It was a simple phone call, asking for money to fund the upkeep of the local mikvah, an annual phone call. Of course, Hana made her usual donation. She never could have anticipated her emotional reaction after hanging up. She burst into tears at the realization that she had not visited the mikvah in a year, that her days of child-bearing had ended and she had officially entered menopause. After a few minutes, she composed herself and pondered the meaning of this new stage in life. [Read more…]
It had been three years since their last vacation together and Shuli was euphoric to spend the next 12 days alone with her husband in paradise. The plane had just taken off and she desperately needed to go to the bathroom. To her tremendous disappointment, she discovered that she was bleeding though she had just gone to the mikveh last week (it had taken her 16 days to get there). After all, her trip had been planned for a time when she would not be in niddah. At the age of 48, her periods were erratic, too long and arrived more often than she would like. Now, she would be forbidden to her husband for the entire vacation.
Was all of this bleeding due to perimenopause? Menopause is derived from the Greek, meno, moon and pause, cessation. It refers to cessation of monthly bleeding for 12 months. [Read more…]
Michal was returning from a work conference in Carmiel when a vehicle crossed into her lane and smashed head on into the car. Luckily, she was wearing a seat belt, the airbags had deployed and help arrived quickly. After almost a week in the hospital, she was prescribed pain medicine and discharged home to her husband’s care with 4 broken ribs, a spleen laceration and multiple pelvic fractures. Two days later, she got her period and called in a panic realizing that her husband could no longer touch her. “How will I care for myself over the next twelve days? Will my four-year-old son be able to help me dress? Who will hold my hand when the pain medicine wears off?”
When a woman is sick, she may require her husband’s touch for assistance with activities of daily living such as getting dressed, getting up from a chair or walking with assistance. But she may also need his physical touch to relieve pain or anxiety. We are slowly beginning to discover the power of human touch to heal the mind and body. [Read more…]
In just a few days, the Israel Ministry of Health will offer several vaccinations to eighth graders including diphtheria, tetanus and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Should your child receive the HPV vaccine? Is this morally obligated for every child? How does Jewish law relate to the obligation to vaccinate against HPV?
There are several reasons to vaccinate in grade 8. HPV vaccine is endorsed by the World Health Organization and over 100 countries and is part of the national immunization program in 67 countries including Israel and the United States. The vaccine is designed to protect against HPV infection, a virus that is primarily sexually transmitted and infects more than 79,000,000 Americans. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), without the HPV vaccination, virtually every sexually active American will be infected at some point in their life. Vaccination of a significant portion of a population provides protection for individuals who have not developed immunity (commonly called herd immunity). Therefore, those who refuse vaccination increase not only the risk of their own infection, but also the infection of others.