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Talk to me about taharat ha'mishpacha - Page 2

post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by LookMommy! View Post
I still don't understand why un unmarried woman is sexually active shouldn't have to go?
Technically, she should. Not the kind of thing most O rabbis want publicized, but I have known women that were told - 'if you are going to dtd, you should dip first'. Sleeping with someone who is nidda is a separate and much more serious issue than not being married.

Quote:
Originally Posted by talk de jour View Post
You know, I always wondered how much it cost... $18?!
Outside of Israel the mikvah has to support the facilities (not cheap!) plus pay the mikvah lady. I think it is cheaper in Israel where the Religious Affairs Ministry pays for much of the cost. But whereever a person is, cost is not a deterant as the fee will be waived if it is a problem.

While I find the observance of 'family purity' (the English translation of taharas hamispocha) meaningful and good for my relationship with my dh, I think it would be nearly impossible with a spouse that wasn't on-board with the program. It really is something you are both observing, regardless of who it is that is 'dunking'.
post #22 of 54
I remember my high school teacher DID teach us that IF you are going to have sex before marriage (which they obviously didn't advise) it is better to dunk first.

Regarding the fee: When Dh was unemployed the Mikva lady REFUSED my money. She refused to place a financial hardship on us. If you can't pay, tell them. Money should not be a deterant to doing mikva.
post #23 of 54
This is fascinating to me.

Question- how would this work for a woman who ovulates early? I ovulate on day 11, and actually bleed for up to 9 days, would I be considered infertile? Are there "exceptions" made to the rules?

As a Catholic who uses Natural Family Planning, and who basically can only dtd for 1.5 to 2 weeks a month when we are avoiding, I can totally see the spiritual connection to this, as dh and I saw using NFP to avoid brought us closer to each other and G-d.
post #24 of 54
How much you go depends on your menstrual circumstances. First year and change of marriage, when we weren't conceiving, I went every month. Since pregnancies started coming I haven't had many periods, so went post-miscarriages, post-partum, and whenever my periods started showing up again with all this nursing and tandem nursing business.

Yes, DH goes to the mikva. Regularly. As often as possible. At least every Friday (erev Shabbos) and before holidays, etc. That's at a minimum. Many other Orthodox men do that regularly, too.

Mikva is not just for taharas ha'mishpakha. Remembering the night my rebbe z'l passed away, I was still single and hadn't been to the mikva ever, so many of the khevre went to the mikva before being shomrei the guf ("guarding" the body), and the mikva lady was cool with whoever showed up (despite the ring-checking rumor) ... but I didn't do it because I also hate swimming and going under the water so just couldn't bring myself to do it if I didn't absolutely have to. Sigh.



The cost thing, agreeing with mom2seven. They've got to pay for the facilities and their upkeep and the laundry (lots of towels and bathrobes, right?) and supplies (soap, shampoo, nail polish remover, q-tips, etc., etc., etc.) but I've never ever heard of anyone being turned away for money issues.

This is contrasted, BTW, with men's mikvas, where some mikva'ot (in Israel, anyway) have turnstiles that you have to pay to even enter the facility.




Peppermint, going to the mikva is seven days after the cessation of menstruation. When you ovulate doesn't figure into the thing, unless there are fertility issues and a halakhic decision is made regarding the timing of immersion. But the rebbetzins on board could answer that better than I. By far.
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post
Peppermint, going to the mikva is seven days after the cessation of menstruation. When you ovulate doesn't figure into the thing, unless there are fertility issues and a halakhic decision is made regarding the timing of immersion. But the rebbetzins on board could answer that better than I. By far.
I read that in the link (about the 7 days) which is why I am wondering how that would work for someone with cycles like mine. If we couldn't have sex until 7 days after my bleeding ended, I would never get pregnant. Would that be my sacrifice, considered a medical problem that I ovulate "too early" or would there be exceptions made? I hope I don't sound stupid, I am certainly ignorant about this. I don't know any Orthodox Jewish people IRL to ask.
post #26 of 54
Thanks Chava for the pre-marital sex info. Too late, but good to know.

I agree that the cost is justified (although really in Israel I think it is not free, and is proportionally to our salary about the same), and it's not that I can't afford it, it's just I'm frugal (cheap?) now that I'm not working (much) and hate the thought of paying for a "bath" (especially since our apt came with a jacuzzi bath witch I never use). Plus a babysitter (occasionally), and it really adds up.

No, dh is not on board. He is curiously inconsistent about lots of things in Judaism. His B'nei Akiva upbringing, a year of mandatory yeshiva, plus an M.A. in Biblical Studies have left him with a lot of contradictory viewpoints. He doesn't mind if I go, but considers it a bit silly, I think. But now I'm thinking of asking around if there are any nicer mikvehs in the area, and I'll try again, now that at least I'm not nursing. Something to think about...
post #27 of 54
I found this site, written by women who practice family purity. It goes into great detail about the how-to's.

http://www.yoatzot.org/
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppermint View Post
I read that in the link (about the 7 days) which is why I am wondering how that would work for someone with cycles like mine. If we couldn't have sex until 7 days after my bleeding ended, I would never get pregnant. Would that be my sacrifice, considered a medical problem that I ovulate "too early" or would there be exceptions made? I hope I don't sound stupid, I am certainly ignorant about this. I don't know any Orthodox Jewish people IRL to ask.
I've asked about this before as I too have short cycles (I have ovulated as early as CD 5 and as "late" as CD 14, but average somewhere around CD 8). My mother spoke with a woman who is frum and she said that I might be put on the pill to regulate my cycle a bit, or that something else would be done. The laws of family purity are never designed to prevent a woman from getting pregnant; in fact, for most women they optimize the opportunity for pregnancy.

I've never been to mikvah, but I have thought about it. The thing is, I don't think I could bring myself to do it if I wasn't prepared to get pregnant every cycle (and I'm so totally not! ). I mean, I'm sure that if I was frum I could find a rabbi who would see that, for example, Bella really really needs her milk and that it'd be a bad thing for me to get pregnant right now because it could seriously compromise her health, but I'm not frum and I don't even know too many people who go to mikvah regularly. I'm also not remotely ready to have another child, for any number of reasons. I can see the benefits, and something about the idea really resonates with me (not all of observant Jewish traditions/laws do), but it's not going to happen at this stage of my life.
post #29 of 54
http://www.jewishwomenshealth.org/Ar...icle=9&topic=3

please check this out in regards to early ovulation. As a PP stated, assuming a 28 day cycle, and a 5-7 day period, a woman observing THM would be ready to resume sexual intimacy when she is ovulating, so you would guarantee interest of both parties and a lot male contribution, since the couple wouldn't have had sex for at least 2 weeks.

Rynna, going to the mikvah does not have to be about having babies. Plenty of women using birth control are regular users.

Also, in general a man using the mikvah is usually more of a nice thing, rather than an actual requirement, according to Halacha, so some men go every week before shabbat, some only before holidays, some not at all.

I've been observing since my husband and I got married, 8 years ago. I find it great at times and difficult at others, as with so many mitzvot. But I have never regretted how it plays out in our lives.

Abby
post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL View Post
I found this site, written by women who practice family purity. It goes into great detail about the how-to's.

http://www.yoatzot.org/

It's actually a site written by women who are Torah scholars who are experts in the halakhic issues surrounding taharat ha'mishpakha. And yeah, the married ones among them certainly practice it as well.
post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppermint View Post
I read that in the link (about the 7 days) which is why I am wondering how that would work for someone with cycles like mine. If we couldn't have sex until 7 days after my bleeding ended, I would never get pregnant. Would that be my sacrifice, considered a medical problem that I ovulate "too early" or would there be exceptions made? I hope I don't sound stupid, I am certainly ignorant about this. I don't know any Orthodox Jewish people IRL to ask.

I actually moderate a forum (and even ran a similar site) that deals with Jewish couples and infertility. The site is ran by orthodox and chassidic Jews/Rabbis so I'm relatively knowledgeable about the subject.

I don't know everything and there are times when only a Rabbi can answer you but I can at least give ideas of what option are available.

NOTE: I can NOT answer for a Rabbi. I can NOT give the final halacha. I can just tell you what options some women have been given. If anyone DOES have this situation, I can help put them in touch with someone who CAN give a final halachic answer.

Would you prefer to pm me or speak on the board?
post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraFR View Post
I actually moderate a forum (and even ran a similar site) that deals with Jewish couples and infertility. The site is ran by orthodox and chassidic Jews/Rabbis so I'm relatively knowledgeable about the subject.

I don't know everything and there are times when only a Rabbi can answer you but I can at least give ideas of what option are available.

NOTE: I can NOT answer for a Rabbi. I can NOT give the final halacha. I can just tell you what options some women have been given. If anyone DOES have this situation, I can help put them in touch with someone who CAN give a final halachic answer.

Would you prefer to pm me or speak on the board?

Sara, I think you're missing something here ... she's not asking for someone to poskin. She's not Jewish.

She's just wondering.
post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post
Sara, I think you're missing something here ... she's not asking for someone to poskin. She's not Jewish.

She's just wondering.
I know that. I had to make the disclaimers for others who were reading.
post #34 of 54
I asked if she wanted to pm or discuss on the board as it can get technical and I am too exhausted to think clearly right now. Can you tell I'm not thinking clearly now?
post #35 of 54
Well, I'll chime in here.

I've practiced TH since we got married 10 years ago. Dh isn't "not" on board, but he's pretty incurious about it oddly. He knows when I am Niddah, he knows when I am counting 7 "white" days (after the cessation of my period) and he knows when I go. Because I am "more" religious than he is, when we got married I thought it might be a sticking point between us (ha ha) but it wasn't really.

He and I both do appreciate the dimension it gives to our marriage, both in our intimate relationship and in our emotional connection to each other.

Yeah, sometimes it's a heckuva pain to leave little children, try to hide in the bathroom at home for 45 minutes to prepare, cough up the donation (which they don't charge if it's a hardship), etc. All the logistical issues, above and beyond the difficulties inherent in remaining "hands off" for 12 days or more. It's worth it though.

The last time I went, I had almost made a mistake in my counting that would have made my immersion too early. So after realizing it (another story) I went with a different attitude about it, and I really davened (prayed) with a lot of intent after I made the bracha (blessing) on the immersion. I really *do* find that coming out of the mikva leaves me feeling spiritually renewed. I really do. Even on those days/months when everything logistical is so trying and I just can think of 100 things I would rather/need to do besides shlepping out after dark to go to the mikva.

Anyway.

In re: immersion and the ovulatory cycle. Having myself experienced this issue (premature ovulation and resulting infertility) as one of many other factors associated with a long-term bout of infertility, I will say that the rabbonim (rabbis) we worked with were *extremely* knowledgeable and compassionate about this issue and worked tirelessly to find ways of alleviating the problems. There were many routes we tried on the rabbis' advice.
post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk View Post

She's just wondering.
Yes, I hope that is ok . I am just serisouly thinking about how if I were Jewish I could be childless and considered infertile, when, in my life as it is, I am considered super-fertile, and my early ovulation has never been considered a problem.
post #37 of 54
Let me be perfectly clear about something: Judaism does not write off infertility as a "sacrifice" or any other such thing (necessary suffering, whatever).

If there is a problem with infertility associated with the observance of Taharas Hamishpacha, the rabbis will work alongside doctors and the couple to do as much as possible to alleviate the situation. Having children in Jewish tradition is a mitzva, and observant couples (with few exceptions) most certainly want and welcome children into their lives.

Not sure if I made that clear. In our case, our infertility issues were complex (as they frequently are) and not solely related to ovulation timing. With the rabbis' help, we solved that problem but their were others left to solve before we were able to have children.

Not only that, but the pursuit of infertility treatment is very much allowed and sought after by Jewish couples having trouble conceiving. There are ways of doing infertility treatments in accordance with Jewish law, so most couples work with a rabbi as well as their doctors; there is even an institute in Israel specifically for Jewish couples experiencing infertility who want to have the guidance of rabbis who will facilitate their treatments (the Puah Institute).
post #38 of 54
I did read up from a link above about the possibilities for a woman with early ovulation infertility. The link mentioned artificial insemination, IVF, etc. as possibilities. Would those options be considered better for a woman with early ovulation than having sex earlier than would normally be acceptable? That seems like it would be a sacrifice for doing G-d's will, as you would be going far outside of "nature" to abide by G-d's will. Which- ftr, is not something I look down on, I think putting G-d's law's first is very important. I am just curious if it would be encouraged to view a woman like me as "infertile" even though I am not "naturally" but would be by G-d's law.
post #39 of 54
Without getting overly technical, a woman with a short cycle can sometimes 'dip' a day earlier, but that's about it. In a nutshell, if she ovulates much earlier than that her options become medication to delay ovulation, AI or IVF. Having maritial relations (i.e. sex ) before the mikvah is not an option.
post #40 of 54
It is possible that you could be ovulating on mikva night. You could easily test to see. Perhaps you only ovulate before mikva on some months while on other months you ovulate earlier. This would make a difference too.

By the way-Info for Jewish woman: some Rabbis allow certain options but not others. YOU have to ask YOUR Rabbi what he allows. Additionally, knowing HOW to use these options can only be done under Rabbis guidance. NO Jewish woman can use the options below on her own. I'm purposely leaving out info for that reason (and to be briefer).

Some options:

There are leniancies that can be employed. There are ways to lessen the first days (before the 7 bloodless days) if you have a shorter period. This can be difficult to do from a halachic stand point. Therefore, you REALLY need guidance for this one.

There are medications to delay ovulation.

There are, I've heard, some herbs that can be taken to shorten the period and when combined with the leniencies mentioned above can get you in earlier by 1-2 days.

There is the possibility of getting a semen sample (from Dh) BEFORE becoming a nidda and using that for artificial insemination or IVF. This can be difficult to do from a halachic stand point. Therefore, you REALLY need guidance for this one.

I can't remember other options now.
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