Show a rabbi your underwear

“Show a rabbi your underwear.”

To most people this would be absurd, however for ultra orthodox Jewish women this is a normal part of life. The laws of intimacy in judaism require a married woman to have no physical contact from their husband for two weeks of every month if they are menstruating. One week is the week of their period and the second week is 7 days of non bleeding. A ultra orthodox woman may not abstain from having sexual relations with their husband for longer than the necessary. Therefore as soon as they stop bleeding they must start counting the 7 days of non bleeding.

During these 7 days when they don’t have their period, these women are supposed to wear white underwear to make sure that no blood comes out. If a discharge that is not white is found on their underwear they must show their underwear to a rabbi to find out if they can continue the countdown or if they must wait again.

Ultra orthodox people argue that this is just like going to a Dr. They say the rabbi’s are used to seeing these intimate items of clothing. I would never send my underwear to my GP, or even my gynocologist. If I was worried about something I may make an appointment and describe what I am worried about, but I would not be sending my dirty, blood stained underwear to anyone- let alone a rabbi.

To me this is personal. To me whether I am bleeding or not is personal. My relationship between me and my husband is personal. When and if we choose to have sexual interactions is a mutual decision between us alone. It is not a threesome with a rabbi or anyone else. We do not choose to have sexual relations just because its 7 days after I had my period. It is not a date marked down in our calendar. I feel so so sorry for the ultra orthodox women who have to go through this. I feel so so sorry that they do not get to have a healthy normal touch from their husband for half of every month.

On what level is this at all normal? You would not abstain from touching anyone else that you love for two weeks every month. Yet they are told to not touch, hug, kiss the person who they are meant to love the most. Even if they can’t have sex during these two weeks. Why are they taught that all touching leads to sex? Why can’t they just enjoy a normal hug with no sex involved?

The extreme ultra orthodox do not even pass objects to each other as they may accidentally touch their spouse and have sex when they’re forbidden to. Then to take this further the ultra orthodox never pass objects to each other in public at all so that no one knows when they are touching or not.

Its so sad that these people are brainwashed to keep these ridiculous laws. Its so sad that these people are not allowed to touch the ones they love most.


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