A guest post by Sarah
When you are niddah your husband cannot even eat from your plate! One evening I forgot this and cut off a piece of cheesecake and ate it straight from the container. Marital discord ensued. My husband was like, “How could you? Now I cannot eat the cheesecake!” In my head I was like, “Good! Now the cheesecake is all mine. Bwahaha!” But he asked his rabbi and was told he could eat the part of the cheesecake I didn’t touch. Bummer! Maybe this was permitted because it was Shabbat and my husband had an extreme need for cheesecake and it was upsetting our Shalom Bayit. Consult your own rabbi on this. But I think that if you are niddah and want the cheesecake to be all yours, you can touch it and kiss it all over then it is forbidden to your husband.
The rabbi told my husband the reason men can’t eat food a niddah has touched is because they might get aroused. Mkay. Is it just Jewish men who get aroused by the strangest things? Like knees for example; orthodox Jewish woman must cover our knees. Our dresses or skirts should be long enough that our knees are covered even when we sit down, even if we are wearing leggings underneath! Now I’m sorry but …REALLY?! I mean if some guy is getting aroused by women’s knees he needs to go to therapy. He is a sick pup! And elbows?! Elbows are too sexy for Judaism?!
So far I don’t like going to the mikvah either. I’m just too neurotic. Maybe it would be nice if I didn’t have to get naked in front of a total stranger. I have a hard time appreciating the spirituality of this mitzvah because mostly I’m like, “Oh no the mikvah lady saw my butt!” I am just glad when it is over and I don’t have to worry about accidentally brushing against my husband or handing him some niddah cheesecake.
Oh and bedika!!! That one almost sent me packing when I first heard about it! I was in shock. Bedika truly is one of the gory details of Judaism. I know this because I looked up the word “gory” in the dictionary and it is the correct word. I am not going to get into a vivid description that would not be modest and ladylike. Let’s just suffice it to say, who knew orthodox Judaism was so coochie intensive! Bedika has helped me to be grateful that I am close to menopause.
Also an orthodox woman cannot initiate “relations” with her husband! Apparently only strumpets are so brazen. Asking your husband, “Hey are you up for some nookie tonight dear?” is reason for him to stop living with you! Orthodox ladies have to use our womanly wiles. We can only give subtle hints in a coy and ladylike fashion, such as twirling our hair and batting our eyelashes or fondling a banana demurely. Dressing provocatively and employing body language is good, but don’t go overboard. G-strings and bootie dancing are out unless your husband asks for it, in which case consult your rabbi.
I hear that niddah supposedly helps some marriages. It gives the husband and wife about two weeks to yearn for each other and then reunite with renewed love and desire.
Yep, whatever. I hate niddah! Maybe with time it will get better, I don’t know. Meanwhile I am probably just being grouchy and negative right now because it’s “that time of the month” again!
Sigh. Well, at least there is still cheesecake.
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