Daily Archives: May 4, 2010

Question Stolen off Twitter

If you were in charge of membership in your shul, you would allow a registered sex-offender to be become a member? (asked by @yeedle)


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Mikvah Question

When women go to immerse, this dip in the holy waters is always observed by a balanit or mikvah attendant. I was taught that this woman has to be a female over the age of batmitzvah, preferably when she is not Niddah herself. Most balaniot these days have to complete some kind of study period, but that isn’t a halachic requirement as far as I am aware.

Can someone point me to the source of the halacha where it states that a woman’s monthly tevilah has to be observed? Or is it a chumra? What if there are women who for whatever reason are extremely anxious or uncomfortable being watched, especially when naked – if they were to immerse without a witness, would that render their tevilah invalid? I am wondering if it would indeed be possible for a woman with such a situation to get a heter to immerse alone?

What are your thoughts?

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Garbage Fail

I tested the boys this morning. Before they got up I cleaned up the kitchen and emptied the garbage. I put the full garbage bag in front of the front door, so that when anyone had to leave the house they would see it and hopefully get the hint and take it to the garbage room on their way to the elevator. Four kids left the house this morning. Four kids ignored it. The first kid had to pick up the bag and move it in order to open the door to leave – how hard would it have been to carry it an extra 5 steps to the garbage room??!!

Is it just my boys, or are all children oblivious to anything that doesn’t directly concern them??

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Every Day is Mother’s Day – yeah, right!!

Growing up this was not a holiday we celebrated. First of all, in the UK, it is celebrated in March. Secondly, it just wasn’t such a huge hyped up holiday like it is here in North America.

Well, once I had kids I adopted the holiday. It’s not a religious holiday – and it’s so nice to have ONE day a year to be totally appreciated for ALL I do for these little people. When I was married to my kids’ dad he reminded them, bought them cards to sign, presents – he knew it was important to me. Once I became a single mom – well, no one was there to remind the kids that they needed to celebrate me. They certainly would not have been reminded in school.

If we were under the same roof as the KoD he for sure would be taking them in hand to do something special for me. He has already hinted at something that he is doing for me….

Last week I decided to start dropping hints to the boys.

Do you know what’s next Sunday?


It’s a special day.

Oh really? Something to do with you and the KoD?

No….something to do with me and you and your brothers.

Hmmm. Oh yeah…..it’s Mother’s day. My Rebbe says we shouldn’t celebrate it, that every day is Mother’s Day.

I have heard that phrase so many times. Every day SHOULD be Mother’s day. We should appreciate our mothers every single day that they are with us. But the truth of it is that we do not. We take our mothers for granted. Our clothes are washed, our food is cooked, our booboos kissed, monsters chased from under the bed, birthday parties thrown, heartbreaks soothed….. The bills are paid and groceries are bought without us as kids even thinking about it. We outgrow shoes – we get taken to buy another pair. It’s what Moms do and as children, we do take it for granted.

But every day is NOT Mother’s Day. Occasionally the kids will do something that shows they appreciate our sacrifices, and that they have taken a second to consider all we do for them, but those moments are few and far between.

So, yes, I expect at least a card on Mother’s Day, something that shows me that my children have taken a moment to think about me, to think about all I do for them. Is that really so wrong? I think not.

And to my own Mum I say – Thank you for the gift of life, for all that you did for us and sacrificed for us when you were raising us. I know it wasn’t easy (even though we both know I was the perfect child 😉 ) and that you always put us first no matter what. I love you.

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Discussions at Shabbat Table – zonah

Last week’s Parsha (specified Torah reading) spoke a lot about priesthood, and included in that was the list of the women a Kohen (priest) is forbidden to marry. My 7 year old came home with a bunch of questions he had to answer on the parsha. One question was – name the three types of women a Kohen is not allowed to marry. The answer given was “divorced woman, zonah and challalah”. We know zonah is another word for prostitute, and challalah is the female child of a Kohen who “married” a divorced woman. Interestingly enough they were not taught that a Kohen cannot marry a female convert either.

Firstly I was a little insulted that divorced women were lumped together like that right next to a zonah. But in time I got over that. Secondly, I asked my son how his rebbe explained zonah to them. I was curious how you explain that to second graders. Unfortunately my sweet little son must have misunderstood his rebbe because he told me a zonah was a divorced woman. OUCH!!

So we explained to him that that wasn’t what it meant. But I was at a loss at how to explain to him what a zonah really is. So I asked my big boys how their Rebbeim explained it to them. (We do have the most interesting discussions at our table). The older boys are well aware what a prostitute is. They explained it correctly as a woman that sleeps with a man for money. But one of their rebbeim explained it as a woman who “shares” your house. Hmm. The sixth grader had it explained as a woman that you “marry” for money. I guess being “married” is a euphemism that is well used in yeshivot. But to an innocent second grader – who doesn’t yet know about the birds and the bees – why even bring up the subject? Why does he need to know a Kohen cannot marry a zonah if he doesn’t even know what a zonah is? I told him to go back and ask his Rebbe to explain to him what it is. Still waiting for an answer.

How would you have explained it to such a young child, or would you just have left it out of your lesson?

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