Subscribe to Mystical Paths

A conversation about G-d, mysteries and secrets of the universe and soul, and Israel... along with speculation about biblical prophecies and the end of days.

- Read via Kindle
Русский - עברית
- Read via RSS / Feedly
- Listen via MP3
Get via EMAIL

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

// // Leave a Comment

Who Is Stupid?

​   by Reb Gutman Locks  

Who Is Stupid?


Nader Zaal commented on my video The Jewish Sound of One Hand Clapping:

    stop talking and give us our land back stupid jew


Gutman answered:

     The Koran says that this land belongs to the Jewish People. Since you are a muslim you should stop lying and follow the Koran. Stop trying to fool people into believing that there ever was a palestinian people or a palestinian country. There is not even a letter "P" in your alphabet yet you say that you are palestinians. Who is it that is stupid? Shame on you.


Nader replies:

     Keep hitting your head on that wailing wall and wail to the thousands of innocent muslims that you've killed.


Gutman replies:

    There you go again; purposely turning away from the facts and telling lies. You are trying to convince people that you are honest, wanting them to believe that you are the underdog. Muslims are the ones who are killing thousands of innocent Muslims. Israel is only defending itself.

    Now, did you look in the Koran, your holy book and see that it says that G-d gave this land to the Jewish people? Since G-d gave this land to the Jews why do you lie and say that we stole it? You should either renounce Islam or follow the Koran. You cannot be a true Muslim and not believe what the Koran says; "G-d made the Children of Israel the inheritors (of the land)"[i]

     You should go live in one of the 22 Arab countries that already exist and live with the other Muslims there.


Nader replies:

     Stop eating our hummus


Gutman replies:

    Your replies show that you are a muslim without a Koran, a palestinian without a "P" sound in your vocabulary, and now you show us that you are an arab without a serious complaint. It will be good for you to move to an arab country and stay there. Shalom



[i] Sura 5:20, 7:136, 17:103 


Sunday, November 22, 2015

// // Leave a Comment

World Wide Tikun HaKlali–Today 8PM IST/GMT+2, 1PM EST

Tikun HaKlali is a set of 10 psalms that, recited in a particular order, offer a “general repair” to spiritual damage caused by aveyrot (sins / negative activities) – as set by Rebbe Nachman of Breslev. 

TODAY they are trying to arrange a coordinated saying of TIkun HaKlali for 8:00 PM Israel Time (GMT+2), which is 1:00 PM New York (EST), or 10:00 AM Los Angeles (PST). If you can join, I urge you do so. 

This has the potential to be a powerful segulah for protection for Klal Yisroel and from evil.  Here’s the info…  And here’s where you can download the prayer IN ENGLISH, and IN HEBREW.


Targeting Religious Jews

Yeshiva World News writes…

Many are questioning why there is a disproportionate number of frum (religiously observant) Jews wounded and killed in the ongoing wave of Islamic terror that has been striking out in major cities in Israel as well as throughout Yehuda and Shomron (aka West Bank). 

(Reb Akiva adds… This is extremely unusual.  Historically past waves of terror attacks, suicide bombings and so forth, generally targeted Israeli buses or restaurants.  Perhaps starting with the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva attacks / mass murder, a distinct trend of targeting religious Jews, yeshivas, and synagogues seems to have started.)

The experts believe the reason is simple. It is explained the terrorists want to be certain that they murder Jews, and what better way to identify a Jew than by his kippa or chareidi garb.

In the two attacks on Thursday, 7 Kislev, in southern Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion Junction, many if not most of the victims were davening mincha.  It is added this is the reason soldiers are also targeted in larger numbers even though they are often armed. The terrorists are aware the overwhelming number of soldiers are Jewish and they feel even more compelled to attack members of the “occupational security forces”.

This is a very strange response from Yeshiva World – an orthodox Jewish (virtual) publication.  Yaak, assumabley of Yeranen Yaakov, added this excellent comment to their article…

It is because the greatest weapon Yishmael has is their Tefilla. After all, they do it 5 times a day. And the greatest weapon AGAINST Yishmael is OUR power of Tefilla. As Pirkei deRibbi Eliezer says (chapter 32), he is called Yishmael since HKB”H will hear our cries out to Him in the End of Days.

Who are the ones praying to HKB”H? The frum Jews – and the Arabs know this. They know that their demise is our power of prayer. They therefore target frum Jews.

And where? Anywhere they find us, but especially if we are praying. (Reb Akiva adds… HaKol Kol Yaakov, the power of Yaakov is in his voice – prayers.) They attack shuls and office Minha rooms (afternoon prayer rooms for orthodox Jews at work – often just a conference room appropriated for 30 minutes). Did you ever wonder why they go crazy if Jews pray on Har Habayit?

May our power of Tefilla intensify and vastly outweigh their power of Tefilla to bring about their demise and the coming of Mashiah Tzidkeinu speedily and with mercy, Amen.

// // Leave a Comment


​   by Reb Gutman Locks    



     Whenever you help a single person you help the entire world. The world is one so any improvement helps the world right then and it also spreads to unknown lengths.

     Having said that, still, when you help someone whose life is focused on helping others you gain tremendous leverage. In fact, you should be on the lookout for such opportunities. But be careful, often great opportunities happen so suddenly that you are not prepared for them and a gorgeous opportunity can quickly slide by leaving you kicking yourself saying "I blew it again!" But, thank G-d, sometimes we succeed.

     I was on my way to the Kotel in the afternoon when a tour-guide-instructor stopped me on a narrow, Old City street. He had a group of some 30 young men and women with him. He asked me if I would say something to them. I look at such moments as great opportunities and I quickly ran through my list of stories or subjects to tell them but nothing came to mind.

     I agreed, but asked, "Where are they from?" hoping to get an idea of what to say. He told me that they are all Israeli tour-guides.

     He gave me a grand introduction telling them one of the more nutty things that I am infamous for having done, and although I should be embarrassed by it, it does get the group's attention. I thought again what to say and then it came to me. I said to him, "Okay, I have what to say."

     I began, "Let's say you're taking a group of Birthright[i] kids to a Disco bar in Tel Aviv at midnight. Do you think that you should give them a charedi [ii] tour-guide to introduce them to the nightlife there? No Way! You have to give them a guide who knows the scene, someone who can give them the best experience possible."

     They all smiled their agreement, but then their expressions quickly changed when they heard my next question.

     "Okay, let's change scenes and ask; what about bringing them to the Kotel? Do you think that you should give them an anti-religious Israeli tour-guide to show them the Kotel? When we ask the boys to put on tefillin they ask their guide if they should do it. What do you think the anti-religious guide is going to say? 'Well, I don't do that kind of stuff. I mean you can do it if you want, but it doesn't make you any more of a Jew to do it. It's just something some ultra religious Jews, do but we don't.' Obviously, they are not going to let us help them to put on tefillin. But what if the guide says, 'Sure, why not? Maybe if you try it with a good heart you might have a meaningful experience. After all, we didn't come here just to look at the stones of the Wall.' Then the chances are greater that the group will learn to love our ways and our Land which is what all of us want for them. Give them the best you can."

     I waved and smiled at them and walked away. As I walked on I evaluated what happened. Those thirty young Israeli tour-guides are going to bring guests to the Kotel many times a year for the next thirty or forty years. Each of them will most likely bring way more than a few thousand Jews to the Kotel throughout their careers. That means that my little talk may have changed the lives of many tens of thousands of Jews coming to the Kotel! I had to fight to hold back the tears when I realized what just happened.


[i]  A wonderful free program that brings Jews from other countries to Israel 

[ii]  Ultra religious, black-hat, bearded Jew


Thursday, November 19, 2015

// // Leave a Comment


​   by Reb Gutman Locks   



     Davening (prayer) is almost always better inside a building where there are fewer distractions. It is considered more modest to daven away from the public view. The one exception to this is at the Kotel. Davening at the Kotel is spiritually more intense when you are outside, without a roof over your head. Although it is certainly advantageous, there might possibly be a slight disadvantage to davening outside even at the Kotel.

     Mostly we see doves, pigeons, and sparrows, but sometimes crows visit the Old City, too. Again this morning a few young American yeshiva students ran over to me at the Kotel and asked, "Oy! Is there anything special you're supposed to do if a bird poops on you?" He held out his arm to show me what he was talking about.

     I explained, "Bird poop doesn't have an offensive odor so really you don't have to do anything. You can just wash it off."

    They asked, "Is there anything you are supposed to say?"

    I said, "Yes. You say, Thank G-d cows don't fly."



Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Maybe the Colossus will be the Colossus?

I stand corrected and better informed…

(video link)

(Regarding a prophecy of a modern fall of the Colossus - which it has been sugggested would be fulfilled by the Statue of Liberty in New York.)

"In ancient Greece, a staggering statue loomed over the city of Rhodes. Fashioned from iron and bronze, the nearly 100-foot figure of the sun god Helios was erected sometime in the late third century after Rhodes successfully fended off an invasion by Cyprus troops. The Colossus of Rhodes was known far and wide as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Although an earthquake later toppled the structure, it’s still remembered by historians as one of the Mediterranean civilization’s most important cultural legacies.

According to Hyperallergic, various architects have wanted to rebuild the Colossus over the years. In 1999, the city hoped to rebuild the statue and finish it before the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Less than 10 years later, German artist Gert Hof envisioned a similar project. Now, GOOD magazine reports, a team comprising architects, engineers, an archaeologist, and an economist, from Greece and elsewhere, are proposing a brand-new twist on the famous figure: a 500-foot Colossus containing a cultural center, library, exhibition hall, and lighthouse, among other features.

Called the Colossus of Rhodes project, the ambitious undertaking aims to create new jobs, attract tourists, and serve as a source of inspiration for a generation of unemployed young professionals, whose ambitions were hindered by the country’s recent recession."

// // 1 comment

Israel, where Western Civilization's Extremes Confront Reality

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

Mark Steyn, one of the more interesting conservative pundits as a European immigrant to the US, wrote:

Just in case our enemies needed another reason to despise us, today the inactivist group Somnolent Tilty-Headed Wankers for Peace launched an exciting new graphic: the same old clapped-out hippie peace symbol but incorporating the Eiffel Tower (right)! Isn't that a cool, stylish way of showing how saddy-saddy-sadcakes you are about all those corpses in the streets of Paris? It's already gone viral! And that's all that matters, isn't it?

Our enemies use social media to distribute snuff videos as a means of recruitment. We use it to confirm to them how passive and enervated we are…

Israel has extreme Western liberal movements and trends.  Israel frequently “gives peace a chance”, allowing terrorists to return from abroad (Yasser Arafat and crew), ceding land to those openly declaring their intention to destroy Israel (Gaza and Hamas), even giving work permits to ‘Palestinians’ so they have economic opportunity…between periodic spurts of terror attacks (including rounds of car bombings, bus bombings, suicide bombings, and the most recent stabbing spree). 

Israel also has an extreme feminism movement, demanding the “right” to perform any and all religious rituals at the holiest sites in the world that are restricted by gender, an extreme gay rights movement that has even convinced the government to give asylum to gay ‘Palestinians’ that flee areas under PLO or Hamas control to avoid being murdered for their preferences, etc etc.

Yet all of these movements and trends in Israel quickly get smacked in the face by aspects of reality.  Give peace a chance has repeatedly ended with threats, attacks and innocent deaths.  Ceded land is turned into rocket and attack launch pads.  Work permits turn into pathways of entry for attackers, and more dead innocents.  The feminists push their demands on Jewish sites, but never on Muslim or even Christian ones – for their lives would immediately be at risk from Arab worshippers.  (At the Jewish sites, the Jewish ‘extremists’ might yell at them – or even throw a plastic chair!  Oh my.  The Arabs will start with throwing cinder blocks and work up from there.)  The gays will march to their hearts content in Tel Aviv, and sometimes in the Jewish sections of Jerusalem – but never even consider marching near, and certainly not in, Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem – their lives would be at risk.

To some extent, such movements in Western countries have been speaking in an echo chamber, with no one local acting in serious opposition.  And if they are in opposition, it may be some protesting where the media declares those in opposition to be barbarians and outside mainstream modern civilization.  Yet as the government has acted on such movement demands, they’ve have and continue to import MILLIONS of people who DO NOT accept such concepts and movements – and are NOT going to protest nicely for the evening news.

They’ve imported real barbarians, who are out to attack the civilizations that spawn such weakening movements.  

So while those civilizations are intentionally bombing INNEFFECTIVELY the barbarians overseas, they are importing the same barbarians into their cities.   At the same time these countries blame Israel for learning the hard way that Western civilization’s extremes have limits – and exceeding those limits in a world with threatening barbarians results in the death of innocents.

- When the Jews of France were attacked, it was only Jews.

- When the journalists were attacked, maybe they deserved it.

…when the general public was attacked?

Will the West learn the lessons Israeli society has already learned the hard way?  Sadly it seems the answer is no.



​   by Reb Gutman Locks  



     It is important to know how to easily answer missionaries and other idolaters. Today, there is a movement in Israel where missionaries act as our friends in order to try to spread their foolish, yet dangerous lies. My video Answers to a Pastor  will give you some good information so you can defend yourself against them.

     In the video the pastor asked what was wrong with yashka saying that he was the "I am." I explained that Hashem is the "I Am" and that He is the "I Am" of all. I told the pastor that yashka's claim was not new, and in India there are thousands of gurus who claim to have "god-realization" and that they now are gods! Because of this their devotees bow down to them and worship them! A Hindu viewer took exception to my mentioning this in the video:

Bhagat Pandey wrote:

    "Why this man drags Hindus in their discussion, Men become god after spiritual wisdom, like rain water mixed up in Ocean you never distinguish between rainwater and ocean…"

Gutman answered:

     Men do NOT "become G-d" no matter how much they learn. G-d is Infinite. Men are finite. The Infinite is all including the finite, but the finite is not Infinite. As long as the finite is limited it is not All. Saying man becomes G-d is the exact idolatry spoken about in the video, 'god-realization'. Worship only the Infinite One G-d, not a man or any other limited being or object."



Sunday, November 15, 2015


Prophetic Alignment or Wishful Thinking?

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

A reader and supporter (you can support Mystical Paths by donating here) wrote…

I read the following online:

In Jewish tradition, the end of days refers to the times before the arrival of Moshiach (the messiah). It is supposed to be a turbulent time, prior to an age of harmony between nations.

imageA particular prophesy focuses on the Statue of Liberty, as it apparently figures in the cryptic prophecy of a boy prophet named Nachman who prophesied in the fifth century of the common era. 

In the small village of Banam in the Galilee, approximately 420 years after the second temple was destroyed as young Jewish boy gave a prophecy concerning the End of Days.  This boy was a ‘miracle’ child who was gifted with knowledge of Torah secrets from birth.  His prophesy, now called the Child Prophecy is considered the ‘holy of the holiest by the Rabbi of Shomer Emunim.’  Rabbi Avraham ben Eliezer HaLevi wrote a special commentary concerning the prophecy and even the saintly Tzemach Tzadik studied the prophecy. Though the prophecy was spoken in a mixture of Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic and Greek, Rabbi Yaakov Nathan has deciphered the fourth part of the prophecy which states: “When the idol of Rhodes is destroyed, know that the end of the wicked kingdom is near.”

The Colossus of Rhodes was a 35 meter tall statute constructed on the Greek isle of Rhodes and was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.  The Colossus was originally built in 280 BCE and stood for 60 years until an earthquake knocked it over. In our modern times, another idol of Rhodes was built which has become the most famous statute known in the world.  Called the ‘New Colossus” this modern idol of Rhodes is erected in New York City and is known as the Statute of Liberty. The Statute of Liberty originally was conceived as a veiled Arab (Muslim) woman and was to be given to Egypt for the Suez Canal, but they refused the offer.  The statute was then re-configured as Lady Liberty and the rest is history.

The prophecy indicates that when Lady Liberty is destroyed, the wicked kingdom (America) will soon come to an end. Hildegard’s prophecy also appears to indicate destruction on the east coast of the USA, possibly as a result of an attack, which of course is the location of the modern idol of Rhodes, Lady Liberty who in reality is a mock-up of the goddess Ishtar.

Reb Akiva responds…

This is a rather confusing mixture of information and inaccuracies.  Let’s start with your first reference.  Yes, the end of days scenarios are described in the navi’im achronim, the later biblical prophets.  The prophecies describe world turmoil, wars, and an ultimate war ending with the coming of Moshiach.  IN ADDITION to the direct biblical prophecies, there are many other sources of ancillary prophecies, including some in the Gemora, a compilation of ancillary prophecies called the Yalkut Shimoni, and occasional prophetic statements of the holy sages of various generations.

The source you describe, known as Nevuos HaYeled, the “Boy’s Prophecy”, is a very cryptic prophecy from the time you specify.  Here’s what’s known about this:

Nachman Pincus was born on a Rosh Hashanah in the 5th century, in Baram, a villiage in Gush Halav, in the Upper Galilee, in the Land of Israel. He was the son of the noted holy man, Rabbi Pincus and his wife Rachel. Instead of the cry of a newborn, the Nachman began to speak, revealing the secrets of the world, and heaven.

At age 12, he gave five rhymed prophecies, in alphabetical order, spoken in a coded language. When he had finished, he revealed to his parents that he would soon die.

Nachman died, and was buried in the village Baram in the Galilee. His gravesite is known, and considered a holy place. He is buried under the name "Rabbi Nachman "Katofa. because he was "picked" while still a child. Today, people visit his gravesite to pray.

The five prophecies were documented and called "Nevuat HaYeled" (The Child's Prophecy).  Five hundred years ago, the great Kabbalist, Rabbi Avraham ben Eliezer HaLevi wrote a special commentary regarding them, and the Rabbi of "Shomer Emunim" wrote in his book that they are known to be true and the "holy of holies".

Years ago the Dreaming of Moshiach blog wrote these interpretations of the 5 prophecies (I don’t know her source)…

  • At the end of days, Turkey will rule over Eretz Israel;
  • Britian (Edom) will come and take power away from them;
  • In 1948, all nations will recognize Israel is ruled by Jews;
  • A ruler in Egypt (Nassar) will rule over arabs and will make pain for Israel. When he will die and no one will remember him;
  • Edom nation shocks the world and instigates wars;
  • The falling tower of Gadia is a sign of the end of time;
  • There will be great changes in the world and great sorrows in the land of Edom on the Western side, as the sea will come in and submerge some of the lands;
  • There will be two eclipses;
  • Troops will go forth from Israel to give the vengeance of Hashem in Edom;
  • The prophecy speaks of a war that will be between Yishmaelim and Edomim in the Holy Land;
  • A nation will come quickly to battle another nation who is shocking the world and will bring judgement on Edom;
  • Paras (Persia) brings hate to the world and cause much worry to the Edomim;
  • The Egyptians will come and make war and in a few days they will awaken a great evil that will leave people crushed and cut off due to the sorrows. This will occur in the land of Gerar, namely the land of the Philistines, meaning Gaza and Gath. And there will be lamentations and bitter crying from the wars and the killing and the pillaging;
  • Those who do not have love for anyone, are happy to kill people. They will wander the land to find people to rob and harm. Everyone hates them because they are evil to the whole world;
  • A city/people called Gadia built a city and a tower. The fall of the Yishmaelim will be in Gadia
  • Rome will fall at the hands of Paras (Persia/Iran);
  • When the avodah zara that is in Rodus will be destroyed, shortly afterwards Rome will be destroyed;
  • Ten strong states will be destroyed;
  • Ten towers or fortresses will submerg and then we will see Eliyahu HaNavi, Zachur Letov;
  • When a king (leader) will write a letter and command to build a bridge in Sanbara /Sanvara, the LIGHT has come to Tzion;
  • When we see that Edom governs the land of Israel , we will believe that the last steps of redemption has begun;
  • A spark of fire will fall from the heavens onto the nations;

imageSo you are referring to the “avoda zara (idol) of Rodus being destroyed”.  I’m not sure how this can be tied to the Statue of Liberty, and a glance at Wikipedia seems to disagree with the facts you presented (but does still qualify the statue as an idol)…

The statue of Liberty is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, a  Roman goddess idol worship, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.  The statue was constructed in France (not Greece / Rhodes).  The arab story (the statue to stand by the Suez Canal for Egypt) does seem to have some accuracy, not in an offer but in an idea of the artist which was unable to get support.  The Statue of Liberty was a later idea, same concept of a giant woman statue but with a different purpose.  Maybe the original was supposed to be the Egyptian idol worship goddess ishtar, the later one a roman idol libertas.

The important thing to note is that we're following the marksman's paradigm (or something like that), which is... drawing a target around the shot.  The things described are written in 1500 year old cryptic terminology.  Can we really interpret the meanings to places that no longer exist (or statues that no longer exist) by trying to connect current ones via some historical chain?  Can we say Edom is the U.S., or Rome is not physical Rome but the Western World and the U.S. or Whitehouse?

G-d willing we will see Moshiach today, and then afterwards be able to place all the events into all the prophetic writings... it's exceedingly hard to do the opposite and align near future events or even active events into the writings.  So far EVERYONE is batting ZERO in trying to do so.

There are certainly many many factors in play that give us prophetic hope… Iran (Paras), Russia is active on Israel’s northern border, Europe is under attack by Muslims, etc.  But we don’t need the news to hope and pray for Moshiach to come today!  That said, the wise don’t close their eyes when nation affecting situations are happening.

May it be so that Moshiach tzidkaynu comes today!

// // Leave a Comment


by Reb Gutman Locks   


     It seems to me that this picture sums up all of life's struggles. We go through our days carrying the load that we make. Whatever comes to us throughout our entire lives comes from what we did or didn't do in the past, so our load is really made out of ourselves. Our bodies are like the peel that temporarily struggles with that load … until at the end of this life when we let go and the peel falls away from the load and we go up.

     Life is what we make of it. Our struggles are ours, our joy is also of our own doing, and our future will be determined by what we what we do with our loads today. 


Friday, November 13, 2015

// // Leave a Comment

Pic: Bostoner Rebbe

The Bostoner Rebbe was recently spotted at the Baron Hirsch synagogue in Memphis Tennessee.  Sometimes, if we merit it, seeing the face of a holy tzaddik can give us a glimpse of the shechina (Divine Presence).  Photo courtesy of Dr. Stephen Wachtel, Ph.D.



// // Leave a Comment

Life Goes On

​   by Reb Gutman Locks 

Life Goes On


     Right after davening neitz (praying at sunrise) at the Kotel this morning, on the way to my apartment in the Rova (Jewish Quarter) via the arab shuk (market). A soldier finishes davening while a charedi man heads for the Kotel.

     The threat from the arab terrorists is still very real. One thing that always accompanies these threats is our coming together. When Jews come together with love, Hashem always removes our enemies from us. Chodesh Tov

(Have a good New Month)


Thursday, November 12, 2015


A Few Israel Pics

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

Israel has some incredible views and sites.  Here’s a few of them…

Sunset in Jerusalem.  From Har Hotzvim, that’s Ramot to the right, Mevetzeret Tziyon in the middle, and Kiryat Belz to the left.  Oh, the building straight ahead, that’s a CISCO development center.



This is a sunset from Ramat Beit Shemesh Gimmel, the sun is setting into the Mediterranean ocean 50 miles distant.



A cloudy day looking towards the Judean hills.  That’s Ramat Beit Shemesh Alef in the distance, and the Wadi Dolev forest in the hills.


// // Leave a Comment

There Is No Connection

​by Reb Gutman Locks   

There Is No Connection


     Trying to explain my previous article on 'Close' one comment actually made things worse! He wrote that the word mitzvah means "connecting us to Hashem." While another comment said, It is "…just semantics, 'Close to' vs. 'Awareness of'".

     There is never a need to connect to the Infinite. The Infinite is already all, so nothing is ever disconnected from It. The All is one, including you and me. This writer is making the same mistake as the rabbi who told the students that mitzvahs bring us 'closer to' Hashem. The word for 'connect' in Hebrew which is the source of the idea to connect to Hashem is chibor. It is the same root of the word chaver (friend) and chavrusa (learning partner). The source of the idea that a mitzvah 'connects' us to Hashem really means that doing mitzvahs endears us to Hashem. Just as the idea 'close' when it comes to Hashem means to endear, so does the word 'connect' mean to endear.

     It is not just a problem with semantics. The Jew who goes through life feeling that he or she is not close to G-d, or is disconnected from G-d, will live a very different life than the Jew who feels that he needs to become more dear to, more beloved to Hashem. It is sort of like needing to yell at a loved one because he is very far away from you, or lovingly whispering in His ear. Hashem is our very life, our breath. We do not need to connect to our breath, but we certainly have to keep our breath fresh.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

// // Leave a Comment

Family Purity and the Bodeket

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

One of the touchiest mitzvot to discuss within Torah Judaism is the mitzvah of Family Purity.  This wonderful euphemism actually means restrictions on the timing of marital relations between the married Jewish couple.  This article will briefly discuss the mitzvah, and an option for those having physical trouble with a specific aspect of the mitzvah application.  It’s extremely hard to do this modestly, but can be important information for those with this particular problem.  As such I’m going to try my best to discuss it, venture into the necessary details, while doing my best to avoid any inappropriate public discussion.  THAT SAID, THIS ARTICLE WILL INVOLVE ADULT TOPICS and TERMINOLOGY.  Don’t get upset that you were shocked, this is the “trigger warning”.

Family Purity, a definition.  Within observant Judaism, consistent with our understanding of the Torah (she’bi’ktav and she’baal’pe), a restriction is placed upon a married couple (married couple means two opposite sex cis-gendered adults who have bound themselves as a couple formally according to the laws of Moshe and Yisroel, or informally by committing a series of actions that equate enough of the formal ones) to NOT engage in marital relations (that means intercourse) at times when the woman is having her monthly cycle (menstruating).

Like most things in observant Judaism, there are many details and additional restrictions to prevent accidental violation of the restriction.  These include a minimum number of days in the restriction time, including some defined as “clean days” to verify there is no remaining cycle output (menstrual flow), and others such as avoiding all physical contact on restricted days (to avoid being overcome by desires for each other).  [Clean days in this sentence has no spiritual implications, it rather means days when flow has ceased.]

However some couples encounter female-health physical difficulties with this mitzvah.  Examples include a short cycle, where required separation times may leave little time for marital relations, erratic cycles that ‘surprise’ the couple and their plans, or long menstruation that similar to the short cycle may leave little time for relations.  Modern medicine can assist with these problems, as medicine that helps regulate cycles can be given in many circumstances. 

Another problem which sometimes occurs, and for some couples may be a regular problem, is ‘spotting’.  Because the restrictions rely on timing as well as physical signs, and there is no greater sign of flow than the result, any spot found can indicate the start of a cycle – even if the timing isn’t right.  If such spots are found, particularly during clean days, they are exceptionally problematic and may require the restriction period to restart – resulting in a significant delay in resuming relations – sometimes even running into the next regular cycle!  For some couples where this may happen with some regularity, this can be a major disruption to their married life.

Got all that?  How am I doing?  This is hard!

Someone having such a problem should get checked out by appropriate medical professionals.  Sometimes these signs are indications of medical issues that can and should be addressed.  But sometimes they’re not, it’s just the particular woman’s system’s way of operation.

Around 15 years ago, a halachic innovation entered to try to help.  The bodeket.  This is a medical specialist with religious training (usually a nurse practitioner or gynecologist) who performs an examination when such a problem is occurring to determine IF the source of the spotting is uterine (which invokes all the restrictions) or is NOT.  At least in some cases, spotting may not be uterine, and if not does not invoke restrictions.  For some couples, finding this out when they have been struggling with this problem is a major help in their lives.

All of this was brought up by a recent advertisement by our HMO in Israel, which now has an on-staff bodeket provided as part of their medical services.  Apparently this problem solving approach is now well enough known to warrant providing.

If a married Jewish couple is suffering from such a situation, they should consult their local orthodox rabbi, and/or an expert posek (expert rabbi) on this topic, and ask about whether using a bodeket would be appropriate.

Related Posts with Thumbnails