Should the menstrual prohibition be kept literally by Christians? Medieval Christian authors often argued that only Old Testament prohibitions related to morality are binding for Christians, for example, the prohibitions of killing or stealing, but not those which do not have an apparent moral value, for example, the biblical dietary laws. After the coming of Christ and the establishment of the New Law, the prohibitions of the Old Testament are no longer necessary, at least not literally. Is the menstrual prohibition still binding? Is it related to morality? If the texts in Leviticus are at least ambiguous regarding this last question, the text in Ezekiel is much more explicit. It places the question of relations with a menstruant together with several unquestionably morality-related behaviors. No Christian author could have said that a man who does not have relations with his neighbor’s wife, does not oppress anyone, or does not lend money on interest is not to be praised. Could they single out the avoidance of relations with a menstruating woman as different from everything else in the same list?
Evyatar Marienberg, “‘Qui coierit cum muliere in fluxu menstruo… interficientur ambo‘ (Lev. 20:18) – The Biblical Prohibition of Sexual Relations with a Menstruant in the Eyes of Some Medieval Christian Theologians”, in Shoshannat Yaakov: Jewish and Iranian Studies in Honor of Yaakov Elman, Edited by Samuel Secunda and Steven Fine (Leiden: Brill, 2012), 272-273.