On a recent whirlwind tour to the United States, wrapping up the weeks of Shovavim, Rav Yitzchak Melber, founding director of Toras HaMishpacha, was fueled by a holy mission. A marathon of ten conferences in different communities drew crowds of over 400 rabbanim and poskim from the breadth of the United States.
Rav Peretz Steinberg, shlita, the mara d’asra of Young Israel of Queens Valley, orchestrated a seminar in his own beis midrash, for the benefit of local rabbanim, while Rav Eytan Feiner, shlita, the rav of White Shul, hosted a few consecutive events in the Five Towns Beis Medrash. One of them was an assembly of kallah teachers—designed to provide them with up-to-date information on issues of importance to taharas ha’mishpachah, while yet another conference was aimed at local rabbanim. In his concluding words, Rav Feiner stressed the importance of having access to the kind of services that Torat HaMishpacha provides, and welcomed its activities within the kehillah.
Yet another groundbreaking conference was organized by the Va’ad Harabbonim of Queens, at the behest of Rav Peretz Steinberg, shlita, and Rav Moshe Paskowitz, shlita, who urged local residents to spread the word about Torat Hamishpacha’s work, saying that every frum couple should be made aware of the organization’s existence.
Yad Rachel—an association that provides support to women with perinatal mood disorders—arranged a one-of-a-kind event for its staff. Rabbi Melber was invited to deliver a comprehensive talk on the ramifications of these issues pertaining to women’s emotional health and halachah.
A not uncommon sight, following every lecture given by Rabbi Melber, was that of local residents approaching the rabbi, expressing sincere relief at having found someone, finally, who understood their extraordinary difficulties—someone with competent answers at hand. Information, for these people, is the name of the game. Lacking relevant knowledge in such a sensitive area can have far-reaching—even devastating—effects. One yungerman approached the rav as he left the hall. “If only we had known of you a year ago . . . my wife and I struggled with one seemingly small problem for an entire year. We suffered from it terribly until we found a solution. If we had spoken to you, you could have sorted us out with one brief piece of advice.”
Issues of women’s health that hinder taharas ha’mishpachah are frequently neglected by secular medical professionals. Not understanding their significance, they simply do not assign them much importance. Ever since establishing his pioneering organization together with his wife, Rav Melber (originally from Monsey) has made it his business to liaise with medical experts diplomatically but assertively, seeking solutions to a wide spectrum of medical-halachic problems. He brings his knowledge to the forefront of the frum community’s awareness throughout the world.
The importance of having someone who understands the medical jargon when discussing these issues with doctors is frequently underestimated. One community rav with whom Rav Melber met in private expressed concern about a method he had been recommending to his constituents. “I am confused,” he said. “I was convinced by a prominent doctor that this is the best device out there and now I read in your leaflet that you strongly discourage its use!” Rav Melber offered to call the doctor on the rav’s behalf, and a brief conversation quickly clarified that a misunderstanding had occurred following the physician’s original explanation. The rav had been dispensing this mistaken advice for quite some time.
Toras HaMishpacha provides rabbis, doctors, kallah teachers, and other professionals with a sure-fire address for modern information and advice. Since these service providers are well positioned to disseminate this knowledge where it is most needed, frequent conferences give them tools to prevent months, even years, of needless suffering by couples undergoing domestic distress.
A woman prevented from achieving optimal health is frequently under unbearable strain, and may find it difficult to fulfill her pivotal role as mainstay of the Jewish home. While the entire raison dêtre of Toras HaMishpacha is to find solutions to almost any such scenario, one project stands out in its groundbreaking provision of immediate relief in time of need. The Tahareinu hotline is staffed by trained personnel (men and women) who are used to fielding questions regarding taharas ha’mishpachah with sensitivity and discretion. Endorsed by leading rabbanim in every community, the hotline staff takes calls from around the world, 24 hours a day, six days a week.
To contact the toll-free Tahareinu confidential hotline, call 855-482-4272 or visit www.torashamishpacha.com. v