I've read that one of the reasons behind the mitzvah of Family Purity is to prevent apathy from creeping into a marriage—the monthly period of separation constantly infusing renewed passion into the relationship. But what happens when a woman goes into menopause, is apathy okay at that point?


Of course apathy is never acceptable in any area of life, and certainly not in the relationship between husband and wife.

The reality is that during the expanses of time when a woman and her husband need to be aware of their permitted or prohibited intimate interactions, they are training their psyches to be sensitive towards each other, to know the feeling of longing and desire, and practice self discipline. This developed inner sense of one another dispels apathy even after this imposed discipline is no longer present.

By the time a woman reaches menopause, hopefully having lived an entire married life when she and her husband were not always available to each other on a whim, that sense of appreciation and wonder has been honed and is deeply ingrained.

Though the above reason is sound and logical, we must not forget that ultimately the mitzvah of Family Purity is a divine command—one that we can never fully comprehend. So, ultimately, the reason why we cease observing the laws of Family Purity at menopause is because that is how G‑d willed it...

Bronya Shaffer for