Keeping Niddah is pretty insane

I think I’ve been conditioned to think that taharas mishpacha (family purity laws) is the greatest thing in the world. Two weeks of no touching every month gives the couple time to chat, fight, bicker and masturbate by themselves, but is it really all that great for your marriage?

I think it sounds mildly interesting from a masochistic or tantra point of view, especially in the first few months of marriage – it just sounds too painful to actually help with anything. I always figured the fights that would normally take place during the first few months of marriage would end in some good makeup sex, but frummies are limited to only 2 weeks of makeup sex per month, there cannot even be a makeup hug – though that’s just a chumra.

But this really isn’t about how stupid, painful or archaic the laws of Niddah may be, God said to do it, the rabbis said to do it and many non-religious folks even do it. I hope that when I get married someday, I will also keep these laws, though according to friends of mine everyone screws up with them. Beyond having actual intercourse, most of the laws are fences around fences, kind of like mechitzas outside of shul. This post is really about two aspects of Niddah that I find to be horrendous.

There are a lot of halachos we humans will never understand, that’s why we have something called Taykoo and Halacha Moshe me’Sinai – basically two concepts that allow everything inexplicable to be explained as “we have no idea why the F we do it, so shut the F up and stop being so questioning” There are plenty of things I do every day that I don’t understand, I wear tefillin and tzitzis, eat kosher and tie my shoes the halachically mandated way – but these are not things that hurt me or anyone around me (save for those who have to gaze upon my multiple arm muffin tops created by my tefillin straps) Once in a while I do come across something that bugs me enough to acknowledge that I would go against the Lord or random middle ages Rabbi who mandated said halacha and there are two issues I have with Hilchos Niddah that I figured I would air with you people.

The first is the fact that after doing your best gal on the wedding night, you cannot touch for a certian number of days, depending on whether she bled, it was her first marriage and so on, but either way – once you pull out your wilted shaft you have to separate. Does this mean that you have to take the couch on your wedding night (I assume that most hotel suites used for wedding nights have a big bed – it’d be pretty embarrassing to request a cot in the middle of the night) So it’s your wedding night, the first time that many folks who keep niddah will touch or enter the holy of holies and you mean to tell me that there will be no touching after you pull out? It’s completely insane, madness, what about waking up in your lovers arms to a continental breakfast in bed as the trucks start their engines? Apparently some couples will plan on not having sex until the third night so they can touch for an extra couple of nights – talk about blue balls man.

The other pet peeve regarding niddah that I have, is the fact that when your wife is giving birth she becomes a niddah and you cannot touch her. This means there is no labor room hand holding and no post birth baby passing (passing a baby may cause one to get aroused and want to have niddah sex) which bugs me as kind of odd, considering the fact women need a lot of emotional support after they give birth – I always figured you should be supportive after she gives birth – what’s the deal God?