Rechitza--washing/bathing--is, it seems, Biblically prohibited on Yom Kippur. And yet I learned that a married woman who is due to make a bedikah--the twice-daily inspection for blood during niddah, which is most definitely Rabbinical--not only makes it (twice), but also washes herself before it as usual (twice), on Yom Kippur. According to my source, the washing procedure on Yom Kippur is the same as for Shabbos, except with cold water only (I think). I won't go into the details, but it is a lot of bathing for a day when we aren't even allowed to wash negel vasser normally.

I know that taharas hamishpacha is very important and that the community sells its last Torah scroll for a mikvah, etc. I am trying to understand how this is balanced against Yom Kippur.

On Yom Kippur the couple will not be touching each other in any case, so there is no immediate benefit to be gained from the information gained from bedikah. I have also heard that, bedieved, one is allowed to skip all but the first bedikot of the 14, so if the ones due on Yom Kippur are "intermediate" it surprises me that we violate a prohibition of Yom Kippur to do them. And even if we do them, I wonder about the washing (whose only purpose, as I understand it, is to increase the odds of a clean result in the bedikah).

  1. What is the reason that bedikah is done on Yom Kippur?

  2. If bedikah is required on this day, why do we do the usual washing, which would otherwise violate the restrictions of the day, instead of limiting it?

  • Why are bedikot most definitely rabbinical?
    – Double AA
    Jun 20, 2016 at 21:16
  • Did you read the first source you link to or just see the title? The article discusses how it is permitted to dip in the Mikva on Yom Kippur.
    – Double AA
    Jun 20, 2016 at 22:19
  • 1
    Your second link only mentions washing before a Hefsek Tahara, not before each of the Bedikot during the 7 "clean days"
    – Double AA
    Jun 20, 2016 at 22:21
  • Rechitsa Shel Taanug???
    – kouty
    Jun 20, 2016 at 23:09
  • @DoubleAA Thanks for pointing this out. I have another source (a book, sorry, can't remember the title, it's not a sefer) which recommended the same washing procedure for the regular bedikos, even on Yom Kippur. All sources I've seen online recommend some washing before the regular bedikah on Yom Kippur, although few recommend as much as my book
    – SAH
    Jun 20, 2016 at 23:20

1 Answer 1


The simple answer is that inasmuch as the pre-bedikah washing is for the purpose of cleanliness as apposed to leisure, in is not a violation of the prohibition of "rechitzah".Rambam

  • Good point. But I would wonder why full negel vasser--which is hardly "leisure," rather a positive mitzvah--would be altered for Y"K but not (according to my source) pre-bedikah washing
    – SAH
    Jun 22, 2016 at 6:48

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