On Yom Kippur eve, amid the hustle and bustle of logistics and preparations, I took a moment for myself and left the house to go immerse in the mikveh. This is the first time that I had ever thought of this idea.
Where Did I Come From?’
By: Peter Mayle
Illustrated by: Arthur Robins
Designed by: Paul Walker
Published by: Lyle Stuart Inc.
‘Where Did I Come From’ takes its readers on the full baby making journey- from sex (referred to in the book as ‘making love’) to fertilization, through nine months of pregnancy, labor and childbirth. The book, written for children, offers fundamental information while spicing the facts with good humor throughout! [Read more…]
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…]
This week’s Parsha, Parshat Tazria, begins with the purity and impurity laws of a yoledet, a woman who gives birth. A woman postpartum, according to the Torah, goes through two time periods: one with a stricter set of laws in which she is unable to be with her husband or to visit the mikdash and a second one in which she is unable to enter the mikdash, yet is allowed to be with her husband. (Nowadays, the laws are different due to Rabbinic decrees, of which I will not elaborate on in this dvar torah.) The postpartum impurity varies in length between a woman who has a baby boy and a woman who has a baby girl. When a woman gives birth to a boy, she is tamei for seven days and prohibited from visiting the mikdash for an additional 33 days. When a woman gives birth to a girl, she is tameifor 14 days and prohibited from visiting the mikdash for an additional 66 days. Many commentators tackle the obvious question: why is there a difference between the lengths for a girl and a boy?
[Adapted from the new book, Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools, by Chaya Rosenfeld Gorsetman and Elana Maryles Sztokman]
Part 2, continued from last week:
Connections between a woman’s dress and her perceived sexuality are commonplace in many Jewish schools. Avital Chizhik, writing in Tablet about her experiences in modern Orthodox institutions trying to balance “Torah U’Madda” – Jewish tradition and a life of modernity – touches on the connection between modesty and sex education: [Read more…]