Guidance for Sleeping Arrangements for a Chuppat Niddah


What do you advise regarding reasonable sleeping arrangements in the case of chuppat niddah (where halakha requires that one observe the laws of yichud)? This will be relevant for our upcoming wedding.


Mazal Tov on the upcoming wedding. Regarding sleeping arrangements—I take the position that even if the two of you are sharing an apartment, it is not yichud if you are in separate rooms with a closed door between you (some require that the woman’s door be locked. I do not require this). (See Chazon Ish Even HaEzer 34:1)

Therefore, what I advise is that until bedtime, when both of you are in the apartment, you leave the front door slightly ajar (closing the bolt lock when it is not engaged will do the trick—it will bang against the lock mechanism keeping the door open). (SA EH 22:9) If that is not reasonable given concerns for safety, etc., then have the door unlocked and tell a friend (who you feel comfortable sharing this with) that s/he should feel comfortable dropping by at any time without calling ahead—and just come right in (Igrot Moshe EH 4:65:4). Alternatively, you can give the friend a key, with the same instructions. And maybe s/he should actually do it once (see Davar Halacha 3:3).

That’s as far as when you are both awake. You will be sleeping in different rooms, whether different bedrooms or a bedroom and the living room couch. If the door is ajar or unlocked, as per the above, then when person 2 is ready to go to sleep (after person 1 has gone to his/her bedroom to go to sleep), s/he should lock the door and then go to sleep. This way when the yichud situation could be created (the front door is locked)—you are already in separate rooms with a door between you. In the morning, the first person up, when they leave their room, should open/unlock the front door, so when the other person is up, there won’t be yichud.

If you are just going the “give the friend a key, but lock the door” route, then, in theory, you might not need all the above, since, in theory, it is never yichud. But I think that is stretching things too far because, in reality, you are not afraid that the friend might pop in in the middle of the night. So in such a case, just make sure that you are sleeping in rooms separated by a closed door, and also that if you are both up in the middle of the night, that you also be in separate rooms with a door between you.

By the way—it is important to know that if a couple has had intercourse before the wedding then there is no need for yichud after the chuppah (Shakh YD 192:9).

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