Intimidated by laws
30 June, 2004
I'm terrified of geting married, because all these laws of niddah seem so complicated and I don't know if I'm committed enough to keeping them. Rather than getting married and worrying about the halacha or worrying about transgression of halacha, I've been just avoiding getting married. I know it sounds stupid, but I'm a ba'alat tshuva and I just haven't ever felt comfortable with the laws of niddah. I'm conflicted though, because I think having come this far with my observance that to not follow these laws would make me feel hypocritical. Is there anything I can read or anything you can tell me about the halacha to ease this fear of mine?
Thanks for providing this service. I just found it, but it's comforting and not nearly so embarrassing to know there are women available to ask such questions.
We suggest that you read Rikvah Slonim's book Total Immersion. It is a collection of essays by women, many from non frum backgrounds, about how they approach this mitzvah. You might also want to visit www.mikvah.org, which includes a helpful introduction to the theory and practice of mikveh.
These rules sound complicated, but over time one gets used to them. I am sure the rules of keeping kosher also sounded complicated at the beginning. There are also resources, such as this site, for consultation as questions arise. If you wish to further disuss specific issues in these laws that make you uncomfortable, feel free to get back to us. You can also call Nishmat's Golda Koschitzky Women's Halachic Hotline, and speak directly with a yoetzet. In general, it is better to try to keep something and make an occasional mistake (we are all human), rather than to avoid the situation totally.
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