Preparing for the Wedding

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Every woman who is getting married must observe Shiva Nekiyim, whether or not she saw any blood, from the time that they began to seriously plan for the wedding. [1]

When Are these Laws Relevant

  1. For a woman who had her period prior to getting married, she has to observe her Shiva Nekiyim anyway since she is a Niddah.[2]
  2. However, this law even applies to a woman who is older, even if she is menopausal and didn't see any blood since she last went to mikveh, nonetheless, she must still observe Shiva Nekiyim and go to mikveh before her wedding.[3]
  3. Additionally this law applies to a woman who was divorced and is getting remarried before she had a period. She would, nonetheless, have to observe shiva nekiyim.[4]
  4. If a woman never saw her prospective husband and agrees to get married, there is a dispute if she needs to have shiva nekiyim after she first sees him.[5] One can be lenient, however, one must ensure that she really was confident in her decision to get married so that the shiva nekiyim can begin once they began preparing for the wedding.[6]

A Woman who was Asked to Marry

  1. Once a woman who was asked to get married agrees she has to obverse Shiva Nekiyim, whether or not she saw any blood when she agreed to get married. The reason the rabbis instituted this is because of a concern that she saw blood as a result of her anticipation of getting married and even if there's no blood there's a concern that it was lost. This is termed dam chimud.[7]
  2. For this concern of dam chimud, it isn't necessary to have a hefsek tahara. Yet, it is necessary to have bedikot each day[8] of Shiva Nekiyim.[9] The minhag is to require a hefsek tahara.[10] Either way the woman who saw a period prior to her wedding obviously requires a hefsek tahara and isn't included in this discussion.[11]
    1. The bedikot for an unmarried woman are supposed to be done as deep as she can reach even though it isn't possible for her to check into the chorin and tzedakin (folds of that area as far as she can reach).[12]
  3. The period of Shiva Nekiyim could begin from when they agree to get married and begin to seriously prepare for the wedding.[13]
  4. If a non-frum couple was living together before they were married and now they plan to get married with a halachic marriage, she must first count 7 clean days and go to mikveh.[14]
  5. If a man divorced and remarries his wife, once they agree to remarry, she needs to count 7 clean days and go to the mikveh.[15]
  6. If a man divorced his wife when she was pregnant and remarries her nonetheless, she needs to count 7 cleans day and go to the mikveh before the remarriage.[16]
  7. A woman who was divorced and wants to marry another man she must wait 3 months and within those 3 months she can count her 7 clean days and go to mikveh in preparation of the marriage.[17]
  8. If a man is getting married to a woman and physically he is too old to have biyah she doesn't need to count 7 clean days and go to mikveh because of dam chimud.[18]
  9. If a couple arranged to get married but never saw each other, there is a dispute if the first time seeing each other before the wedding will trigger a new concern of dam chimud and she will have to count another 7 clean days. Many poskim are lenient.[19]

Shiva Nekiyim before the Wedding

  1. Initially the tevilah at the conclusion of the shiva nekiyim should take place as close to the wedding as possible. The minhag allows going to mikveh up to 4 days prior to the wedding night. That is, if the wedding is Sunday night the mikveh should be on Wednesday night or later.[20]
  2. A husband doesn't need to ask his wife if she is a niddah at her wedding and he can rely on the fact that he would have been told if she was a niddah.[21]

If the Wedding is Delayed

  1. If the wedding is pushed off because of a fight or another reason and then later they agree to reschedule the wedding, even if she prepared and had her shiva nekiyim, she must have a new shiva nekiyim and tevilah before the wedding.[22]
  2. If the wedding was delayed because of an extenuating circumstance she doesn't need to start her shiva nekiyim again.[23]
  3. If at the time of the fight or other delay they agreed on another date then she doesn't need a new shiva nekiyim.[24]

Sources

  1. Gemara Niddah 66a, Shulchan Aruch YD 192:1. The Maggid Mishna Isurei Biyah 11:10 clarifies that this concern is only rabbinic since she saw blood without a hargasha. Taz 192:1 and Badei Hashulchan 192:2 quote the Maggid Mishna.
  2. Sidrei Tahara 192:3 quoting the Lechem Chamudot explains that if a woman saw her period prior to her wedding she is like a niddah for all laws and there are no leniencies of dam chimud.
  3. Pitchei Teshuva 192:2. Badei Hashulchan 192:5 writes that either this is because chazal didn't distinguish when it came to this gezerah (lo plug) or that there really is a concern that she'll see out of excitement for the wedding.
  4. Shulchan Aruch YD 192:5
  5. Pitchei Teshuva 192:1
  6. Badei Hashulchan 192:8
  7. Shulchan Aruch YD 192:1
  8. Shach 192:2 agrees with Shulchan Aruch that only one bedika is necessary each day, however, the Badei Hashulchan 192:13 writes that initially she should have two bedikot each day.
  9. Shulchan Aruch YD 192:1. The reason for this distinction is because the entire need for shiva nekiyim is based on a concern that she saw. There is no need for a hefsek tahara since we can assume even if she started to see would have stopped by the end of the day (Rashba Torat Habayit 5b). However, she still needs bedikot since the definition of shiva nekiyim is bedikot (Ran Shevuot 4b s.v. tavuha). Alternatively, as she gets closer to the wedding there is a greater concern that she'll see (Rosh Niddah 10:4).
  10. Shach 192:1, Badei Hashulchan 192:10
  11. Sidrei Tahara 192:3
  12. Badei Hashulchan 192:11 and 196:98
  13. Shulchan Aruch YD 192:2
  14. Taharat Habayit v. 1 p. 477 based on Radvaz 3:423
  15. Shulchan Aruch YD 192:5 based on the Rashbatz. The Radvaz 4:363 writes that it is obvious that she needs to wait for dam chimud since if we're concerned that a woman who never knew that man that she'll see blood in anticipation of the marriage, how much more so should we be concerned for a woman who already knew that man that she'll see blood in anticipation of their remarriage. See there for a distinction for if the remarriage is immediate then there's no concern. Taharat Habayit v. 1 p. 474 is strict whether they got remarried immediately or later. See there for the discussion.
  16. Torat Hashlamim 192, Torat Habayit v. 1 p. 475
  17. Taharat Habayit v. 1 p. 478, Shiurei Shevet Halevi 192:2:2
  18. Taharat Habayit v. 1 p. 480
  19. Chatom Sofer YD 184, Taharat Habayit v. 1 p. 482, Shiurei Shevet Halevi 192:2:2. See Shiurei Shevet Halevi who adds that if she saw his picture then even those who are usually strict about this question would be lenient.
  20. Rama 192:2, Sidrei Tahara 192:12 s.v vechen
  21. Shach 192:4
  22. Shulchan Aruch YD 192:3
  23. Shach 192:7
  24. Shach 192:6 citing the Bach unlike the Levush. Taz 192:6 agrees. The Shach himself holds that she needs to do a bedika at the time of the fight or other delay. The Chavot Daat 192:6 argues that there is no need for a bedika at the time.