Anna has had some articles on Niddah and Mikvahs, and they are very well written. I disagree with her on one point, and didn't want to invade her space - I might be wrong, after all! So...here's my musings.
"Niddah" is the term used by most orthodox Jews as a woman's monthly period. It's first described in Leviticus 15:19 (this is where Anna and I disagree - she says vs. 19 isn't about the normal monthly flow, but something else). To quote (all quotes here are from the KJV, since it's handy :wink:): Lev 15:19 "And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosover toucheth her shall be unclean until the even"
Now, every site I've gone to about this says that "niddah" in this sense refers to the regular flow - which is what *I* thought when I read it. Why? Because when the Torah was handed down, the Jews had just left 400 years of slavery in Egypt. They had been hanging out with idol-worshippers, doing what everyone else was doing - they had NO IDEA of what being Holy and set apart actually meant. Leviticus is where all that is set out - we do this to show the world what Holy Living actually looks like (and....the Jews failed at it over and over and over again. So do we, actually). If everyone around you does something, and you don't know any better, you'll probably do it too, right?
So, God was trying to teach them how he wanted them to live. Ch. 17 spells out that Blood is Sacred, and for God alone...so for a man to touch a woman in niddah would be committing a Huge Sin.
Vs. 25 says: "And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean"...and goes on to vs. 28: "...But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean"
With me so far? It looks like we're talking about 2 separate things here, doesn't it (or am I just whacked?)
I googled "niddah"...and found a LOT of Jewish sites. This site is all about Niddah, and it has a lot of good articles. This is from a Messianic perspective....I had found a message board (yeah...I know. I don't get it either!) where women posted about Niddah and all the laws and observances - all of them say the same thing: Vs. 19 is talking about the monthly flow.
Now....the Jews have added a *whole* whack of stuff to go along with what Torah says. If you look at vs 19, it simply says that a woman is Niddah for 7 days. Vs. 28 (talking about other uterine bleeding) says she must wait 7 days *after* the flow before she's clean....Orthodox Jews believe a woman is unclean for the period (4 - 7 days, usually) + 7....or, 2 weeks (basically). :scratches head:
Me? I am trying to live a Torah-observant life. What Sweet Geek and I decided (and, for the record - it was HIS idea to go to Torah and find out what it said, and abide by it. :snuggles:) - 7 days separation total. No, we don't do separate beds, or refuse to hold hands (yup...Orthodox Jews believe in TOTAL separation.) - we just abstain from marital relations until I've done my mikvah (which...isn't Biblical, just Tradition. If you *read*, it doesn't mention a mikvah At All for Niddah.....).
What's a mikvah, you ask? Basically a bath. The Jews have a whole ream of things they have to do (seriously - that message board I mentioned? They were discussing whether *dyed hair* would make the mikvah not count. Seriously - and nail polish. I mean.....:blink:) I do a bubble bath, since I don't normall do that, and I relax. :grin:
Also, since Lev. says that anything a Niddah touches becomes unclean, I wash and change all the bedsheets, change the pillowcases, and give the bedroom a quick cleaning. :wink:
And before anyone asks, Yes, Torah still applies to us today - Jesus Himself said so. I'm outta time tonight - I have to check on the sick chicken and get the kids in the bath - but I'll try to do something...I'll probably copy Anna's post on this subject, since she's written it so well! :lol: