“10 years into my marriage, I felt so much excitement by simply touching my wife after she returned from the Mikveh, even more excitement than kissing and everything else during our early years of marriage” noted Allan. Allan and Carol Haber, have been teaching about Jewish perspective on intimacy for over 30 years. The Torah laws that kept Jewish husbands and wives together throughout the centuries are often called “Taharat Hamishpaha,” the laws of family purity. Indeed, those who observe these laws often testify that the rituals of Taharat Hamishpaha keep their marriage fresh and thrilling.
Mr. Haber recalls growing up: many Americans watched “I love Lucy”. The late
50’s show “I Love Lucy” was the most watched show in the United States at the time and it won five Emmy Awards. The main actors of the show Lucy and Desi, were actually husband and wife in real life too, not just in the TV show. Many American families looked up to them as an example of a perfect American couple and wanted to mimic their behavior. The show usually started with a “honey I am home” and kiss on the cheek, and were the cliches in many households. Few years later Lucy and Desi got divorced, the kiss on the cheek and a casual romantic touch did not save their marriage.
The Torah teaches us “And to a woman during the uncleanness of her separation, you shall not come near to uncover her nakedness.” (Vaikra 18:19)
God commanded a husband and a wife to take a break from a physical contact every time she has her period. The wife becomes permitted to her husband after she counts 7 pure days and immerses in a ritual basin call in Hebrew “Mikveh.” These laws have a lot of details, and the details of the law is what makes it special.
Obviously there is no guarantee that a Jewish marriage that follows these laws will not end up in divorce. But, one thing is clear, in the self-gratifying world that we live in today, the laws of Taharat Hamishpaha create a sense of respect for one another. Every month a husband is reminded that his wife is not his property and he cannot treat her as he wishes.
During this period a husband and a wife are also not allowed to sleep in the same bed or under the same
blanket. This physical distance allows them to develop other non-physical ways of communications. When a person cannot touch his spouse, he has to find a different way to convene his love and affection, and although it can be challenging, it can also helps the relationship grow.
This summer Beit Juhuro organized learning series with Mr. and Mrs. Haber for husbands and wives, and grooms and brides on the topic of Jewish Intimacy and Shalom Bayit - development of mutual trust and respect between spouses. The program is generously hosted by Young Israel of Ave U, 2119 Homecrest Avenue, Brooklyn. NY and takes place every Monday 8-9:30 p.m.
Ladies have a session on the 2nd floor, and men are in the basement. The program was inspired and coordinated by ILana Tzipora Shalumov and Ilana Magaseyeva Tserlin.
Allan and Carol Haber has been teaching these classes for over 30 years and they have enhanced and enriched many Jewish marriages. They speak openly and sincerely, with passion and clarity. The Habers strongly believe in sharing this ancient wisdom and have been providing their precious time without charge. Hashem should bless them with much spiritual and material abundance, health, and long happy life!