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A Guide to Taharas Hamishpacha

Highlighting: “Wellsprings of Taharah” by Rabbi Yitzchak and Miriam Goldberg. Mosaica Press. 2023. English. Hardcover. 272 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1957579580.

Rabbi Yitzchak and Miriam Goldberg are an American-born couple currently residing in the Ramat Eshkol/Sanhedria neighborhood of Jerusalem, where they have lived for most of their twenty years of marriage. Over the years, they have developed strong relationships with many of today’s leading poskim, who have guided them to become communal educators. Among the variety of topics that they give over to the public, family purity (taharas hamishpacha) has been at the forefront and most popular.

In reviewing the existing texts available in English outlining the laws of family purity, the Goldbergs realized that in order to meet contemporary needs, an updated text was necessary to speak more relevantly to the current Anglo population about this foundational yet very intimate mitzvah.

Their first step in following up on this idea was to host small, separate groups of men and women around their table weekly, where they could ask questions and share ideas about this sacred mitzvah. These groups created a close connection among the participants, who shared personal stories and anecdotes. Several participants began making recordings of the sessions, which they transcribed and made into handouts for each particular group. The gatherings grew exponentially over the years. When COVID hit in 2020, the groups were held on Zoom and reached audiences of young Anglos in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

After experiencing great success in these private groups, the Goldbergs felt it was time to take things to the next level. They turned to the revered Rav Yitzchak Berkovits Shlita, rosh yeshiva of Aish Hatorah and head of the Jerusalem Kollel. With his encouragement and endorsement, Rav Berkovits Shlita agreed to include his own pesakim and review the new book. He worked closely with the Goldbergs on the book from 2020 through 2023 when it was published by Mosaica Press and distributed by Feldheim Books.

In his introduction to the sefer, Rav Berkovits wrote: “The kedusha, holiness, of Taharas Hamishpacha manifests itself in the combination of the halachic context that defines behavior and ritual during the various stages of a woman’s cycle and the establishment of mature and meaningful attitudes that are the neshama, soul, of the behavioral code… Obviously, the study of Taharas Hamishpacha begins with the attainment of a clear knowledge and understanding of the halachos. However, it is far from complete without the development of deep-felt appreciation of the values expressed in these halachos. Rabbi Yitzchak and Miriam Goldberg have successfully run numerous groups teaching both the halachah as well as the attitudes toward Taharas Hamishpacha and Shalom Bayis. By committing their classes to the printed word they are now available to a greater audience… The halachos are presented with much detail and clarity. The hashkafos are inspiring, yet down to earth.”

Additional endorsements given to the work are those from Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky, rosh yeshiva of the Rabbinical Yeshiva of Philadelphia; Rav Zev Leff, rav of Moshav Matityahu and rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedola Matityahu; Rav Asher Weiss, internationally acclaimed Torah scholar; Harav Dovid Yosef, rosh beit midrash “Yechaveh Daas” and member of Moetzet Chachmei Hatorah; and Rebbetzin Kolodetsky, daughter of Rav Chaim Kanievsky, zt”l.

The format of the sefer is interactive, which lends it a quality of accessibility and engagement. The first nine chapters outline the different areas of the observance of Taharas Hamishpacha, interspersing diagrams, charts and timelines to explicate topics. Also included are personal anecdotes submitted by couples about these topics, which lend a personal and even sometimes humorous touch to the material.

The first appendix provides mathematical calculations, simplifying separation halachos. A separate appendix outlines the distinct Halachos according to Sefardic Halacha. Appendix E offers a comprehensive list of review questions and answers. Appendix G lists helpful resources for observing the mitzvah and provides websites through which they can be obtained. Finally, a glossary of Hebrew terms used throughout the work is provided. The attractive cover designed by Mosaica Press adds another appealing dimension to this cogent, modern compilation of the foundational Halachos of Taharas Hamishpacha.

“Wellsprings of Taharah” by Rabbi Yitzchak and Miriam Goldberg, published by Mosaica Press, is available on Amazon and at your local Judaica store.

A previous publication by Miriam Goldberg consisting of inspirational stories, entitled “Purely Inspired” can be purchased through Amazon.

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