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family purity - for Jewish mamas - Page 3

post #41 of 56
me&3, the mikvah-on-Shabbos thing is difficult. Usually a rav will tell you to go another night.

Staying at someone else's house is a possibility, but some ravs will say not to do that because it's not, well, tzniusdik (ie., your sexual schedule becomes someone else's knowledge), and to wait.

Also, about the men's/women's mikvah issues, usually they have separate, but sometimes they're the same place with different hours.

When DH was in Tzfat (Safed) in 1991, he went to the mikvah of the Ari z'l, by the cemetery where the Ari and other great kabbalists are buried. He was there late in the afternoon, and other men were there, too, and suddenly there was a big commotion outside as a large group of women summarily kicked them out . It was a Sephardi group who were getting a bride ready for her wedding that night. (It's a tradition in many ... most? all? Sephardi communities to have a real party when taking the bride to the mikvah before her wedding ... any Sephardi mamas on here to fill in that information gap?)

We've since been to the Ari's mikvah and they've made it men only.

And as a totally off-topic aside, at that cemetery in Tzfat is where Channah and her seven sons (part of the Chanuka story) are buried, in a small cave to the side of the cemetery. I'd always known the tradition that it's very powerful to daven at the graves of the righteous, and had been to Makhpelah and Kever Rakhel ... but nothing prepared me for the intensity of being in that little cave. The time I was there was several months after a miscarriage, too, and the power/energy praying by the resting place of this woman and her seven children ... anyway, just an aside, since I was thinking about that story w/DH in the cemetery ...

- Amy
post #42 of 56
Totally OT - but I had the baby! A boy, born at home 8/13, 8 lbs. 2 oz. Nurses like a champ.

Chava
post #43 of 56

litorah, chuppah umaasaim tovim



Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov. Now you gotta change your SN.

-BelovedBird
post #44 of 56
Thread Starter 
MAZAL TOV!!!
post #45 of 56


Welcome to the world, new little brother!!! May you always be as proud of your aba and ima as you were when you picked them!!!



- Amy
post #46 of 56
Much love to your family--when do you name your new son?

Congratulations!
post #47 of 56
Thread Starter 
Has anyone read anything by Judith Hauptman? I picked her book, "Rereading the Rabbis" the other day, and just finished the chapter on Niddah. It was very interesting - she seems very thorough in going through the sources. One of her points is that it wasn't women who took upon themselves to be more stringent (adding the 7 days after the flow stops), but the rabbis. According to Hauptman, if read in context, the rabbis said that the women had taken on the stringency in regards to *ziva*, not niddah.

If true, I'm not sure that changes anything, anyway, but it's an interesting point. Thoughts, anyone?
post #48 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mom2five
As for checking with a cloth - there are a number of issues involved here. First, often you will be surprised to find that you are still staining when if you were not doing the checks you would not notice the discharge. Secondly, this is something you probably won't be able to appreciate at the moment, but many of the rabbis who are experts in examining the cloths (to determine whether the blood invalidates a counting or not) can often tell subtle distinctions that can indicate other conditions - for instance, I've personally known women who were told (correctly) they were pregnant, had a tubal pregnancy or that they should follow up with an OB b/c the blood on the cloth indicated uterine cancer (we should never know from it!). This is the level of training in the distinctions between types of bleeding they have. Just so you should know - the cloths (and underwear!) can be submitted anonomously.
I've been thinking about this "checking" issue a bit this week (since this is THE week...) I think it's perhaps a bit, well, excessive. If you have done the hefsek check, then why do you need to check EVERY day, TWICE a day, for 7 days? Just on the off chance that you may find a spot or something that could perhaps, like Chava says above, be diagnosed by a rabbi as something unusual? I figure that if there's any discharge, you'll see it on your underwear, and you can then do a check...

Well, perhaps I'm just too scatter-brained to remember to check twice a day, but I do really feel that it's a bit excessive. Do you disagree? I'd like to hear anyone else's POV. TIA!
post #49 of 56
Chava,
A huge Mazal Tov! hope you and your family are enjoying this special time together.
Nylika
post #50 of 56
Quote:
... by me&3
... If you have done the hefsek check, then why do you need to check EVERY day, TWICE a day, for 7 days? Just on the off chance that you may find a spot or something that could perhaps, like Chava says above, be diagnosed by a rabbi as something unusual? I figure that if there's any discharge, you'll see it on your underwear, and you can then do a check...
Aaah, once again, taking the mundane/practical and remembering that the purpose of it all is holy/spiritual.

The analogy I love is to Kabbalat Shabbat (the prayers said just as the Sabbath is beginning). There are six Tehillim (Psalms) and then the L'kha Dodi, the prayer welcoming the Sabbath Bride. And those six Tehillim are a spiritual fixing for each day of the week, right? So that when Shabbos comes, we are whole and ready for it.

Well, those six days of checking are, to me, a physical fixing for the six days of the week for my body. When I was preparing for marriage, they were a fixing for whatever brokenness I had sexually (and being a ba'al t'shuva ... a "returnee" to religious life ... I had a lot to fix), and ever since they're a fixing for anything I've done to increase the brokenness of my body at all.
Particularly important since mama'hood, since my children need me to be whole and healthy, right? And the seventh day is my preparation for being a bride, for my Yom Kippur, like the Kohen Gadol, preparing for my immersion to enter the Holy of Holies ...

And as for the twice a day, well, any "brokenness" I may cause can happen any time of day, and sometimes vigilance is required not to screw up ...

Also, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom kippur it's ten days, right? Two days for R'H, then seven intermediate days, and then Yom Kippur is one day. So the seven intermediate days are my "shiva neki'im," my seven days of forgiven uplift, as it were, before my Yom Kippur ... mikvah ...

I know, BT meshugas is higher and deeper than most, right? (Sorry for the Yiddish. In plain English, that meant we "born agains" are all nuts. In all faiths )

- Amy
post #51 of 56
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your insight, Amy. I don't think it's mishegas at all - actually, I found it quote profound!!! (or is it just that I like BT mishegas? )

I'm not a very detail oriented person in my private life... so I think that a lot of these detail-i sort of things just rub me the wrong way, perhaps. Dunno...

Someone suggested earlier in this thread a book - _Total Immersion_, I think it was. I want to go find that to read!
post #52 of 56
Quote:
Originally posted by me&3


I've been thinking about this "checking" issue a bit this week (since this is THE week...) I think it's perhaps a bit, well, excessive. If you have done the hefsek check, then why do you need to check EVERY day, TWICE a day, for 7 days? Just on the off chance that you may find a spot or something that could perhaps, like Chava says above, be diagnosed by a rabbi as something unusual? I figure that if there's any discharge, you'll see it on your underwear, and you can then do a check...

Well, perhaps I'm just too scatter-brained to remember to check twice a day, but I do really feel that it's a bit excessive. Do you disagree? I'd like to hear anyone else's POV. TIA!
Yep, I disagree that it is excessive.
The requirement is that you are sure they are 7 days free of blood. The torah does not hold by assumptions of halachic issues, ecspecially in an area as important as this. The blood may stop and start again, without a strong flow and may not get to the underwear, but be washed away with a shower or wiped away with toilet paper. If the blood was there there were not shiva nikkim. The ONLY way to know if there is bleeding from the uterus is to check. Certainly checking with a soft cloth is no worse than using a tampon, a keeper, or having sex. If it is a matter of discomfort for you, speak to your rabbi.

As far as whether shiva nikiim were implimented by the women themselves or the rabbis, Chava knows better than me. I have never heard of the book you mentioned. To me, honestly, it doesn't really matter. I follow the mitzva the way I studied it, from the women and rabbis I discussed it with, the way it is normally done by those who practice it. When moshiach comes we can figure out exactly what we need to fine tune as far as lost mesorah goes.
Of course I am comfortable doing it that way, if you are not I would advise you to find a rabbi to discuss it with. Good Luck


-BelovedBird
post #53 of 56
Oh,and Amy I LOVE your BT meshuganess. Keep it coming!

-BelovedBird
post #54 of 56
Thread Starter 
Hi BB - for me, I think it's more a matter of scatter-brainedness and minor annoyance than a discomfort. After all, it doesn't hurt. (Although it could happen - a friend of mine said that she's allergic to the cloths and her rav told her she only has to do a certain amount of the checks - I think 3 days of the 7.)

If I can keep in mind Amy's words, perhaps I'll be able to lift this to a higher spiritual level.
post #55 of 56
Thread Starter 
Just a little update- I read _Total Immersion_ and was really inspired!!! It's 'Mikvah Anthology"- chockfull of many wonderful stories, and insights on the mikvah. I was really awed by some of the stories of women who had to endure hardship to do this mitzvah (especially Freida Sossonko's story, which was the last one in the book).

I also really was impressed by some of the "In Theory and Practice" chapters, such as Chanoch Shuster's chapter, "Thinking Like a Jew." One of the quotes of his I loved was, "There may be a single word to sum up Judaism, and of course that word must be understood: totality. All the man, all the time, in every place, underall cicrumstances,in every activity, in every fiber of his being, can serve G-d, can apprehend Him, can communicate with Him..."

WOW!! Isn't that profound???

Anyway, I loved the mikvah, and am already looking forward to next month.
post #56 of 56
The mikvah is a powerful thing, those of us in the babies/extendednursing/morebabies cycle don't get to do it that much.

It is, however, sometimes painful for women TTC with fertility problems, which was pointed out to me early in my marriage (before my miscarriages) when I was waxing lyrical about it in the waiting room. Every month that a woman goes to the mikvah is another chance at conception, but for someone having a hard time, it is also ... heavy.

Just a thought.

- Amy
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