Wednesday, 10 June 2009

WARNING to Jewish Women

Over the past few months I have been involved in reviewing two websites offering the ability to record and calculate your Nidda dates online. I have reviewed both sites thoroughly and become aware of other sites that are also available. On a personal level and as an occupational therapist I had not yet drawn a conclusion as to whether to use the sites or not.

Some recent communication has helped me to clarify some vital points.

1) One woman notified me that certain dates sent to her were not the correct dates or were irrelevant or were sent through when it was already Yom Tov.

2) Another woman notified me of a mistake she had made in cross referencing between her hand recorded dates done according to the Hebrew Calendar to the Calendar online using the Secular Calendar. In transferring the dates from Hebrew to Secular Calendar, an error had occurred, resulting in her separating from her husband on a day that she did not need to and not separating on the day she was supposed to.

This information has highlighted for me vital points. There is a reason that our Sages teach us as women to record our dates by hand. In doing so and in becoming familiar with how to calculate correctly, you are forced to become very familiar with your body and the day and date of the month. As lovely as the sites are becoming and as much as they are constantly improving, DON'T rely on them.

Instead, work on learning the Hallchot pertinent to Nidda inside and out. Get to know how to calculate your dates yourself and do it by hand. Modern life might be getting busy but we have mitzvos to perform and there is no room in a Torah life for being lazy.

Just as a computer can never replace the human eye for checking for bugs, so there is a need, a reason and a benefit for checking, calculating and recording everything related to Family Purity in person by hand. Take the extra time and be extra careful. Dont risk relying on a computer as this can lead you to become lazy in doing the actual calculations or in making a mistake cross referencing between the two calendars, G-d forbid.

If you need a reminder, do it by hand. This is the way to train yourself to remember. When one has a memory loss, G-d forbid, one has to use numerous tools to remind one. These are most effective when written by hand as the physical act of writting yourself a reminder and sticking it in a place or several places you will be sure to see and read it (even if these places are private where only you see them) provides the brain with other methods to access the information. If you reply purely on a reminder recorded on the computer or sent to your email or cell phone, you run the risk of forgetting, especially in the event that the reminder does not come on time, or technology does not allow the message to reach you.

I would recommend that you use these tools as YOUR PERSONAL reminder. Write your dates in your hand written nidda calendar. Write the important dates in your personal diary. Write out a reminder and pin it inside your wardrobe or somewhere you WILL see it but is personal to you. If you need to put some mark or indicator on your bedroom mirror, a sign you will know and understand that reminds you to check what the date and day is.

In addition to helping with ones memory, physically working out the dates, writing out your own reminders, cross referencing with hallachos, talking to your husband etc, is the method to develop a routine that becomes a healthy habbit.

When it comes to performing Mitzvos, there is no easy way out. We have to do it the way Hashem taught us to and to pray with all our heart that He protect us from stumbling and give us the time necessary to fulfill all our daily tasks correctly.

If you would still like to use these online calendars and websites, please be careful, please double check everything and then check it again. And ask an orthodox rabbi who works with the laws of Nidda whether he approves and agrees and will continue to guide you. And STILL use your hand written records ALL the time.

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