Appropriate?

fayaMy buddy @MarkSoFla emailed me this link yesterday, knowing how interested I am in everything to do with mikvah. It is a clip of a Lubavitch woman explaining on the Tyra Banks show the importance of family purity, mikvah, and how we ascertain the right time to go.

This link appears to be going viral. I have since received it from a number of sources, and seen people put it up on their facebook.

While I think she did a great job with her explanation, I am wondering if the Tyra Banks show was an appropriate venue for explaining this mitzvah that goes so much deeper than you can explain in a short sound bite.

If you notice, here on my blog, there are some things I do not delve into the details about. Most of what she talked about is so private and personal, and for one not schooled in these matters, well, they could perhaps jump to conclusions about various aspects of the practice of the mitzvah. The last thing I want is some random person asking me about internal checks.

Now, I understand Chabad has a way of presenting mitzvoth to the world in a way that makes them accessible to all. Judaism is welcoming, we are not hiding anything that we do…But I think this was going too far.

What do you think?

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  1. Mark says:

    I also thought the details of checking and harchakot were too much for national TV. But the explanation of the general idea was pretty good.

  2. Vicki says:

    As someone who loves to hate on Tyra on a regular basis, even I thought this was great! Especially considering I didn’t know any of this before, it was pretty cool to find out. I don’t think it was too detailed, given that the audience was all women and the TV audience will also mostly be women, and she also explained it in a pretty discreet way.

  3. mekubal says:

    I agree. First we are not supposed to teach Torah(at least anything but the Noahide laws) to the nations.

    Aside from that, this piece suffered from a massive overdose of TMI. Really we don’t need to hear on such a public forum about the joys of marital relations under different circumstances. Some things are best kept private. Not to mention that it violated the laws of modest speech in so many ways. Brought down from the famous Mishnah in Avot 1:5 is that one should even be reserved in talking about such things with one’s own spouse, and never with people outside of that relationship.

    • hadassahsabo says:

      i am not sure how you think it violated the laws of modest speech?

      • Rabbi's Wife says:

        Brought down in the Shulchan Aruch from the mishnah in Avot 1:5 is that even a man and his wife should not engage is a lengthy dialogue on intimate matters. All the more people not in a marital relationship should not speak of such things. Throwing this out there with such detail… I personally think it crossed that line.

  4. Lady Lock and Load says:

    I hear what everyone is saying and agree. But I have to tell you that I have relatives who are not religious and don’t know much about Judiasm and their only source of learning about things come from movies and books which often are inaccurate. At least this was accurate information. Who knows, maybe it made one woman watching this show decide to learn about taharat hamishpacha.

  5. mekubal says:

    NO I don’t think it is appropriate. There are two general halachot that are violated here. The first is to teach intimate Torah topics to non-Jews. The second is a violation of modest speach. There is just way too much information given here.

    BTW is she wearing a short sleeved shirt?

    • batya from NJ says:

      no mekubal, she was wearing a long sleeved shell (also known as a kiki riki-the name of the company that makes them) underneath the red shirt but it was hard to tell b/c it was beige/skin colored probably so that she could blend into the audience more easily…

    • hadassahsabo says:

      definitely was wearing a long sleeved shirt underneath.

  6. Lady Lock and Load says:

    This woman is a Chabbad Rebbitzen and I am sure she asked a shailah about doing this. Chabbad is different than other sects of Jews. They are amazing in their rate of their success in kiruv rechokim. I admire that she had the guts to talk in front of the camera. She wore a white sleeved long shirt under the red and black short sleeved shirt (as is the fashion nowadays) and she wore a shaitel. I think she spoke very modestly as much as she could and was very dignified in her manner. It was meant for women only so I think perhaps frum men should be warned what it’s about before they click on it. like a warning label TMI, Taharat Hamishpacha Information. They do that on Hashkafa.com.

    • hadassahsabo says:

      Sit down, lady L n L – I am going to agree with you! (I KNOW!!) She did speak very well and made the whole thing sound beautiful. I am sure this was planned in advance and that she did have rabbinical approval.

      But I still maintain it was the wrong forum. All we need is Tyra watchers to say “those Jews are crazy, look what insane things they do after they menstruate. Euw gross.”

  7. Rabbi's Wife says:

    I think there are ways she could have spoken about it that would have been more appropriate. It seems like Tyra put her a little off guard with some of her questions. I think she should have spun things a bit differently, or maybe not have brought it up at all.

  8. Lady Lock and Load says:

    At least Tyra had a nice reaction to the whole idea. maybe something good will come out of it.

  9. Lady Lock and Load says:

    For a Television audience, I don’t think this would be considered gross at all, especially the way she explained it.

    • batya from NJ says:

      i agree with u LLL that for tv standards nothing the rebbetzin said was so over the top when you consider all the crazy & inappropriate shows out there & what kind of craziness is said on tv on talk shows, reality tv shows etc…

  10. G6 says:

    Fascinating.
    While I do think that she went into a little more detail (checking, etc.) than I would think was appropriate, she really did it in a “fine” way.
    I’m more interested in what the actual show was about and how this topic even came up……

    p.s. definitely, and very obviously, a beige shell underneath.

  11. I could not open the link for some reason?

  12. Rainy says:

    I liked the segment and didn’t think it was badly done. Maybe the bit about internal checking was a little TMI, but not offensively so. That, I think, probably depends on your comfort level with the subject matter in general. I myself am a little bit reticent about discussion those kinds of details but know others who are not at all. If it had been me I might have just paraphrased it to something like, “we make sure it has stopped and then wait 7 days.” before talking about the mikvah. But maybe she had a reason for talking about it in as much detail as she did. She was very dignified and modest. I also thought she looked very cute and hip and blended in nicely, but with respect to modesty (long sleeves, sheitl, appropriate skirt) and she presented a nice picture of an observant Jewish woman, to a very mainstream audience. Overall she did a very good job and the segment was nicely handled. I really liked that Tyra was supportive and found positive elements to comment on. What I didn’t like was how they were talking about the mikvah being like a spa. A spa is about self indulgence and relaxation and luxury. The mikvah is not a surface, self indulgent thing, it is far deeper and much more meaningful. I think the audience might have come away with the misconception that you go to the mikvah for hen talk and a massage!

  13. shlomo says:

    Well I’m not reading any of the other comments in the meantime because…g-d man, there’re too many, but I feel they way our religion is explained in a lot of these media public displays of Judaism aren’t so correct. She says thins like “we have a tradition”, as if Tevya from fiddler on the roof created the whole thing. I think it’s at least relatively important to note to people who are probably semi-religious (if not entirely religious) Christians that this is in fact a religious practice that finds it’s source clearly in the very same bible they thy believe is the word of G-d (albeit they feel the law of Moses is obsolete), but at least to present it in a religious framework where it doesn’t seem like a bunch of bagel-eating Brooklyn Jews decided to start a new practice…

  14. Baila says:

    I thought she did a good job and looked great doing it. And I’m sure plenty of people thought it was bizarre anyway, but so what? I’m just curious why it is assumed she is a rebbetzin and asked a shaila. I’ve been to talk shows like this and you don’t usually know the topic before-hand. The whole audience probably got the t-shirt as they walked in and she put it on, just like everyone else.

  15. aishdas says:

    To answer Baila’s question: I’m just curious why it is assumed she is a rebbetzin and asked a shaila.

    We not only know she is a rebbetzin, we know she is Rn Faya Lipskier of Chabad West 60s Manhattan.

    As for her knowing in advance, COLLive.com reported in advance of the showing of that episode that “Lipskier, a daughter of the West Side Rabbi Shlomo Kugel, was invited to speak about family purity issues, otherwise known as Taharas Hamishpacha.

    -micha

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