The Jewish Laws of Separation also called the Laws of Family Purity, Taharat Ha-Mishpachah, as interpreted from Leviticus 15:19 -24, are taken very seriously here in Israel. I don’t participate in these laws personally as a single non-observant woman yet I am reminded of them as I sleep in them every night.
Essentially, these family purity laws apply to a married woman as she enters the halachic status of niddah. This is mostly when she experiences menstruation or post-childbirth. While a married woman is niddah, couples are not permitted any physical contact. Any contact including touching hands while walking down the street… In order to prevent marital relations from inadvertently taking place at the time that a woman is niddah, couples observe times of separation vestot or onot perishah.
Tohorat Ha-mishpacha today instructs beds in Israel hotels to have the options to be together or separate. Hence the reason that all hotel beds in Israel are twin beds with the option to be together or for separation. The photo above is a photo of one of the typical hotel rooms I have been staying in.
A married woman remains in niddah, prohibiting intimacy with her partner, until she has removed all barriers that could come between her body, g*d, men and most specifically, water. These spiritual and physical barriers, chatzitzot, are removed and then she immerses herself in the mikveh. Once a woman has immersed herself in the mikveh she is no longer niddah and is now tehorah ready to touch and be touched again…