A Quick Overview of the Family Purity Laws and How They Relate to YOU

Leviticus 15 Family purity laws. This chapter discusses the family purity laws. This is a tough subject that spouses should discuss with each other and ask YHVH for wisdom on how to implement them. Holiness and purity is very important to YHVH in all situations. Men, at the very least, are to refrain from all physical relations with their wives during her monthly flow. Any man who has a problem with this needs to repent of selfishness, uncontrolled passions and failing to give his wife space during a difficult time in her life. Sin has consequences, whether we understand what they are or not, so why risk it? YHVH takes his laws seriously and blessings or curses befall us vis-à-vis our relationship to them. Check your heart attitude here. Are you serious about obeying YHVH? Or at this point, are you content to ignore his Word and, in effect, rip pages out of the Scriptures arrogantly saying, “It doesn’t apply to me”? Didn’t the serpent say something like this to Adam and Eve at the Tree of Knowledge about the Word of Elohim?

Did Yeshua fulfill the family purity laws? Let’s first establish one thing. When we say “fulfill” as per Matthew 5:17, we don’t mean “to do away with” or “destroy” as the mainstream church de facto infers from this passage. The Greek word behind the word fulfill means “to bring to its fullest completion” or “to make full.” This is the opposite of rendering the laws of the Torah obsolete and irrelevant to the redeemed believer’s life. Yeshua then goes on to explain in the rest of the Sermon on the Mount how both the letter and the spirit of the law are fully applicable to the life of his disciples. Curiously, the Jewish elite of Yeshua’s day focused more on the letter of the law obedience and often missed the spirit of the law, whereas in mainstream Christianity today, the focus is often more on the spirit rather than on the letter. Men just can’t seem to get the right balance! Yet Yeshua was perfectly balanced and presented a full and complete understanding of the Torah and urged his followers to walk out both the letter and the spirit, and declared that those who do both are the most pleasing to the Father (e.g. see John 4:23–24).

Now with regard specifically to the family purity laws, Yeshua didn’t come to abolish them or any other laws. Having said that, to keep any of the laws of the Torah exactly as the Israelites kept them (in a letter of the law manner) all conditions that existed then when the laws were given must be exactly the same today. What are these conditions? Women still go through their menstrual cycles. That hasn’t changed. Husbands need to refrain from physical relation with their wives during this time. This hasn’t changed. With regard to the blood touching things such as the woman, bedding, couches, or other people, some things in this arena have changed. We now have feminine hygiene products that keep the flow contained. These things didn’t exist in antiquity, so others touching the blood is no longer an issue today. We have running water, and flush toilets and lots of paper products to keep us clean. Beyond that, it’s probably a good thing for a woman to be alone during the time of her cycle due to physical and emotional issues that can make being around her rather difficult. However, with women now in the work force, it may not be possible for her to sequester herself “outside the camp” for a week or more. At the very least, her family needs to be more understanding at these times when life and death are occurring in her body, and they need to “give her space.” The caring and loving husband needs to lead by his good example in this.

There are other aspects to the family purity laws that I haven’t touched on in this brief discussion, but I hope this gives you a good basis to understand the overall subject. In brief, we do the best we can to observe these laws by maintaining good hygienic practices,husbands keeping their distance sexually from their wives during this time. The Torah teaches that blood, human and animal, needs to be respected and properly disposed of. Excellent hygienic practices is a big step in fulfilling these Torah requirements. This is my quick answer to a complex issue.

Leviticus 15:1–33, Dealing With Bodily Emissions—Overview. Regrading Lev 15 and laws concerning bodily discharges, it is all about good hygiene and cleanliness. Women now have feminine hygiene products that keep their blood flow contained so that it doesn’t come into contact with anyone else, so, in my estimation, this fulfills the Lev 15 requirements pertaining to that subject. If men become unclean because of a nocturnal emission, they now have quick access to showers with which to clean themselves. I don’t see that ritual uncleanness is any longer an issue as it was in the days of the tabernacle and temple. These institutions no longer exist. Now we are the temple of the Spirit of Elohim who lives in us continually because of our spiritual rebirth, cleansing of our sins by Yeshua’s blood and our continual relationship with him. The Bible in many places instructs us to be holy or set-apart as Elohim is, and that without holiness no one will see him. What is holiness? It is acting holy as Elohim is. It is following the example of Yeshua about living cleanly—especially spiritually. This mostly has to do with the heart and mind as Yeshua teaches in Matt 15:1–20. There he instructs his disciples and us about worrying less about eating with unwashed hands and more about the filth that come out of our mouths through unholy words. That is not to say that we aren’t to be concerned about physical cleanliness. The Torah has a lot to say about this when it comes to disease detection and prevention, diet, washing and cleanliness and burying bodily waste for example. The phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness” may not be in the Bible, but it’s a biblical concept. Overall, however, the Bible focuses more on inner spiritual cleanliness that outward, but we need to follow both the letter and the spirit of the law in this regard as best we can as Yeshua clearly teachings throughout his Sermon on the Mount teaching (Matt 5–7). We will be blessed in all respects in this life and the next life if we do.

Leviticus 15:19–24, Female menstruation. The laws of niddah apply to a women in her menstrual cycle. This is an area that many take for granted, but not YHVH in his Torah. A woman’s body produces life or death depending on whether an egg has been fertilized or not during her monthly cycle. There are many spiritual ramifications to this, and YHVH does not treat this matter lightly. While her egg is passing from her body she is in a state of impurity since, in a sense, death is occurring (an unfertilized egg is passing out). It is a time of grieving and emotional turmoil for the woman. This is NOT the time for a man to approach his wife sexually. To do so, as already noted, is strictly forbidden (Lev 18:19). 

Consider the benefits to the marriage of the husband and wife separating themselves sexually and emotionally at this time each month, and how it can benefit and enrich a marriage. The man learns self control and selflessness in that he is given the opportunity to be extra solicitous of his wife’s needs without expecting anything in return. What’s more, how much sweeter their time of intimacy will be when the do come back together intimately. The old adage, absence makes the heart grow fonder, could apply here. 

The Torah considers a woman to be unclean for at least seven days, even if her flow lasted only one day. So at the minimum a man is to be separated from his wife (giving her an emotional break) for at least seven days, if not longer. On the eighth day (at the minimum) or the next day after her flow has stopped, she is no longer considered unclean (The ArtScroll Tanach Series Vayikra, p. 247). Eight is the biblical number signifying new beginnings. In this case, eight relates to the new cycle of life that begins as the woman’s body begins to produce a new egg with the potential for new life to occur.


7 thoughts on “A Quick Overview of the Family Purity Laws and How They Relate to YOU

  1. Thank you for your overview on this subject. I appreciate your perspective on a woman’s function, and position in life. I had never thought about the idea PMS was Yahova’s way of telling us that it’s time to separate ourselves. It makes sense to me now. I always assumed it was part of “the curse”.

  2. Natan, In relaxing Torah, we also relax Grace and Mercy. YHVH does not relax, because of changes We have made, Scientifically and Socially. Mal’akhi 3:6. Messianics 13:7-8
    The instructions on Niddah pertain to lessons far higher than just hygiene. It is obedience that teaches us the most. Personally, I rather trust in Torah than some scientifically designed hygiene articles. Obedience not Relaxation. Ya’akov 1:17
    Yeshua came to fulfill, not relax. We are to do the same. Mattityahu 5: 17-20.
    It is Our Distance from Torah (this world) that is the problem.
    Brakhah Min, John

    • Are you suggestion that perhaps the chasidic Orthodox Jews have it right then? They do the following things:

      The men will never touch a woman including shaking hands with her since one never knows if she’s in her blood flow or not? This means not shaking hands in business deals or touching someone in an elevator.

      Women must sit in a separate section in the synagogue in case they’re in their flow and some leakage occurs, which might flow onto the chair cushion on which a man might be sitting.

      Some women live in separate dwelling quarters during their period where they’re relieved of most if not all of their household duties—a period which for some women can last a week or two.

      Some men will carry a physical barrier (e.g. a piece of cardboard) upon which to sit, to place on all chairs they sit on in all public places, since they don’t know if a woman in her flow sat there before them and they don’t want to inadvertently come into contact with any menstrual blood.

      This means that women cannot work outside the home including being nurses, teachers, secretaries or anything else, since they have to be separated for one to two weeks per month.

      I’m, sure I’m forgetting a few more requirements in this regard.

      These strictures may seem far out, but I know of people who do these things in applying these Scriptures literally to the furtherest degree, even in modern times, when, in reality, hygiene products do a pretty efficient job of keeping things contained.

      If one can follow all of these requirement, then they’re a better man than me. Our house and property were too small for separate living quarters. Didn’t have a spare bedroom. Didn’t have a separate house or bedroom for the wife during those times. Eiythrrt her or me sleeping in my shed/shop with my tools, chemicals and the squirrels or in a tent in the backyard for long periods of times just wasn’t feasible.

      These are some of the very practical issues that have to be addressed when discussing these issues.


  3. Natan,
    I was just saying that;- Vayikra 15:19-28 still stands. How one applies it to one’s circumstance is up to them. But Torah is what it is.
    So do we work Torah around our lifestyles or do we make Torah our lifestyle.
    The Chacidics and Rabbinites need to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Sensibly Simple).
    In Faith, John

    • I totally agree.

      In following the letter of Torah we must understand the bottom line or over-arching spiritual principle that YHVH’s commandments are conveying. With this understanding, we can rightly apply the principles to our lives NOW. For example, with regard to the family purity laws, one of the main over-arching principles is to maintain the sanctity of the blood, to respect it—both human and animal blood.The Torah is big on this for various reasons, which are beyond the scope of this current discussion. With regard to a women in her cycle, the principle is for others not to touch her blood. By whatever means she keeps this from happening is what matters, whether she separates herself physically from the community for a period of time, or whether she uses proper hygienic products that keeps her blood from touching others. Either way, the Torah principle is fulfilled. This is my best understanding of how to apply this principle of the sanctity of the blood. Does that make sense to you?

  4. The Yoke of Yeshua is light, because it doesn’t carry the burden of Man-Made rules, regulations, doctrines or traditions. Just Torah in the Flesh.
    Not One Jot or Tittle will be taken away (or added).

    Life: Faith Hope & Love in Yeshua Ha Mashiakh and ‘His’ Torah in TORAH (Keep MY Commandments)

    Death: Rules, regulations, Doctrines, Traditions, etc. made by men; both Jew (Chacidics/Rabbinites) and Gentile (Christians).

    The Jews make TORAH so hard & heavy; no-one can do or carry it perfectly (heavy yoke).

    The Gentiles make it so easy; a rabbit can do it (no yoke)

    Messianics Keep It Sincerely Sensible. (Yeshua’s Yoke)


    Finally got there, John

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