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Niddah part V

From The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology II pg. 326

The laws involving Mikvah are in the category of Chukim, decrees, for which the Torah gives no reason. Nevertheless there is an innate logic to it.

One reason is given in the Talmud. (Niddah 31b). Keeping the rules keeps a virtual honeymoon every cycle, with twelve days of separation followed by a renewal. The relationship does not become dull and jaded.

Many couples who begin these laws late in their marriage report a new zest in their relationship. In pregnancy this cyclical separation followed by renewal is suspended, and many couples look forward to returning to the cycle.

The rules are complicated, and every engaged or married couple should attempt to familiarize themselves with it. Classes are held in many large communities and any competent Rabbi would be happy to provide literature and other information for interested couples. In general, however, the main requirement is that a woman count seven "clean" days in the ritually prescribed manner after her period ends, and then remove her Niddah status through immersion in a Mikvah.

Althoug the laws of Niddah are usually discussed within the context of marriage, they are equally important to single girls. From the time a girl begins to menstruate, she assumes the status of Niddah whether she is married or not. She retains this status until she immerses in a Mikvah with marriage.

This has many important ramifications. Judaism forbids premarital intercourse in the strictes terms. Even if a girl has not begun menstruating or in the rare case where she has immersed since her last period, premarital intercourse is still forbidden. The Torah states "There shall be no harlot among the daughters of Israel." According to the Torah's definition, harlotry includes all forms of premarital sex, and has nothing to do with payment for the act. Thus any couple engaged in premarital intercourse is violating the commandment forbidding harlotry.

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