Halachic advice for women
Yoatzot Halacha, an organization that is Advisors of the Law, has published this 376 page book Nishmat Habayit, The Soul of the Home, by Maggid Books, Nishmat, and OU Press. It contains a collection of 63 common questions that Yoatzot Halacha have been asked. The goal of the book “on taharat ha-mishpahah [is] fortifying the holiness of the Jewish people, and sanctifying God’s Name.” The book addresses pregnancy with eight chapters, birth with thirteen, pregnancy loss with three, nursing with five, and contraception with thirty-four. It includes five “Medical Appendices” in 34 pages on the female reproductive system, pregnancy, labor and childbirth, miscarriage, and contraception. There is also a medical bibliography, halakhic references, a glossary, and an eight page two column index.
The following is a sample of the 63 questions. “I am in my eleventh week of pregnancy, and I found light bleeding on a white undergarment, Am I niddah because of the bleeding.” In the eight page response, the book addresses the medical perspective that the bleeding is not a cause for concern. It then delineates the conditions when the blood would render the woman a niddah.
Another question is: “I have two daughters under the age of three, and I do not want to become pregnant in the near future. Can I wait? And if so, for how long?” In the five page response, the book states, “Halakhah grants a woman the option of spacing births for the sake of her own health and the benefit of the child. Spacing pregnancies for these reasons is not considered neglect of the mitzvah [to have children], and sometimes delaying the mitzvah allows for its more optimal fulfillment at the right time.”
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