevertheless, the hypothesis that the custom is based upon the chance of dam chimud is difficult to accept.” He concludes by stating: “The purpose of these lines is merely to show that the custom of not meeting one another has no basis in the halachah of dam chimud, not to belittle the custom.”

Ironically, dam chimud might be a reason that they should see each other, because according to the Talmud (Niddah 20b), a woman who pines for her absent husband will experience dam chimud.

My conclusion: Your question is valid - and the custom is widespread but faulty.


The Taz (Yoreh Deah 192:1) in his second answer writes that there is no concern for dam chimud when consummation will follow immediately. Immediately is not a well-defined term, but seems to extend for at least several hours, as one example that the Taz is discussing is the case of Rus and Boaz, in which the consummation was the day following the previous night's agreement to marry. The few hours between when they see each other at the wedding and consummate the marriage would seem to be a shorter span of time than this.

  • 1
    Note the Riva in the Beit Yosef there argues. (The BY says not to rely on the Riva Lehakel, but here it would be Lehachmir.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 6:44
  • @DoubleAA I don't think that is the correct understanding of the Riva. He is coming to discuss a break between kiddushin and tevi'a, and is positing that if the "proposal" goes in two steps it is incremental increases and doesn't create chimud. Which is why the BY contrasts it with the Rashba. If you want someone who argues with the Taz, you could start with the Chovas Da'as there. Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 2:11

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