Many people are taught that following Taharat HaMishpacha – the laws of family purity – keeps a marriage fresh, and adds passion to a couple’s sexual relationship. Often, this is true, but many times, it’s not. Some couples find that Taharat HaMishpacha adds a tremendous strain to their relationship. Are there solutions within Halacha? What should a couple in this situation do?
Talli Rosenbaum and Rabbi Scott Kahn speak with Yoatzot Halacha Nechama Goldman Barash and Atara Eis to discover how they confront these issues, and whether couples can find reasonable solutions that allow them to follow Jewish law without straining their marriage.
Masechet Nidah 31b:
תניא: היה רבי מאיר אומר מפני מה אמרה תורה נדה לשבעה? מפני שרגיל בה וקץ בה; אמרה תורה תהא טמאה שבעה ימים כדי שתהא חביבה על בעלה כשעת כניסתה לחופה.
Here is the link to the article by Talli Rosenbaum referenced in the podcast:
Dr. Michelle Friedman, Dr. Ellen Labinsky, Dr. James Schmeidler, Dr. Rachel Yehuda, Talli Rosenbaum: Observant Married Jewish Women and Sexual Life; An Empirical Study. Conversations: The Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals, vol. 5.
We thank our guest yoatzot halacha for joining us on this episode of Intimate Judaism:
Nechama Goldman Barash made aliyah from Philadelphia over 20 years ago after graduating from Stern College. She studied for three years in Matan’s Advanced Talmud Institute and finished a master’s degree in Talmud at Bar-Ilan University. She is a graduate of Nishmat’s Yoetzet Halacha program and has been certified to teach brides before their weddings, as well as qualifying as a sex educator through Yahel and the Eden Center. She also studied for three years in Matan’s advanced halakha program, Hilkhata.
She teaches contemporary halakha and Talmud at Matan and Pardes, as well as Talmud and women and halakha in Torah V’Avodah (TVA), a Bnei Akiva gap year program based in Matan. She is an active member of Beit Hillel and participates in interfaith dialogue through Roots, based in Gush Etzion, close to where she lives with her family. She is currently working on a book dealing with matters of gender and halakha.
Atara Eis studied to become a Yoetzet Halacha at Nishmat in Yerushalayim, worked for several years as a community Yoetzet Halacha in different shuls in the United States, and directs Nishmat’s Miriam Glaubach Center, which educates and certifies Yoatzot Halacha in the United States, offers continuing professional education for Yoatzot Halacha, helps place Yoatzot Halacha in communities, provides extensive support for communities employing them, and offers programming for Rebbetzins, mikveh attendants and Kallah teachers.