Metzora: The Blessing of Family Purity
why does Judaism use the term, 'Family Purity'? It's because the entire sanctity of the marriage and the future of the offspring depend on this important mitzvah...
by Rabbi Lazer Brody
"She shall be in her state of separation..." (Leviticus 15:19)
The above passage in its entirety is the source of the Jewish Laws of Family Purity. Why are they not called "The Laws of Menstruation" or the "Laws of Conjugal Relations"? We call this extremely vital mitzvah "Family Purity" because the sanctity of the marriage and the couple's relationship with Hashem, plus the entire future of their offspring, all depend on the purity of the husband and wife.
The Gemara and the Zohar spare no words of praise as to the rewards of a couple who are careful about these laws. In addition, if they sanctify themselves and uplift the conjugal relationship to the loftiest level of thought, speech and deed that they can, they are assured mentally and physically healthy offspring, strong in body, mind and soul and beautiful as well.
The list of fantastic promises continues.
Who doesn't need an adequate living nowadays?
Making an adequate living is something everyone wants. Quoting the Zohar, Rebbe Nachman of Breslevs teaches that a man's livelihood comes by virtue of his wife, rather than by talent or hard work. The more spiritually pure the couple is, the more the woman invokes Divine blessing, and subsequently enhances the familys income. Therefore, for a couple to reach their optimal income potential, it is advisable that they take advantage of the wealth of family purity, which includes the magical Jewish soul-purification tool - the mikva (ritual bath). Also, any compromise in family purity laws are costly not only in the Heavenly Court, but in a person's pocket down here on this earth.
One of the most common marital issues that people complain about and public enemy number one to peace in the home is financial problems. The first thing I tell couples is that they can find the solution in observing the laws of family purity. This includes the wife's periodic immersion in a mikva, among other mitzvot (laws). Some people balk at this suggestion, mostly out of ignorance and distorted preconceptions. However if a couple has financial problems and they are not yet observing family purity, even winning the Irish Lottery will not solve their problems.
The double blessings of purity and abundance are none other than the magic inherent in the mikva. Some people think that they have fallen into debt because they made a bad investment. However debt can also be the result of ritual impurity. With mikva, a family will have an easier time earning a livelihood, as the holy Zohar teaches that the magic of the mikva directly contributes to an adequate income.
The benefits of family purity include a more loving, lasting, and meaningful marital relationship, enhanced livelihood, and more successful children especially if the husband does his part and makes the best effort he can to guard his eyes and his own personal holiness. Again, "Family Purity" is termed as such rather than "Menstrual Laws" because it depends just as much on the holiness of the husband as it does on the wife. It's a family effort and a family blessing.
I know of many parents that went to Rav Shalom Arush with complaints about their children, income, or their shalom bayit (peace in the home). The first thing he tells them is to learn the practical laws of family purity and to begin observing them. He stresses the importance of the wife going to mikva every month. He also advises them to enhance the purification of their souls with prayer, particularly the Tikkun Klali, which is a collection of 10 Psalms compiled by Rebbe Nachman: 16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, and 150. Many childless couples have become parents with this advice.
Family purity keeps a couple young forever. Their marriage is lovingly renewed every month. The mikva is one of the greatest gifts Hashem gave us. It has magical powers. If a woman had spiritual eyes, she would see what an impression her mikva immersion has on the spiritual worlds. Entire regiments of archangels descend to accompany her on the way to the mikva. Once a woman immerses herself, she receives a unique holiness a tremendous spiritual power. As she immerses her body in the mikva waters, Hashem personally immerses her soul in the heavenly mikva. She emerges with a great spiritual status on this night, and her ability to bless is very powerful. Her neshama the essence of her newly purified soul emanates from her, and invokes Divine blessings. These blessings and many, many more - are available to all who maintain family purity.
Rabbi Lazer Brody was born in Washington, D.C. in 1949. After receiving his bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Maryland in 1970, he moved to Israel and joined the Israel Defense Forces regular army, and served in one of the elite special-forces units. He is a decorated combat veteran of two wars and numerous of counter-insurgence and anti-terrorist missions on both sides of Israel's borders.
Rabbi Brody is the English-language editor of Breslev Israel's highly popular English-language website at www.breslev.co.il, and the founder and director of Emuna Outreach. Between Breslov Israel and Emuna Outreach, he devotes his time to spreading emuna and particularly the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev around the globe.
"Lazer Beams," Rabbi Brody's award-winning daily web journal, has been instrumental in helping tens of thousands of people around the globe find joy and fulfillment in their lives.