It is always difficult to know how and when to raise the idea of niddah with children, but this week’s parsha can help. Many may be reluctant to discuss the parsha this week, thinking that it is not suitable for children, but we encourage you to use it as a safe and neutral teaching experience. Rav Yosef Toledano, who teaches 3rd graders in Mamad Torani Ariel in Modiin presents a beautiful model of how to discuss issues of niddah and teuma(impurity). We thank the Rav for allowing us to publish his ideas on the subject. We have much to learn from the way he treats his students, the Torah and the human body with the utmost dignity. [Read more…]
I started teaching kallah classes about six years ago after I was sought out by one of the well-known teachers in my Brooklyn community. She knew I had a masters in social work and felt I could connect well with brides, though if you knew me you would probably not peg me as a kallah teacher (I never even pegged myself as one!). I was flattered and humbled by her confidence in me.
And so, one summer night we met in her living room and I began my training. [Read more…]
Back when I was learning Hilchot Niddah before my wedding, my kallah teacher taught me about counting the 7 “clean days”, checking twice daily, and everything that goes with it. It was overwhelming.
I had to wait nearly two weeks, at minimum, each month to touch my husband or even pass something hand to hand?!! It was hard for me to imagine living like that. [Read more…]
That lady at the mikvah…She caught my eye and I just stood there staring.
The person staring back at me looked so familiar and yet I couldn’t place her. The mikvah is a funny place. On the one hand it is supposed to be the most private place; everyone pretends they don’t know the person they surely recognize as they cross paths in the doorway. And yet it is also a place that everyone is so open; so vulnerable; stripped down literally and spiritually to the bear essence of being.
I would always find it so interesting to stop for a minute and look at the women around me; trying to grab a glimpse into their eyes; recognizing that each woman walking through that door has her own story. Her own wants, her own needs, and her own prayers. [Read more…]
I had been treating a young woman, married for eight months, who was referred to my practice because all attempts at intercourse were painful, and their marriage was still unconsummated. After a few months of physical therapy, she was making excellent progress. One day, her husband called me to discuss his wife’s treatment. After attaining consent from my patient to discuss our sessions with her husband, I spoke with him on the phone one afternoon. I described his wife’s course of treatment and progress toward her goals. I reassured him that she was doing well, and that she was on track to meet all of her goals for treatment. Sensing our conversation was drawing to a close, he pleaded,”Please, just one more question…”
“I need to know for my shalom bayit, is my wife’s pain real? Or is it in her head?”
I focused my thoughts on the face of my patient during our treatment sessions, on the perseverance, courage, and determination she brought to each session, and answered, “100%, your wife’s pain is real”
As a physical therapist specializing in women’s health and pelvic floor dysfunction, I have found that kallah teachers are in a unique position to act as a trusted resource for new kallot. A well-informed kallah teacher often has the opportunity to help prevent or help identify difficulties that women may experience as they grow into a physically intimate relationship with their husbands.