Thursday, June 16, 2011


Jewelry for women is very important in Judaism. When G-d sent the manna from heaven down to the Children of Israel in the desert He showered the women with jewelry, too!
Yoma 75a

 While preparing for immersion, hafifah, she should remove all extraneous items from her body and hair, including earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, contact lenses, etc. This the case even if they are loose allowing water to come in contact with her.
 Excerpt from  Family Purity by Rabbi F. Jacobs, reprinted with permission.

These items which were donated for the Sanctuary to teach us an important lesson in raising our children.

Earring--We must listen carefully to the Torah's dictates on child rearing, and must always listen to what our children say, to make sure that the education they receive is a good one;
Nose ring--We must "smell out" our children's companions, to make sure that they are positive and not negative influences on their behavior;
Finger ring--We must point, so to speak, with our finger, the right path to follow, and explain the dangers of straying from that path;
Bracelet--We must use our arms, that is, all of our strengths and resources, to ensure that every Jewish child receives a strong Jewish education.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe
Taken with gratitude from L'Chaim Weekly

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


 While preparing for immersion, hafifah, she need not cut an ingrown toenail which the doctors directed her to allow to grow while placing cotton under it. However, she must remove the cotton before immersing.
Excerpt from  Family Purity by Rabbi F. Jacobs, reprinted with permission

  A Spiritual Pregnancy
by Katherine Agranovich

"I find myself praying and talking to Him like never before, finding the great relief of putting all my fears in His hands.
 I want the birth of this baby to highlight my journey to know myself and G‑d's presence in me..."

Taken with permission from, a project of

Friday, June 3, 2011


 I knew I could find how to cut my toenails written in here somewhere.

While preparing for immersion, hafifah, the fingernails and toenails must be cut and cleaned.
 It is not necessary for them to be cut below the skin line i.e. where they come into contact with the flesh.
Excerpt from Family Purity by Rabbi F. Jacobs, reprinted with permission.

Moishe and his wife Esther went to the state fair every year. 
Each time they would stand in front of the airplane ride and Moishe would say,
"Esther, I'd like to ride on that airplane."Esther always replied, "I know Morris, but that ride costs $50 and 
$50 is $50."
One year Esther and Morris went to the fair and Morris said, "Esther, I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that airplane now, I might never get another chance."
Esther replied, "I know, but $50 is $50."
The airplane pilot overheard their conversation and said, "Folks, I'll make you a deal. I'll take you both up for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say anything, I won't charge you the $50. But if you say even one word it's gonna cost you $50 a piece."
Morris and Esther agreed and up they went.
The pilot made all kinds of twists and turns, rolls and dives but not a sound was heard.
He did all his tricks over again, but still not a word.
When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said, 
"By golly, I did everything I could think of to get you to yell out, but you didn't." Morris replied,
"Well, I was going to say something when Esther fell out, but $50 is $50."



Wednesday, June 1, 2011


The Lubavitcher Rebbe

 While washing to prepare for immersion, hafifah, 
the body and hair should be checked thoroughly for dirt and intervening substances and the hair untangled.
Excerpt from Family Purity by Rabbi F. Jacobs, reprinted with permission.

All that is sacred to the nation of the G-d of Avraham
 and is fundamental to the house of Israel - in establishing and rearing an upright generation, 
kashrut of food,
 the sublime pure holiness of Shabbat, 
was entrusted by awesome and revered G-d - for preservation and development - to the woman of Israel.

The woman who fulfills her obligation and destiny in the life of the family, 
in conducting the home, and in seeing that the education be according to Torah, 
this woman is the subject of the verse, "The wisdom of women constructed her home."
Hayom Yom, 26 Adar 2, written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It happened to me

Surprise Visitors to the Mikvah

I decided to go to the mikvah a bit early in order to take my time,
 an attempt to make it "MY" time literally, to enjoy the quiet, without any distractions, to actually concentrate on me. 

I got the keys from the mikvah lady and went in to enjoy being alone with no pressure. 
I chose my favorite room, organized the necessary supplies, and let in a bath. After starting some preparations I went into a clean, hot tub to continue the preparations and do the necessary "soak". 

The almost surreal quiet was very abruptly interrupted by an even more surreal scene. Suddenly there was loud, violent knocking at the front door and shouts that reminded me of  a "B" rated movie..but in Hebrew. "OK everyone out, NOW! we know you're in there, you have to get out NOW, get moving!!" 
There I was naked in a bathtub, not even sure I locked the door and in a confused existential moment thought, maybe I'm dreaming or imagining things, after all the bath water was way too hot.
 But it started again...KNOCK..KNOCK..KNOCK ."OK, you have five minutes to clear out! There is a chafetz chashude (bomb scare??) next door!" 

Reluctantly and sheepishly I reached for a robe, but decided even this was not going to get lazy me back into clothes, and anyway by that time it would probably be over. 

So, I locked the front door, listened to the announcement on a loud speaker from next door, waited for the all clear sign and said Tehillim. 
Baruch Hashem all was well, false alarm, just in time for me to enjoy the aloneness another half an hour before the mikvah lady and other women began arriving. 

When the mikvah lady, a dear friend arrived, she was shocked that I was there and hadn't even left throughout all the commotion. I explained this was nothing compared to when the sirens went off during the Gulf War....I'll share that with you b"n another time!

Contributed by an experienced bomb scare survivor from northern Israel


Use of a bathtub has become accepted as an integral part of the hafifah (preparing for immersion) process; 
this is commendable since a bath is more effective in softening and removing dirt.
Excerpt from Family Purity by Rabbi F. Jacobs, reprinted with permission.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Dwayne who?
Dwain the bathtub QUICK! I'm dwowning!

Friday, May 27, 2011


Bad hair day?

 If the wife did not inspect her body prior to immersion or comb her hair, 
even if she did so afterwards and found there to be no intervening substances whatsoever, nonetheless her immersion is invalid. 
If the night passed, however, an orthodox Rabbi expert in these laws should be consulted.  
Excerpt from Family Purity by Rabbi F. Jacobs, reprinted with permission.

Try listening to this soulful, soothing music by Moshe Kravitsky, before making your preparations. Maybe it will help your concentration so you won't forget anything.
Taken with permission and gratitude from

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Mikvah day is not the best time to try out a new challah recipe!

 Prior to immersion in the mikvah, the entire body and hair is carefully washed and examined for intervening foreign substances. This is to ensure that no intervening substances which could invalidate the immersion are present on the woman’s body.
Excerpt from Family Purity by Rabbi F. Jacobs, reprinted with permission.

" I had spent the early part of the day preparing my body for immersion. 
Filing, trimming, scrubbing, soaking, combing, and inspecting, 
I realized that this was the first time I had ever spent such concentrated time focused on my body
Yet, inherent in this moment of complete physical absorption was a palpably electric surge I felt run through me as I connected, for the first time, the spiritual and physical aspects of myself."
by Roni Leob Richter

Excerpted with permission from


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