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Niddah part I

From The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology II pg. 326

The most general use of Mikvah is for the purification of a woman after her monthly period. Although this primarily involves married women, it has important ramifications for single gilrs as well.

According to the Torah's definition, a woman has the status of "Niddah" from the time that she has her period until she immerses in a Mikvah. The Torah thus states (Leviticus 15:19), "When a woman has a discharge of blood, where blood flows from her body, she shall be a Niddah for seven days." As we shall see, she retains this status until she immerses in the Mikvah.

The word Niddah comes from the word Nadad, meaning "removed" or "separated" (Rashi on Leviticus 15:19). The very therefore indicates that she must forgo all physical contact with her husband. The word Niddah does not refer to menstruation, but to this necessity for separation. Both the name and the status of a Niddah are retained by a woman until she changes this status by immersion in a Mikvah.

to be continued


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