What is the key to a happy home? Why is strict conduct between husband and wife necessary? The Avner Institute presents the Rebbe’s emphasis on Taharas Hamishpocho, Family Purity, as the framework to a solid Jewish marriage, with many laws but many rewards to both couples and children — a mitzvah seemingly difficult but ultimately satisfying.
Dedicated in memory of loving memory of Hadassah Lebovic A”h
“Mutual Happiness of the Husband and Wife”
By the Grace of G‐d
14 Sivan, 5724
Dear Mrs. —-
Blessing and Greeting:
I am in receipt of your letter of May 21st, in which you write about your background and some highlights of your life. In reply, I will address myself at once to the essential point in your letter, and especially to the particular mitzvah which is most essential for a happy married life, namely Taharas Hamishpocho [Family Purity].
You write that you do not understand the importance of this mitzvah, etc. This is not surprising, as is clear from the analogy of a small child being unable to understand a professor who is advanced in knowledge. Bear in mind that the condition between the small child and the advanced professor is only a difference in degree and not in kind, inasmuch as the child may, in due course, not only attain the same level of the professor, but even surpass him.
It is quite otherwise in the difference between a created being, be he the wisest person on earth, and the Creator Himself. How can we, humans, expect to understand the infinite wisdom of the Creator? It is only because of G‐d’s great kindness that He has revealed certain reasons with regard to certain mitzvoth that we can get some sort of glimpse or insight into them. It is quite clear that G‐d has given us the various commandments for our own sake and not in order to benefit Him.
It is therefore clear what the sensible attitude towards the mitzvoth should be. If this is so with regard to any mitzvah, how much more so with regard to the said mitzvah of Taharas Hamishpocho, which has a direct bearing not only on the mutual happiness of the husband and wife, but also on the well‐being and happiness of their offspring, their children and children’s children.
It is equally clear that parents are always anxious to do everything possible for their children, even if there is only a very small chance that their efforts would materialize, and even if these efforts entail considerable difficulties. How much more so in this case where the benefit to be derived is very great and lasting, while the sacrifice is negligible by comparison. Even where the difficulties are not entirely imaginary, it is certain that they become less and less with actual observance of the mitzvah, so that they eventually disappear altogether.
Needless to say I am aware of the “argument” that there are many non‐observant married couples, yet seemingly happy, etc. The answer is simple. First of all, it is well known that G‐d is very merciful and patient, and waits for the erring sinner to return to Him in sincere repentance. Secondly, appearances are deceptive, and one can never know what the true facts are about somebody else’s life, especially as certain things relating to children and other personal matters, are, for obvious reasons, kept in strict confidence.
As a matter of fact, in regard to the observance of Taharas Hamishpocho, even the plain statistics of reports and tables by specialists, doctors and sociologists etc., who cannot be considered partial towards the religious Jew, clearly show the benefits which accrued to those Jewish circles which observed Taharas Hamishpocho. These statistics have also been published in various publications, but it is not my intention to dwell on this at length in this letter.
My intention in writing all the above is, of course, not to admonish or preach, but in hope that upon receipt of my letter you will consider the matter more deeply, and will at once begin to observe the Mitzvah of Taharas Hamishpocho, within the framework of the general Jewish way of life which our Creator has clearly given to us in His Torah, which is called Toras Chaim, the Law of Life. Even if it seems to you that you have some difficulties to overcome, you may be certain that you will overcome them and that the difficulties are only in the initial stages.
I understand that in your community there are young couples who are observant and you could discuss this matter with them, and find out all the laws and regulations of
Taharas Hamishpocho. If, however, you find it inconvenient to seek the knowledge from friends, there are booklets which have been published which contain the desired information, also a list of places where a Mikvah is available.
Next I will refer to the various undesirable events which occurred in your family, which left you confused, as you write. In view of what has been said above, it is not entirely unexpected. For, inasmuch as the essence of a Jew is to live in accordance with G‐d’s command, it is clear that if one disturbs the normal flow of this kind of life by disobeying G‐d’s command, it is not surprising that one should feel confused, lacking the true faith in G‐d, which is the only terra firma for a Jew. Moreover, inasmuch as the mitzvoth are also the channels through which to receive G‐d’s blessings, it is not surprising that a lack of observance prevents the fulfillment of G‐d’s blessings.
I repeat, it is not my intention to admonish with regard to the past, but if you want to follow my advice, I urge you to begin from now on to live the Jewish way of life with a firm resolution and determination, and this will surely bring you the fulfillment of your heart’s desires for good.
Having just celebrated the festival of Mattan Torah [Shavous], it is fitting to emphasize that the Jewish people received the Torah in the only fitting manner, namely “We will observe (first) and we will understand.” In other words, we accepted the Torah and mitzvoth without question and unconditionally, whether or not we understood the mitzvoth, or whether or not they are to our liking. At the same time we know that we have to try to learn more about the deeper significance of the mitzvoth. The same is true now, inasmuch as the Torah is ageless and eternal. May G‐d grant that this should also be in your case, and may you have good news to report.
To receive to your inbox email: [email protected]