For first-time kallot and chatanim, this realm of halacha will be almost entirely new. Brides typically learn these halachot with a kallah teacher, and grooms with a chatan teacher. Some couples may also meet together with a teacher. Frameworks for learning vary greatly with respect to style, time commitment, cost, and halachic approach.
It’s important for the couple to make a concerted effort to find teachers who are qualified and experienced and who share their general religious worldview. This is one of the most important elements in wedding preparation; in both the short and long term, a kallah or chatan teacher can have significant impact.
We suggest collecting a few recommendations and speaking to the different teachers to determine who would be the best fit. If there is a concern after the first meeting, or even later, that this teacher is not a good match, one should not hesitate to find another, more suitable teacher.
Points to consider when choosing a teacher:
- What teaching experience does the teacher have?
- What halachic and professional qualifications does the teacher have? Is the teacher knowledgeable?
- Does the teacher seem respectful, approachable, sensitive, and responsive? Is this someone easy to talk to about intimate, personal concerns?
- Does the teacher share the couple’s general hashkafa and approach to halacha?
- Does the teacher’s style seem to match how the kallah (or chatan) learns best?
- What is the teacher’s syllabus? How does it balance halachic topics with other aspects of marital preparation? Does it cover related halachic topics, such as head-covering and family planning? How does it balance source-based learning with practical halacha?
- Has the teacher completed additional training in related areas (e.g., sexuality, couples counseling, reproductive health)? For brides who have experienced sexual trauma, specialized training can be especially important.
- What is the teacher’s availability between sessions, as wedding preparations get underway, and also after the wedding?
- Is the kallah’s teacher open to consulting or communicating with the chatan’s teacher (and vice versa)?
- Is the teacher familiar with the halachic tradition that the couple will follow (e.g., Ashkenazi, Chabad, Syrian, etc.)? A couple typically follows the husband’s traditions in this area, with the exception of mikveh immersion itself—which typically follows a kallah’s mother, but there can be exceptions to this.
- How does the teacher work with rabbis? Who is the teacher’s halachic authority for questions that arise?
- What, if any, book does the teacher use or recommend? (See our annotated list of books here. LINK to this section of resources and links)
- Is the teacher’s class structure (number of meetings, length, cost, location) realistic?
Resources and Links
- Yoetzet Halacha Tova Sinensky has written an important blogpost, full of tips for kallot.
- Kallah Companion, our online kallah curriculum, can supplement in-person kallah courses.
- Our website includes lists of helpful online resources and books on the laws of niddah and related issues.
- In Israel, Tovim Hashnaim is a service that helps connect kallot and chatanim to qualified teachers.
Yoatzot Halacha, in Israel or worldwide, may also teach kallot or help make a referral.