Now that I’m officially a kallah teacher in Israel, well-trained by the Eden Center, I thought it would be good to share my wedding night story in order to reassure kallot that there really is life after a chuppat niddah!  Although we are taught how to best avoid the situation and allow the wedding itself to be easier with no restrictions in touching, I’d like to refute the belief that it’s the worst scenario ever…and maybe even venture that it added to a more relaxed sheva brachot week!

First of all, I’m admittedly one of those people that doesn’t like to tamper with nature…  My periods were fairly regular, however, when I traveled or went through an emotional or stressful time, my periods were often delayed.  During college, on my first trip to Israel, I was traveling on my own much of the time and I never got my period at all for three months!  I was really thrown off my regular schedule and my body routines reflected that.  When I took my own kallah classes over 40 years ago it wasn’t commonplace to go on the birth-control pill to regulate your period in advance of your wedding.  Also, even if it was suggested (which I really don’t remember) I might have refused, being ‘Miss Natural’!  I probably didn’t want to tamper with my hormones…

So even if I wasn’t expecting my period just before my wedding, the emotions and exhaustion of that time could actually have brought it on when I wasn’t expecting it.  Somehow for me, it was meant to be that way!

Looking at my wedding photos, it didn’t look awkward to have our hands hidden behind a bouquet of flowers or looking either at each other or together in the distance…We had a very traditional wedding and the separate dancing was such a novelty in our small Connecticut town, that my parents’ friends were all forewarned and were actually excited about it!  The rebbetzin provided a cloth napkin for us to hold when we were hoisted on chairs. The rest of the dancing to our wonderful Klezmer band was very spirited, and enjoyed with relatives and friends, or with them dancing around us while we were seated, holding assorted nieces and nephews on our laps.

So you probably want to know what happened directly following the wedding…

We went to a favorite club to hear some music – we had a drive since it was in Rhode Island but I remember it being fun!  We had arranged with a local rabbi in my hometown to stay at his home that night; I stayed in the room of his 4 year old daughter and my new husband stayed in one of his young son’s rooms. They were too young to question why we were there or different from any other orchim! The next day we spent in Newport, Rhode Island, which is a lovely place to go in early September, touring the famous Touro Synagogue and the many mansions and walking paths by the ocean – quite idyllic.

We can’t quite remember the sleeping arrangements during the sheva brachot week, however we were busy traveling between family friends in Connecticut and friends in New York before making it back for our final celebrations in Boston, where we were to be living, being part of the Bostoner Rebbe’s community. I’m sure all our accommodation had two beds! And when we got home, I could keep the appointment that we had made at our local Boston Mikveh, which happened to be within walking distance of our two-family house.

So in summation, chuppat niddah is not the end of the world; and 40 years later it didn’t seem to put a damper on our relationship; in fact it probably strengthened it. I could even say that there were advantages for us. Our first week of marriage was truly an integration into several of the treasured communities where we had ties, and we were able to start off from my birthplace and hometown, and end in my husband’s home state. We had that special day after the wedding in Newport, then traveled and had that time to relax and enjoy the adventures of the week, with the anticipation of being together when we finally got to our own home. And our wonderful daughter Aviva was born just 10 months later, and she will turn 40 in a few months B’’H !!