If, G-d forbid, a wife learned of a terrible tragedy while a niddah, is there any possibility that her husband could hug her?

To be clear, I am asking for respected sources that look at this matter leniently, if such exist.

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    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/44835 and judaism.stackexchange.com/q/28669.
    – Fred
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 4:17
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    If she is ill he cannot measure the pulse, following some source. But if it is (Bet Yosef) it seems prohibited. But good question. perhaps sometimes it is Pikuach nefesh... interesting
    – kouty
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 4:27
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    Note sexual intercourse is forbidden throughout Shiva (including Aninut) anyway. related files.ctctcdn.com/49c02d16001/… files.ctctcdn.com/49c02d16001/…
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 13:07
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    "learned of a terrible tragedy" Are you using that as a euphemism for when she must sit Shiva (ie close relative's death) or any tragedy? I think you should edit to be explicit about what cases you are curious about (and why you think there might be lenient opinions).
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 13:31

2 Answers 2


A man hugging a woman who is a nidda is more severe than הרחקות. It is actually קריבה לעריות. I think that would eliminate your question.

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    I agree, perhaps you can explain more, Rambam, Ramban... your answer is interesting but with references and explanation it will be more helpful. Welcome to mi yodeya
    – kouty
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 20:09
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    One might debate whether the identical at can be a violation of lo tikr'vu or not depending on context; perhaps a comforting hug might be different. Also, I don't think that all authorities agree that niddah is an ervah, so it might not be subject to the prohihbions of lo tikr'vu, at least biblically according to those who hold that it is ever biblical.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Aug 21, 2016 at 4:04
  • A נדה is an ערוה as any ערוה according to all autorities. Never should one make such a fatal blunder. However one may gaze at his wife when she is נדה status because she will be permitted to him at a later time. See Shulchan Orach Even HoEzer Siman 21 Se'if 4. One of the commentaries (חלקת מחוקק) comments that so too it is permitted for her to beautify herself.
    – Moshe
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 21:21
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    @SAH Moshe : Rabbeinu Tam hold Niddah is not an Ervah (Sefer HaYashar 80). It's a Machloket Rishonim (and probably there are different kinds of "ervah"). That said even if not an Ervah, Kereivah might still be prohibited from אל אשה בנדת טומאתה לא תקרב לגלות ערותה. Similarly, Yeihareig vAl Yaavor might not directly tied to Shem Ervah. So let's all stop making absolute assertions when we don't know what we're talking about.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 21:44
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    @Moshe It's in the Teshuvot section, not the Chiddushim. It's too long to paste here. If you have a searchable text, a relevant line from the discussion is אין התלמוד קורא ערוה אלא דלא תליא ביומי וטבילה
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 22:11

The sources of the following are Bet Yosef YD 195, Shach (YD 195 sk 20, 157 sk 10) and Minchat Yaakov, Sidre Tahara at the same siman, Rambam, Ramban, Megilat Esther Lavim 353. Chinuch 188, Bet Smuel EH 20 sk 1,

The laws of harchakot from the wife nidda presents similarities with arayot and differences. In some point of view those differences can lead to leniency but from an other point of view they may lead to stringency. To know very good his wife can facilitate the the process leading to a intimate relationship and also can diminish the drive. The fact that this woman is his wife or the fact that the Isur nidda is not a "marriage prohibition" may make it lighter than other isure bia.

My plan is:
1. How the Bet Yosef explained the Machloket between Rishonim regarding the permission to allow a husband who is physician to examine and treat his nidda wife the Rishonim who allows is Ramban in Shut 127. Bet Yosef identified the stringent opinion to Rambam in a known Machloket Rambam - Ramban about Arayot. He interpreted the leniency of the lenient opinion as a permission when there is no other physicians and the matsav is pikuach nefesh. 2. The RMA ruled as the lenient opinion.
3. The Shach opposed to Bet Yosef an other understanding of the Machloket Rishonim regarding the nidda's husband physician. He said that both opinions can be congruent to Rambam or Ramban indifferently concerning their argument about Arayot.
4. He proved his opinion by the fact than RMA stated as Rambam in Arayot (YD 157, 1) and as the lenient opinion regarding nidda medical care. Medical care has no link with arayot. The question of Arayot for Rambam itself begins only when touching act born of sexual drive. The harchakot of nidda concerning non sexually characterized contact are derabanan. 5. The Minchat Yaakov explained that Bet Yosef see the care of the wife by her husband as a problem of sexual character because of the great proximity between the both. Even if a physical examination of an other woman has no sexual features. The Bet Shmuel EH 20 sk 1 k (which is indicated by the Dagul Merevava on the Shach YD 195, sk 20, the BS is very explicit in his language and seems to read as th BetYosef assumption in the Shut Haramban.) also rejected the argument of the Shach against Bet Yosef. Sidre Tahara also sustained the Bet Yosef 's opinion.

The answer of @Moshe that hugging is kreva learayot follows the Rambam. Therefore the Shach stated that taking pulse to his wife is no more than harchakot, he probably agrees about hugging. Additionally, to give hug his wife is not harmless as a physical is also not not a case of sakana, and RMA specified "sakana becholiah", Shach also fixed sakana as a necessary condition for allowing any "medical touching".

There is no opinion to allow this in Shulchan Aruch and Nos'e Kelav.

The text of Bet Yosef.

Bet Yosef YD 195.

וכתב עוד בתה"ד בשם גדול אחד דאשה חולה ובעלה רופא אסור למשש לה הדפק

ונראה מדבריו שאפי' בשאין רופא זולתו אסור

וגם בתשובות דלהרמב"ן סימן קכ"ז אסור לבעל למשש דפק אשתו נדה ואע"פ שלשון השאלה היה בשיש שם רופאים אחרים אלא דבעלה ניחא לה משום דמזומן תדיר נראה דלמאי דאסר ל"ש לן בין יש שם רופאים אחרים לאינם

ומיהו אם החולי מסוכן ואין שם רופאים משמע קצת מדבריו דשרי משום פיקוח נפש

. Machloket Rambam Ramban if touching a nidda is prohibited from Tora or from Rabanan. Bet Yosef identify negiat erva and negiat nidda.

אלא דאיכא למימר דלטעמיה אזיל דסבר דנגיעת נדה אינה אסורה אלא מדרבנן

. Ramban followed his own opinion about kreva to Arayot which is

אבל להרמב"ם דנגיעת ערוה אסורה מן התורה הכא אע"פ שיש בו פיקוח נפש איפשר דאסור משום דהוי אביזרא דג"ע וצ"ע :‏

. Bet Yosef said that possibly Rambam prohibited to take care of the wife even in Pikuach nefesh but leaves the question open.

  • To be clear, I am asking for respected sources that look at this matter leniently, if such exist. I am not sure that this answer the question.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 15:47
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    @mevaqesh the answer is "I'm sorry but without doubt I'm sure that it's forbidden [|:<:("
    – kouty
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 15:57
  • That looks like more of a comment, as the OP wasnt asking for your personal opinion, or your ignorance of any sources stating what she is looking for, but specifically for To be clear, I am asking for respected sources that look at this matter leniently.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 15:59
  • @mevaqesh You see the siddur Hashitot. The main Shitot. To say that it is my personal opinion is not accurate. Shulchan Aruch and Nos'e Kelim, is a bit little more. . . .
    – kouty
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 16:10
  • I didnt say it was your personal opinion. I was merely paraphrasing you without doubt I'm sure that it's forbidden || You see the siddur Hashitot... that's very nice. But it doesn't answer the question.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 16:12

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