Hey ck, why don’t you cover this topic for us since it seems to touch on that magic intersection of halacha and science. It is especially pertinent in light of the seriousness of the issue, which is infertility among many Orthodox women. Apparently, it’s not real infertility causing them to be challenged regarding the basic commandment of being fruitful and multiplying, but halacha itself.

About the author

themiddle

40 Comments

  • Interesting read.

    There are Rabbis and there are Rabbis. I’m referring to Orthodox even Hareidi ones – in fact, sometimes especially Hareidi.

    I would speculate that a number of such Rabbis I know and knew would have worked to find a leniency in not keeping the 7 extra days for such couples. I can’t swear by it but in my dealings with them, they have always attempted to do everything le’kula (toward leniency) in such matters. Not speaking from direct experience but from the way I have seen these Rabbis respond and in discussions of theirs I have overheard.

    I am curious as to what Machon Puah has to say on this specific matter. They’re experts in the field. (Please consider adding them to your charitable donations list).

  • Why are you afraid TM? This is a good topic for discussion. I applaud the Gynecologist’s statements and I am no big fan of Humras (stringencies) that create the sorts of problems described here – infertility, potentially problematic hormone treatments etc. My understanding is that there is a fairly well established heter for women with whom early ovulation is a problem. The issue is that this heter is not universally applied or even understood. Dr. Rosenak’s opinion is well written and informed and hopefully it will create better dialogue. But the heter does exist for those who need it.

  • I would also add delicately that there’s a solid biological reason why so many women are, er, disposed to sex in the first few days after the end of their periods.

  • There have been heterim around for a long time for women to shorten the “wait” period before going to the mikvah, if they are having trouble conceiving. I suppose Rabbi Benny Lau’s comment suggests that not every rabbi will give that heter. But for some women, the problem is not inability to get a heter, but fear of asking for one.

    One of the reasons that Nishmat’s Keren Ariel (the Jerusalem program that produces certified “Yoatzot Halacha” about Niddah) is so important is that women aren’t as embarassed to call other women with questions . . . and because of Nishmat, several babies have been born. It’s one of the things they tout about their program. Obviously, Rabbi Yehudah Henkin (their posek) DOES allow women to shorten the wait period if they aren’t getting pregnant.

    Halacha has a lot of shades of grey, and problems arise when particular rabbis are stricter than others, or when people do not use the loopholes available to them.

  • “I haven’t come to change things,” says Rosenak. “I want to expose the problems of this custom, and bring the issue into the open. The public must know that this is not a biblical commandment but a custom that has taken root, a custom that is the source of many problems.”

    Here lies the article’s theological time-bomb: From an Orthodox perspective, a demand for “rethinking” a religious law implies rethinking a fundamental tenet of the faith according to which the words of the ancient sages are “living words of G-d,” and challenging the iron rule that the sages’ rulings are not to be changed.

    Over the last few weeks, Hatzofeh published a series of articles in response. Rabbi Benny Lau, one of the more liberal rabbis in the religious Zionist camp, wrote an article, together with his wife Noa, taking issue with Rosenak. “Humra (a severe ruling) carries the authority of law,” they wrote. “This is a humra that became law in the days of the sages, when the halakha was being formulated, and was accepted by all the authorities, from the Amoraim [Talmudic sages] onward.” They also wrote that there are medical solutions to the problem of halakhic infertility, hormones that delay ovulation until after the woman’s immersion.

    Rosenak related to this in his follow-up article last week, writing that shifting the solution from the sphere of halakha to the sphere of medicine is “an interesting argument.” “Halakhic infertility is not a medical problem … It is a purely halakhic problem, and its solution has to be halakhic, not medical.” Criticizing the Laus’ contention that “it is hard to assume that hormones will seriously harm the woman’s body,” Rosenak calls it “an irresponsible statement that requires scientific proof” and “grave.”

    Obviously, ck, what seems like a minor problem to you with a “well established” heter, seems like a different sort of problem for an important rabbi.

    Isn’t it a fact that virtually the entire range of the Orthodox world considers a two week wait to be the halachic norm? Of course it is. That’s why Benny Lau above is telling us that this concept has come about a couple of millenia ago and cannot be challenged. Even faced with a gynecologist who comes forward with a gentle attempt to inform, the rabbi and his wife – who are not gynecologists – stand united to contest the medical professional’s suggestions because of halacha and the authority of the sages of oh-so-long ago. After all, about matters of fertility, does one listen to a gynecologist trained in an era when fertility itself can be manipulated by man and science, or does one listen to sages from 1600 years ago who wouldn’t know an ultrasound machine from a pregnancy test?

    Obviously, the good doctor is doing his darndest not to cause offense or use the trigger words that will automatically render his scientific evaluation void in the eyes of his audience: that this would be a breach of halacha. Let’s see what he says:

    “The article was not intended to challenge halakha, nor to create a new version of Judaism, like Karaism or Reform. [ED. Now why would he bring up Reform or Karaism? Hmmm…] My article was intended to indicate a distortion that has been created as a result of a custom that over a long period has become a law. The humra of Jewish women having to count seven clean days for niddah, and not just for ziva as prescribed in the Torah, was accepted from earliest times as a law from which there is no deviation. Today we know that this ruling produces a problem of halakhic infertility in many women. Within this situation is a failure of internal logic: It is unreasonable that a ruling that derives from a humra of Jewish women will produce a conflict with the first commandment in the Torah – to be fruitful and multiply.

    “The approach of many rabbis to ‘treat’ halakhic infertility with hormones, in order to delay ovulation, constitutes not only a medical problem (since the safety of the treatment – which increases chances of cancer and blood clots – has yet to be established), but also a halakhic problem of ‘For your own sake, therefore, be most careful’ (Deut. 4:15).

    Poor doctor, all he wants to do is make more little Jewish babies.

  • I applaud the introduction of concern by the doctor, but I am worried that it may inappropriately de-emphasize medical infertility.

  • Women need to be educated about all issues of Halachic concern for reproduction and many simply never get this education from Kallah teachers. There is a serious breakdown in the level of preparedness that women should have as they embark on married life. Kallah and chossen teaching is supposed to be that time to educate, but many teachers are simply no good. Many couples should be seeking qualified rabbinic assistance after 2 years of infertility, but often are not directed to qualified people. If the couple is older, they should proceed to a rabbinic authority sooner.

    The custom of keeping the extra seven days is THE common practice and not considered a “chumra” . Giving a heter to allow the woman to go to the mikvah earlier can be made by a qualified rov.

  • One doesn’t need to be a ob/gyn or a Rav to figure that one out. When a friend confided in me that she couldn’t get pregnant I said “maybe you are counting wrong, go to the mikvah the night you feel horniest and when your cervical mucus is the stringiest”. When she said “what about asking the Rabbi?” I said “why, are you having trying to his child too?” Needless to say, she never stopped thanking me for letting her in on this little “trick”. By the way, there are kits that predict ovualtion almost to the hour.

    If someone would rather mess with bedika clothes, showing their underwear to Ravs,
    days of abstinence and years of childlessness…well…I hope that makes them a happier and more spiritual person and gets them a better spot in the world to come.

  • I’m sorry, but I find it completely and entirely creepy – not to mention, somewhat absurd – that a woman needs to go to a rabbi in order to figure out what to do or what not to do with respect to her reproductive issues.

    With all due respect, while the rabbi may be a great student and/or teacher of the Torah and halacha, they have no medical training, no training in science, no training in fertility, and to add insult to injury, none of them in the Orthodox community are women.

  • Sadly, TM doesn’t seem to know that Rabbis very often consult with experts in the scientific and medical fields in such cases. At least all the ones that I know would and have and that’s a wide variety of rabbis in many countries.

    This is elementary but TM, running on dry since this issue – while very interesting and informative – seems to have been already dealt with way in the past, must readjust his gunsight.

    Rashi, Vayikra 26:15, immediately comes to mind. In fact, worth reading all of Parshat Ha’tochaha.

  • Chutzpah –

    If you are not already a kallah teacher, you should be. Good for you!

    Now, can I ask a question…bedikah cloths. Why should women need to show our rabbi our vaginal secretions – can’t we figure out for ourselves when our period is over? Did women 100, 500, 1000 years ago show their undies to the rav? Let me in on this! Where in Torah does it say this?

  • TM once again wants to attack Judaism while he preaches his TheMiddleism religion..

  • Keep the personal attacks coming, folks, they are certainly impressing your friends.

    What we have here is a patriarchal society where the men go to the male rabbi who is the clear father figure for the community. And to whom do the women go? To the rabbi, of course.

    The rabbi has consulted with authorities? He has spoken to doctors and specialists? Great! Except that he isn’t a doctor or a specialist. Chances are that he’s a good torah student who is now a rabbi. For all we know, he might be someone who was a little shy boy of 18 when he was married to a little shy girl of 18 and that is the extent of his love and relationship, not to mention sexual, experience. This man is now dispensing personal and fertility advice to your wife, Shy Guy. Good luck with that.

    If the good rabbi had wanted to attend medical school, he’d be a doctor. The reason people go to medical school for years and years is that it takes that long to acquire the knowledge and expertise that is required to understand maladies and treat them. To suggest that the rabbi – and we’re talking about rabbis in general here, therefore we can say that we mean EVERY rabbi who leads a community – possesses the knowledge necessary to provide any form of medical advice is nothing short of hubris. Actually, it is openly ignorant and smacks of what I’d expect to hear from a tribe member who relies for his medical help on the local witch doctor.

    If I want legal advice, I go to a lawyer. If I want accounting advice, I go to an accountant. If I want a massage, I go to a masseuse. If I want somebody to fix the broken toilet, I go to a plumber. If I want fertility advice, I go to the doctor rabbi. Makes lots of sense.

    By the way, here’s an Orthodox woman responding to the retort by the Rabbi and Rebbetzin Lau to Dr. Rozenak’s article (Hebrew only) http://www.hazofe.co.il/web/newsnew/katava6.asp?Modul=24&id=52073&Word=&gilayon=2928&mador=

    Read the third comment in that link where some commenter says that people should shut up about this topic already and that it cannot be that any doctor who feels like it should be writing articles about science and medicine that contradict halacha. I wonder whether that guy comments on Jewlicious?

    If you’re an Orthodox woman and happen to be reading this discussion, please consider visiting a doctor if you’re infertile. You can also speak to Chutzpah, since she seems to possess some earthy kinda knowledge that apparently many rabbis don’t possess…but many women do.

  • You sling mud at the masses and then cry than you got splattered.

    Guess what?! Religious doctors consult with rabbis, too, but again, you seem to be as distant from the practical Jewish world as can be.

    In life, many professionals consult with other professionals in different fields. So what?!

    Infertile religious Jewish women have been consulting with both doctors and rabbis for decades. Nothing new here. You just seem to not know your facts. Or would you rather that I state that all non-Orthodox Jews don’t know their facts, so that you won’t think that it’s personal?

    If you dish it out, take it.

  • If this practice is and has been making women practically infertile, doesn’t this prove that rabbi have created add-ons to Judaism that they really had no right to?

    I’m just asking any haredi readers — obviously, we know from the Kolko affair that there is no such thing as “Gedoylim” today — but doesn’t this menstrual cycle suggest there never were? Or they would have understood this, and never instituted it?

  • Uh, I think I’m taking all of the attacks very nicely, thank you. Keep’em comin’ because you will impress your friends, I’m sure.

    Doctors consult with rabbis. So what? That still doesn’t make the rabbis qualified to provide medical advice or to assess a situation.

    Answer this Shy Guy: would you go to a doctor for advice on a critical matter of halachic observance? Would you trust his opinion on a complex issue even if he had consulted extensively with a rabbi first?

    Any infertile woman who goes to her rabbi for medical advice is making a grave mistake. Any community that advocates such a step is encouraging this mistake. Simple, really.

    Don’t forget, Shy Guy, I didn’t write the original article, Dr. Rosenak did. He specifically speaks to the fact that the rules of niddah, and the resulting advice given by rabbis on matters of resulting infertility (although they have no clue that this infertility is caused by the rules of niddah) are causing many women grievous harm when it comes to fertility. This makes sense because halacha was written by men at a time when they knew a fraction of what we know now. What is interesting about this issue is that the Lau couple argues that it doesn’t matter precisely how the original 7 day period became two weeks. What matters is that it happened long ago and was sanctioned by great sages. Therefore, you cannot tamper with it.

  • I’m with Chutzpah, the Middle & the Docs on this one. It’s a no brainer scientifically. If you know the woman’s hormonal cycle, and you want a greater chance of getting pregnant, there’s a limited time window each month when this is likely to happen. Unfortunately, the commonly understood Hareidi restrictions here seems to prevent the success of many couples wanting children. There’s little dispute in the facts here, just what should or might be done about them. If you want kids, you’ll be wanting a ruling allowing for more opportunity for your fertile days to be available to your partner. Any Obgyn would be able to tell you that. Overwork typically does it for many American couples, but this is a very special problem that probably needs some immediate attention for a goodly number of couples in this community. The fact that Docs were prescribing hormones to otherwise perfectly healthy women made infertile by these laws is appalling. Cheers & Good Luck! ‘VJ’

  • DK said:

    If this practice is and has been making women practically infertile, doesn’t this prove that rabbi have created add-ons to Judaism that they really had no right to?

    Put things in their correct perspective. Rav Zeira instituted a stringent custom – not a law. It became a law only later as it was accepted by Jewish communitys – Minhag Yisrael Ka’halacha.

    I doubt that at Rav Zeira’s time, almost 2000 years ago, and up until the 20th century, that anyone, including the medical professionals, were aware of the negative effect Rav Zeira’s custom/law would have on women with fertility problems.

    But now that we are aware of these problems (and have been aware for decades), as others have already mentioned here, there is not only halachic room for appropriate leniencies, there are also institutions, such as Puah, that do a great job of advising as well as promoting whatever fertility treatments are necessary and permissable within the boundaries of Halacha.

    As for women without fertility problems, it seems like there’s no lack of large families among the religious crowd, where it would appear Rav Zeira’s custom/law hasn’t made a dent.

    I’m just asking any haredi readers

    Just for the record (again), I’m not haredi.

    obviously, we know from the Kolko affair that there is no such thing as “Gedoylim” today

    What’s the Kolko affair? If I have to be a regular reader of Failed Messiah, don’t bother.

    There are “Gedolim” today. They’re not the Gedolim of yesterday. They’re getting more scare and there’s an over the average amount of rabbis who do not deserve the title.

    It’s all relative anyway. Yiftach be’doro ke’Shmuel be’doro.

    but doesn’t this menstrual cycle suggest there never were? Or they would have understood this, and never instituted it?

    2000 years ago? Who knew? Not Rav Zeira and not the medical practitioners of his era.

  • Wow – Talk about belittling others beliefs. Yikes! There’s a way to disagree but still not scoff. Let’s aim for that.

    Listen – there are two approaches to rabbinic authority. Some people do whatever their Rav says. No matter what. This does not preclude first having seen experts in the field.

    Others consult a trusted rabbi on major life issues, trying to be as well informed as possible on the halachic position and leniency’s before making their own decision. This also does not preclude consulting experts in other relevant fields.

    In this specific case, in order for a woman to find out if she is just plain ‘ole infertile or if she is an early ovulator, she would have had to see a doctor. Why is it being made out like she can’t?

    If the doctor tells her she is not infertile, but an early ovulator, she may wish to consult a Rav on the course of action she decides to take. That’s her way of life. It might not be yours, but why is that so beneath contempt?

    Now, this is not to say that a large scale educational initiative on this issue is not in order. Both on the medical issue itself, and on the Heter available that many niddah- keeping women may not know to ask for. Clearly there is such a need.

  • themiddle said:

    Uh, I think I’m taking all of the attacks very nicely, thank you. Keep’em comin’ because you will impress your friends, I’m sure.

    Whatever.

    Doctors consult with rabbis. So what?

    Rabbi consult with doctors. So what?

    That still doesn’t make the rabbis qualified to provide medical advice or to assess a situation.

    Answer this Shy Guy: would you go to a doctor for advice on a critical matter of halachic observance? Would you trust his opinion on a complex issue even if he had consulted extensively with a rabbi first?

    Let’s clear the air here.

    The answer to the first question is no. The answer to the second question is it depends.

    Our doctor is religious. There are times where he himself knows that a case requires employing halachic leniencies or restrictions. He has told us what he knows and who he’s heard it from. It is then up to us to either take his advice as is or to consult with our own rabbi. It could go either way, depending on the circumstances.

    Any infertile woman who goes to her rabbi for medical advice is making a grave mistake.

    A good rabbi will only act as a referal to a medical professional who can best resolve the problem. There are not so good rabbis, just like there are lousy doctors, lawyers, and Indian chiefs. If one has friends that can make such a referal, one would ask them just the same. At this stage, a rabbi’s role is optional and merely advisory. But a good community rabbi can be just as resourceful as a good friend. I feel sorry for people who have not had such an opportunity.

    Any community that advocates such a step is encouraging this mistake. Simple, really.

    Which community are we talking about? Not any I’ve lived in.


    Don’t forget, Shy Guy, I didn’t write the original article, Dr. Rosenak did. He specifically speaks to the fact that the rules of niddah, and the resulting advice given by rabbis on matters of resulting infertility (although they have no clue that this infertility is caused by the rules of niddah) are causing many women grievous harm when it comes to fertility. This makes sense because halacha was written by men at a time when they knew a fraction of what we know now. What is interesting about this issue is that the Lau couple argues that it doesn’t matter precisely how the original 7 day period became two weeks. What matters is that it happened long ago and was sanctioned by great sages. Therefore, you cannot tamper with it.

    To which I dealt with in my very first words of my first post here: “There are Rabbis and there are Rabbis.” I do not mean to imply anything negative about Rabbi Lau but he is not my rabbi.

  • This female, Orthodox professor tells you that it is not so simple, Laya. http://www.hazofe.co.il/web/newsnew/katava6.asp?Modul=24&id=52073&Word=&gilayon=2928&mador=

    You see, Dr. Rosenak actually wrote that ““The article was not intended to challenge halakha, nor to create a new version of Judaism, like Karaism or Reform” in order to assuage concerns by his readers that, heaven forbid, they should think he’s some dirty reformer who wants them to belong to those other faiths called Reform and Karaite. He did this because as Rabbi Lau indicated, the notion of challenging the two week wait is considered no different than halacha in many circles. As you know, this is law that no observant Jew would seek to violate, which creates a challenging situation for many women, particularly in light of the strong emphasis on childbearing in Orthodox circles.

    The irony, of course, is that the Reform Jewish woman would not encounter this challenge, and if she did, would go to her doctor long before her rabbi.

    People can do what they like, including going to the rav for medical advice. Nobody is suggesting that all Orthodox women only go to their rabbi for such advice or that all avoid going to the doctor. I certainly wasn’t. That some do, however, is very sad and disturbing. I would have a lot more sympathy for it if this wasn’t a patriarchal culture and all the rabbis are male.

    You see, you write: If the doctor tells her she is not infertile, but an early ovulator, she may wish to consult a Rav on the course of action she decides to take. That’s her way of life. It might not be yours, but why is that so beneath contempt?

    It’s not “beneath contempt,” those are your words. But any opposition to this situation that I may have stems from the fact that this woman is part of a patriarchal culture that teaches and focuses on the man as the scholar and student and rabbi, and the woman…as not. Everything that follows is a logical extension of this initial premise that I reject. Do you reject it, Laya? What would you do if your rav told you that you don’t need a heter? What if your rav’s advice contradicts your doctor’s? I mean, do you wish to violate a halachic law – God’s law given at Sinai to his people, Israel – if your doctor tells you something that contradicts your sage rabbi’s advice? Why would you even be in this situation? Is it okay that in the entire world, there may be less than one handful of women who are ordained Orthodox rabbis who can advise you and your fertility questions must be answered by men?

    (By the way, aren’t you tired yet of telling me how to post, how not to post, how to write, how not to write, how to comment and how not to comment, where to do it and where not to do it? I’m not either, so keep on keepin’ on).

  • We have a new magic term to deride Judaism with: “patriarchal culture”.

    Sample usage:

    But any opposition to this situation that I may have stems from the fact that this woman is part of a patriarchal culture that teaches and focuses on the man as the scholar and student and rabbi, and the woman…as not

    Where in the world does it state that only rabbis can be halachic experts?

    What if a female halachic expert says the exact same thing as the male halachic expert? What makes you so certain she won’t?

    Are female doctors better qualified on feminine medical matters? Nonsense.

    BTW, read the female professor’s “bottom line” in Hatzofeh, which she places at the very top of the article. What does she herself state there?

    אפתח בשורה התחתונה. אני מסכימה עם דברי הרב בני ונעה לאו ×›×™ ביטול חומרת ר’ זירא אינו דבר פשוט כלל ועיקר וגם אני לא בעד לבטלה לאלתר, לא רק מצד הקשיים ההלכתיים לעשות זאת אלא גם משום העובדה ×›×™ בצד החסרונות הלא מבוטלים שלה, שעליהם עמד ד”ר רוזנק במאמרו, יש ערך לשמירת המסורת כשלעצמה, במיוחד כמו זו הקשורה בטהרת המשפחה שנצרבה בתודעת הדורות כאחד המאפיינים המובהקים של קדושת הבית היהודי.

    .
    Straight from a woman’s heart.

  • A religious Jewish woman need not rely just on a Rabbi’s advice. She has at her disposal the advice of other religious women, many of whom have great personal experience with childbirth and nidah, as well as a whole range of medical experts. In such cases it is not unusual to go Heter shopping – asking the advice of a Rabbi who one knows will grant the heter based on both his halachic experience and acquired knowledge of the science involved.

    The system of consulting a Rabbi cannot be perfect – Rabbis are after all only human. One may do what one wishes in this case if it’s a matter of both pikuach nefesh and pru u’rvu. But the underlying notion of consulting a Rabbi is sound, albeit again, imperfect. The failutres of Rabbis are well known. Some Rabbis are crooks and pedophiles, some Rabbis are more enlightened than others, some more prescient than others. If only Rabbis in the Pale had ordered their charges to escape before the Nazis came in rather than stay put … but I digress.

    Judaism is about community – our community that both submits to and struggles with community standards. Those in our community who believe depend on Rabbis to maintain community norms and standards. If that’s what you’re into then good.

    If however, like some, you’d rather go it alone and do whatever you think is right, then by all means, I’m not going to stop you. But TM, the issue I have here with what you are saying is that you are criticizing a community that you choose not to belong to. It’s old news that you don’t believe in their values and their methodology. Conservative Jews in practice hardly ever use the mikveh, even though theoretically they are supposed to by their own standards. Reform Jews have done away with family purity entirely.

    OK. So you’re not Orthodox TM. We get it. You think your way of life is superior to theirs but you bristle at that assertion when it comes from them. You have your values, standards and norms and they have theirs. Let them keep on keepin’ on and you keep on keepin’ on.

    The adherence by some elements of Orthodox Judaism to outmoded Humras is problematic, but so is driving to shul on shabbat, so is not keeping kosher, so is patrilineal descent and quickie conversions. This is an argument that can go on forever and only serves to create divisions.

    Pretty much every Orthodox commentor stated that this issue is problematic and needs to be addressed. Why are you still arguing? Sometimes I swear I don’t get you at all. I like you, but I don’t understand why you insist on being so combative, why you insist that you’re not causing offense when clearly, you are. Come on man, where’s the middle ground here TM? Where’s the tachlis? How do we solve this problem rather than use it as a wedge to perpetuate divisions?

  • I take offense to the very term “early ovulator”. Each woman ovulates to the natural rhythm of her own reproductive cycle which Hashem gave her. If it doesn’t march to the beat of the Orthodox niddah rules, why is it her cycle that is the problem?

    Of course getting pregnant involves many other factors, including the reproductive system of the Father. Doctors, medicines, medical procedures AND PRAYER are often needed.

    BUT as far as the Rabbi’s viewing, smelling and/or wearing used undies…just plain kinky.
    A woman should learn her own cycle and secretions well enough to know exactly what is happening in her body at any given time. If a secretion looks really “off” then a DOCTOR needs to see it, it could be a sypmptom of ovarian, cervical, or uterine cancer. The reason women were not educated on this years ago is that the men didn’t want to give women the knowledge (which equals power) to control the family planning.

    Don’t get me started on the “orthodox women don’t get cervical cancer because of the timing that they sex” espoused by Ortho. camps because that is just pure horse manure. Any woman who has been with more than one partner or suspects that that partner has had more than one partner should be tested for HPV.

    Further, since the tweezers and scissors etc. at the mikvah are rarely sterilized even to the minimum level that is used at the cheapest Korean nail salon, I suggest women bring their own implements.

    Finally, if anyone would like to know where their G-spot is, I’d be happy to let you know.

  • Way to keep your eyes on the prize, chutzpah. Have you heard there’s a vaccine for HPV in the works?

  • Yes, TM and have you heard that it is NOT being given in Orthodox communities because everyone is a virgin when he or she gets married (lol!). What’s next, Rabbi’s giving breast cancer exams?

    I have two daughters who are going to be teenagers soon and I get to tackle these issues daily.

    BTW, what exactly IS the prize?

    I’m thinkinf I should start a used undies site on the internet…I hear they can get up to $20 bucks a pair.

  • Excuse me if this is coming up twice but I think I accidentaly deleted the comment…

    First of all, I’m offended. I went through all the trouble of learning how to put in a link to another site, the yoatzot from Nishmat – thanks CK- and no one even looked at it.

    Nishmat (as Sarah mentioned) is a service for women, by women. In have used it myself and they are wonderful.

    Chutzpa take note- Orthodox women are MORE aware of their cycles and secretions than almost any other women out there. It has been documented that Orthodox women find ovarian, cervial and uterine cancers earlier and get treatment sooner.

    I mean, who else examines their underwear and does a bedika?

    I would think that you would support a system which requires women to be intimatly aware of their cycle and their body.

    The Rabbis that you scoff at are trained to check, trained at the different colors and textures and probably know more about it than most OBGYNs. because really, how much time does an OBGYN spend looking at bedikas?

    It also happens to be that women are harder on themselves than Rabbis are. There would have been times when I would not have gone to the mikve based on what I thought- and the Rabbi corrected me and told me to go.

    They are there to help women and they (overall) do a very good job.

    DO NOT DISCOUNT THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF TRADITION FOR ALL THINGS MODERN. It is a mistake and it is ignorant.

    Also, why are we going on and on about the fertility and early ovulation thing. If a woman ovulates before her time at the Mikve than she gets a heter and goes sooner. Its really pretty simple.

    The system works as it is and there is no reason to change it. Just educate people and make sure women actually go to the Rabbis instead of suffering through the infertility alone.

  • Used bras get more $. If u supply a pick and so on. The customers like the bras battered and abused. Don’t ask me to explain, I have no clue, just happy to take the twenty.

    Yes well I do believe the vast majority of them are virgins, if they have had their run of luck and go through the process successfully at a young age.

    If they are older, they should give up on that idea imo.

  • SN

    I’m sure Nishmat is a wonderful organization and I’m sure it is dismissed by many as a fringe group of liberal feminists.

    I was pretty much in agreement with you until you said “The Rabbis…know more …than most OBGYN’s” That is exactly the point! They don’t! The don’t look inside women with speculums all day and go for years of training.

    You need a prayer for fertility go to a Rabbi, you need help for infertility (not to mention genetic counseling), please go to a Doctor.

  • Again I’m with Chutzpah on that point. If you’re having trouble conceiving, see a doctor. Tradition is fine, but the Rev’s do not do IVF or IR. There is simply no substitute for detailed medical and yes real scientific knowledge here. Personal & community knowledge is fine & useful, and then we reach the end of our common experience, expertise and knowledge base. If you want to actually treat infertility successfully, there are many people you might consult. The most vital to your continued health and possible future pregnancy will probably be your Doctor.

    And oh BTW, they do sell all sorts of weird crap on the web, including slightly used panties. It’s a Japanese specialty actually. I imagine ‘the prize’ to have a healthy family, with decent kids you only slightly worry about and a spouse who you can still stand to look at after so many years. Not forgetting all that satisfying nasty sex with this mysterious Mr. G Spot you speak of. Cheers & Good Luck! ‘VJ’

  • Chutzpa, you totally misquoted me. I said that rabbis know more about bedikas etc and the last time I checked, OBGYNs spend about zero time inspecting underwear.

    Chutzpa and VJ- read the initial article.

    The issue of this post is a doctor talking dealing with a specific issue when women’s ovulation cycle is out of sync with the usual cycle of taharat ha mishpacha.

    It takes a Rabbi to solve this kind of problem.

    They aren’t even infertile for G-ds sake. sheesh.

Leave a Comment