1

The date of the menses is established by three consecutive times. That is, if menstruation began three consecutive times, at a similar time, then this date is her established date of the menses. There are women who establish their periodic menses at certain days of the month. For instance, if she perceived the flow three consecutive times, each time on Rosh Chodesh (New Moon), then her established menses is on Rosh Chodesh. Also if she perceived it three consecutive times on the fifth of the Jewish-Hebrew month, then the fifth day of the Jewish-Hebrew month is the established day of her menses. This way of reckoning is referred to as "Menses determined by days," for it is consistently the same day in the month. And even though the number of days between one perception and the other is not always alike, for some months consist of only twenty-nine days, while others consist of thirty days, nevertheless, since she is accustomed to perceive on a certain day of the month, this day is her established day of the menses.

א

כָּל וֶסֶת נִקְּבָּע בְּשָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים רְצוּפוֹת, שֶׁאִם רָאֲתָה שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים רְצוּפוֹת בִּזְמַן שָׁוֶה כְּפַעַם בְּפַעַם, אֲזַי זְמַן זֶה הוּא לָהּ לְוֶסֶת קָבוּעַ. יֵשׁ נָשִּׁים שֶׁהֵן קוֹבְעוֹת וֶסְתָּן בְּיָמִים שָׁוִים בַּחֹדֶשׁ, כְּגוֹן שֶרָאֲתָה שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים רְצוּפוֹת, כָּל פַּעַם בְּרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ, וַהֲרֵי לָהּ וֶסֶת קָבוּעַ בְּרֹאשׂ חֹדֶשׁ. וְכֵן אִם רָאֲתָה שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים בַּחֲמִשָּׁה יָמִים בַּחֹדֶשׁ, אֲזַי יוֹם חֲמִישִי בַּחֹדֶשׁ הוּא יוֹם וֶסֶת קָבוּעַ שֶׁלָּהּ, וְזֶה נִקְרָא וֶסֶת הַיָּמִים, שֶׁקָּבְעָה בְּיוֹם יָדוּעַ בַּחֹדֶשׁ. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּסְפַּר הַיָמִים אֲשֶר בֵּין רְאִיָה לִרְאִיָה אֵינָם שָוִים, כִּי יֵשׁ חֳדָשִׁים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶם רַק תִּשְׁעָה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, וְיֵשׁ מִשְּׁלשִׁים יוֹם, מִכָּל מָקוֹם כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִיא לְמוּדָה לִרְאוֹת בְּיוֹם קָבוּעַ בַּחֹדֶשׁ, הֲוֵי לָהּ יוֹם זֶה וֶסֶת קָבוּעַ.

2

Most women, however, are accustomed to establish a mensal pattern of "equal intervals", which is a separation from one perception to another of an equal number of intervening days. For instance, if she perceives a flow and twenty-five days elapse, or thirty days or thirty-two days or the like, and following she again perceives a flow. If she had these perceptions on three consecutive equal1 intervals, this is her established date of the menses, and is referred to as the menses of "equal intervals." And after another interruption of that number of days, the following day is her established date of the menses. Since the menses cannot be established by less than three times, and an interval cannot be recognized by less than two perceptions; therefore, establishment of the menses of equal intervals requires four perceptions. For instance, if she perceived a flow today, followed by an interval of twenty-five days, and she perceived, followed again by an interval of twenty-five days, and she perceived, followed again by an interval of twenty-five days, and she perceived, she has had four perceptions, between which there were three equal intervals, and has thereby established her menses.

ב

אֲבָל רֹב הַנָּשִּׁים, דַּרְכָּן לִקְבֹּעַ וֶסְתָּן בְּהַפְלָגוֹת שָׁווֹת, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁהִיא מַפְלֶגֶת וּמְחַלֶּקֶת בֵּין רְאִיָה לִרְאִיָה, יָמִים שָׁוִים בְּמִסְפָר. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִיא רוֹאָה פַּעַם אַחַת וּמַפְסֶקֶת חֲמִשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם אוֹ שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם אוֹ שְׁנַיִם וּשְׁלשִׁים יוֹם וְכַדוֹמֶה, וְחוֹזֶרֶת וְרוֹאָה. אִם עָשְׂתָה שָׁלֹשׁ הַפְלָגוֹת שָׁוֹות וּרְצוּפוֹת, הֲוֵי לָהּ וֶסֶת קָבוּעַ. וְזֶה נִקְרָא וֶסֶת הַפְלָגוֹת. וּלְאַחַר שֶׁתַּפְלִיג שׁוּב יָמִים בְּמִסְפַּר אֵלּוּ, אֲזַי הַיוֹם הַבָּא הוּא יוֹם וֶסֶת קָבוּעַ שֶׁלָּהּ. וְכֵיוָן שֶׁכָּל וֶסֶת אֵינוֹ נִקְבָּע בְּפָחוֹת מִשָּׁלשׁ פְּעָמִים, וְהַפְלָגָה אֵינָהּ נִכֶּרֶת אֶלָּא בִּשְׁתֵּי רְאִיּוֹת, לָכֵן לְוֶסֶת הַפְלָגוֹת צְרִיכוֹת אַרְבַּע רְאִיוֹת, כְּגוֹן שֶׁרָאֲתָה הַיּוֹם, וְהִפְלִיגָה חֲמִשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם וְרָאֲתָה, וְשׁוּב הִפְלִיגָה חֲמִשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם וְרָאֲתָה, וְשׁוּב הִפְלִיגָה חֲמִשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם וְרָאֲתָה הֲרֵי רָאֲתָה אַרְבַּע פְּעָמִים, אֲשֶׁר בֵּינֵיהֶן שָׁלֹשׁ הַפְלָגוֹת שָׁוֹות, וְקָבְעָה וָסֶת.

3

There are some women who do not have an established date of perception, neither of the days of the month, nor of equal intervals, but do experience various physical symptoms.2 For instance, it is charactaristic of her to yawn before menstruation, in the manner of one who stretches his arms from weariness, or like a person who opens his mouth (yawns) from drowsiness, or like a person who burps because of the food he has eaten—all of these are included in "yawning." Similarly, if she flatuates or sneezes, or feels some pain in the region of the navel or the womb, or she has an attack of chills and fever, or the hair of her body bristles, or her head and (her) limbs grow heavy. If she experienced any of these symptoms, on three consecutive periods, and immediately began menstruation, this symptom serves as her established date of menses. And this is referred to as "Menses regulated by physical symptoms."3 Yawning and sneezing only when repeated many times consecutively are regarded as symptoms by which to establish a date of menses, but if she yawns or sneezes one time, the date of menses is not established for it is a natural and normal thing. The date of menses is established by symptoms only if she perceived each of the three times through one particular symptom. But if once it occurs through one symptom and once through another symptom, it is not considered established.

ג

וְיֵשׁ נָשִים, שֶׁאֵין לָהֶן יוֹם קָבוּעַ לִרְאוֹת, לֹא בִימֵי הַחֹדֶשׁ, וְלֹא בְהַפְלָגוֹת שָׁווֹת, אֲבָל יֵשׁ לָהֶן סִימָנִים בְּגוּפָן, כְּגוֹן שֶׁדַּרְכָּהּ הִיא, שֶׁקֹּדֶם רְאִיָתָהּ הִיא מְפַהֶקֶת, דְּהַיְנוּ, כְּאָדָם שֶׁפּושֵׁט זְרוֹעוֹתָיו מֵחֲמַת כֹּבֶד, אוֹ כְּאָדָם שֶׁפּוֹתֵחַ פִּיו מֵחֲמַת כֹּבֶד, אוֹ כְּאָדָם שֶׁמּוֹצִיא קוֹל דֶּרֶךְ הַגָּרוֹן מֵחֲמַת הַמַּאֲכָל שֶׁאָכַל, כָּל אֵלּוּ עִנְיָנֵי פִהוּק הֵן. וְכֵן אִם מִתְעַטֶּשֶׁת דֶּרֶךְ מַטָּה אוֹ דֶּרֶךְ מַעְלָה, אוֹ מַרְגֶשֶׁת אֵיזֶה מֵחוֹשׁ נֶגֶד טַבּוּרָהּ אוֹ בְּבֵית הָרֶחֶם, אוֹ שֶׁאָחֲזוּהָ צִירֵי הַקַּדַּחַת, אוֹ סָמְרוּ שַׂעֲרוֹת בְּשָׂרָהּ, אוֹ שֶׁרֹאשָׁהּ וְאֵבָרֶיהָ כְּבֵדִים עָלֶיהָ, כֹּל שֶׁהֻחְזְקָה שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים רְצוּפוֹת שֶׁבָּא לָהּ אֶחָד מִן הַמִּקְרִים הַנִּזְכָּרִים, וְאַחַר כָּךְ רָאֲתָה דָם, הֲרֵי זוֹ קָבְעָה וֶסֶת, וְזֶה נִקְרָא וֶסֶת הַגוּף. וְדַוְקָא פִּהוּק וְעִטּוּשׁ כַּמָּה פְעָמִים זוֹ אַחַר זוֹ הֲוֵּי סִימָן וֶסֶת, וְקָבְעָה בָּהֶם. אֲבָל מִשּׁוּם פִּהוּק וְעִטּוּשׁ פַּעַם אַחַת, אֵין הַוֶּסֶת נִקְבָּע, כִּי זֶה דֶרֶךְ כָּל הָאָדָם. וְדַוְקָא שֶׁקָּבְעָה כָּל שָׁלֹשׁ הַפְּעָמִים עַל יְדֵי מִקְרֶה אֶחָד. אֲבָל אִם פַּעַם בְּמִקְרֶה זֶה וּפַעַם בְּמִקְרֶה זֶה, לֹא הֲוֵי קְבִיעוּת.

4

Some women establish their menstrual periods by monthly, or by equal intervals, combined with yawning, sneezing, or similar physical symptoms. For instance, every fifth day of the month she yawns or sneezes, and then perceives the flow, or when twenty-five days from perception elapse, she yawns or sneezes, and then perceives the flow. This is referred to as "menses regulated by combining factors." That is, it is a combination of a regular date and a physical symptom. If this pattern occurs three (consecutive) times, then, when that regular day arrives, and she yawns or sneezes, she must be concerned about her perception. But with the arrival of that day alone, or with yawning and sneezing alone, she need not be concerned, since she has regulated her term only with the two factors combined.

ד

וְיֵשׁ שֶׁקּוֹבְעוֹת לְיָמִים אוֹ לְהַפְלָגוֹת שָׁוֹוֹת בְּצֵרוּף פִּהוּק וְעִטּוּשׁ וְכַדּוֹמֶה. דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁבְּכָל חֲמִשָׁה יָמִים בַּחֹדֶשׁ, הִיא מְפַהֶקֶת אוֹ מִתְעַטֶּשֶׁת וְאַחַר כָּךְ הִיא רוֹאָה, אוֹ כְּשֶׁהִיא מַפְלֶגֶת מִרְאִיָה חֲמִשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, הִיא מְפַהֶרֶת אוֹ מִתְעַטֶּשֶׁת וְאַחַר כָּךְ הִיא רוֹאָה. וְזֶה נִקְרָא וֶסֶת הַמֻּרְכָּב, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁהוּא מֻרְכָּב מִיוֹם שָוֶה עִם סִימָן הַגוּף. אִם קָבְעָה כֵן שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים, אֲזַי כְּשֶּׁמַגִּיעַ הַיּוֹם הַמֻּגְבָּל וְהִיא מְפַהֶקֶת אוֹ מִתְעַטֶּשֶׁת, חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לוֹ. אֲבָל בְּיוֹם גְּרִידָא אוֹ בְּפִהוּק וְעִטוּשׁ גְּרִידָא, אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לָחוֹּש, כֵּיוָן שֶׁלֹּא קָבְעָה אֶלָּא בְּתַרְוַיְהוּ כַּהֲדָדֵי.

5

A woman whose periods are regular, is at all other times presumed to be menstrually clean, and her husband may have marital relations with her, and does not have to inquire about her status. Even if she is partly asleep he may have marital relations with her, and she does not need to examine herself, either before marital relations or afterwards. On the contrary, she should not examine herself in the presence of her husband,4 so that he will not be apprehensive, thinking she probably felt something, for if she did not feel something she would not have examined herself. Therefore if she examines herself in his presence, before having marital relations, there is cause for concern, that perhaps because of his apprehension he might keep away from her.5 And if she examines herself in his presence after having marital relations, there is cause for concern that perhaps he will be apprehensive, thinking that she probably felt something while having marital relations, and will keep away from her the next time. Therefore, she should not examine herself in her husband's presence. But if not in her husband's presence, the more a woman examines herself, the more praiseworthy she is.

ה

כָּל אִשָּׁה שֶׁיֵשׁ לָהּ וֶסֶת קָבוּעַ, הֲרֵי זוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בִּשְׁעַת וֶסְתָּהּ בְּחֶזְקַת טְהוֹרָה, וּבַעְלָהּ בָּא עָלֶיהָ, וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִשְׁאֹל אוֹתָהּ כְּלוּם. וַאֲפִלּוּ הִיא יְשֵׁנָה קְצָת, יָכוֹל לָבוֹא עָלֶיהָ, וְאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה בְדִיקָה לֹא לִפְנֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ וְלֹא לְאַחַר תַּשְׁמִישׁ. וְאַדְּרַבָּא, אֵין לָהּ לִבְדֹּק אֶת עַצְמָהּ בִּפְנֵי בַעְלָהּ, שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא לִבּוֹ נוֹקְפוֹ לַחְשֹׁב מִסְּתָּמָא הִרְגִּישָׁה, שֶׁאִם לֹא הִרְגִישָׁה לֹא הָיְתָה בוֹדֶקֶת. וְלָכֵן אִם תִּבְדֹּק בְּפָנָיו לִפְנֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ, אִכָּא לְמֵיחָשׁ, שֶׁמָּא מֵחֲמַת שֶיִהְיֶה לִבּוֹ נוֹקְפוֹ יִפְרוֹשׁ אֶת עַצְמוֹ מִמֶּנָה. וְאִם תִּבְדֹּק בְפָנָיו לְאַחַר תַּשְׁמִישׁ, אִכָּא לְמֵיחָש, שֶׁמָּא יְהֵא לִבּוֹ נוֹקְפוֹ לַחְשֹׁב, דְּמִסְּתָמָא הִרְגִּישָׁה בִּשְעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ, וְיִפְרוֹשׁ אֶת עַצְמוֹ בְפַעַם אַחֶרֶת. וְעַל כֵּן לֹא תִבְדֹּק בִּפְנֵי בַעְלָהּ. אֲבָל שֶׁלֹּא בִפְנֵי בַעְלָהּ, כָּל אִשָּׁה שֶׁמַּרְבֶּה לִבְדֹּק אֶת עַצְמָהּ, הֲרֵי זוֹ מְשֻׁבָּחַת.

6

A woman whose periods are totally irregular should examine herself before and after having marital relations. The husband, too, should wipe himself6 after marital relation's to ascertain whether there is a drop of blood. However, if her flow of blood is assumed to have ceased, for instance, a pregnant woman after the first three months of pregnancy, or one who nurses, or a woman who is old, these need not examine themselves.

ו

אִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ וֶסֶת קָבוּעַ כְּלָל, יֵש לָהּ לִבְדֹּק אֶת עַצְמָהּ לִפְנֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ וּלְאַחַר תַּשְׁמִישׁ, וְגַם הַבַּעַל יֶשׁ לוֹ לְקַנֵּחַ אֶת עַצְמוֹ לְאַחַר תַּשְׁמִישׁ וְלִרְאוֹת אִם לֹא נִמְצֵאת אֵיזוֹ טִפַּת דָּם. וְאַךְ כְּשֶׁהִיא בְחֶזְקַת מְסֻלֶקֶת מִדָּמִים, כְּגוֹן מְעֻבֶּרֶת לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים, אוֹ מֵינִיקָה אוֹ זְקֵנָה, אֵלּוּ אֵינָן צְרִיכוֹת בְּדִיקָה.

7

There are women who do not have a regular cycle, but have, nevertheless, a certain number of days during which they do not perceive any flow. For instance, a woman who has ascertained that during the twenty-five days after her perception of a flow, she does not perceive another flow, but only after that, and then she has no definite date, because sometimes she delays one day, or two or three days. Since it has been established three times, that during these days she does not perceive, a woman until twenty-five days elapse, is regarded during these days like a woman who has a regular menstrual cycle. But on the days that follow when she is uncertain, and cannot be presumed to be menstrually clean, she is forbidden to her husband.

ז

וְיֵשׁ נָשִׁים שֶׁאֵין לָהֶן וֶסֶת קָבוּעַ מַמָּשׁ, אֲבָל יֵשׁ לָהֶן עַל כָּל פָּנִים מִסְפַּר יָמִים יְדוּעִים שֶׁבָּהֶם אֵינָן רוֹאוֹת, כְּגוֹן אִשָּׁה שֶׁהִיא מֻחְזֶקֶת שֶבְּכָל חֲמִשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם לְאַחַר רְאִיָתָהּ אֵינָהּ חוֹזֶרֶת וְרוֹאָה, אֶלָּא אַחַר כָּךְ, וְאָז אֵין לָהּ יוֹם קָבוּעַ, שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים הִיא מְאַחֶרֶת יוֹם אוֹ יוֹמַיִם אוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים, אִֹשָּה כָּזוֹ עַד חֲמִשָּׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם, כֵּיוָן שֶהֻחְזְקָה שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים שֶׁבְּיָמִים אֵלּוּ אֵינָהּ רוֹאָה, דִּינָהּ בַּיָמִים הָאֵלּוּ כְּמוֹ אִשָּׁה שֶׁיֵשׁ לָהּ וֶסֶת קָבוּע. וּבַיָמִים שֶלְּאַחַר כָּךְ, שֶׁהִיא נְבוֹכָה בָהֶם וְאֵין לָהּ בָּהֶם חֶזְקַת טָהֳרָה, אֲסוּרָ לְבַעְלָהּ (וְעַיֵּן יו"ד סִימָן קפה סָעִיף ב ברמ"א, ובספרי לחם ושמלה סִימָן קפו, לחם, סָעִיף קטן ו)