Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Love and Marriage

Well, the Chainik Hocker is getting married. Poor bastard doesn't know what he's getting himself into! Just kidding. Marriage is a wonderful institution, to which I've been committed for more than four years.

His engagement inspires me to write about my gripes about being religious and married, and most specifically, hilchos niddah. This post is not for children.

My chosson teacher came highly recommended. In fact, he teaches boys from one of the most well-respected yeshivos in Brooklyn. However, when it came to the subject of sex, the man is obviously either an ignoramus or a nutjob.

"When you're about to have your orgasm, think of a pasuk (Biblical verse)."

Sure. And if I do that at just the right moment, I might get distracted from holding myself up and collapse onto my tiny wife. Yid's a big guy. Mrs. Yid isn't. Thinking of a pasuk would yield tragic results.

The second thing I recall that led me to question his sanity was when he said to me:

"Women don't even really enjoy sex. It just makes them messy."

Well, this one statement certainly did explain the utter lack of joy in his wife's eyes as she walked by the door. Some home life he must have. Ladies, is this true? You never enjoy sex? Just make you a wee bit messy, eh? Feh! If that's true, why is conjugal relations one of the three Biblical obligations a man has to his wife? Because women enjoy being messy?

Ah, but I digress.

or do I?

Yes, I suppose I do.

When my wife and I had been married around 15-18 months, Rabbi Hillel David (my level of pissed-off-ness leads me to an "I don't really care" attitude about the loshon hora here) was speaking to my wife on the phone about a niddah shailoh. My wife was curious about the reasoning to his p'sak, and David responded that he never explains niddah p'sak to women. That's fine by me. My wife was afraid she'd offended him, though, and apologized if she had. Rabbi David then told my wife to find another rav to talk to and promptly hung up on her.

Yes. Chew on that for a moment.

One of the most prominent rabbis in Flatbush actually was rude enough to hang up on my wife. She was so shaken by this she nearly cried.

So, now we take all of our niddah shailos to Rabbi Yosef Veiner, a man who always gives my wife the time she needs, and never hangs up on her.

Interesting way of classifying the quality of a rav, no? "He doesn't hang up on my wife! How about that!"

When my first child was born, before Hillel David revealed himself for the monster that he is (although I already had issues with him for the way he would scold and embarrass people in public) my wife and I consulted with him for choices in birth control. The pill is not an option for us due to health considerations. My wife's health is a complicated issue. The rav gave the option of using the IUD. He said nothing about what life would be like with it, however.

Life with an IUD is living hell.

Any rav who gives a heter for an IUD without warning of the ramifications deserves to be shot. IUD's make women bleed. A lot. From the point that a woman starts her period to when she goes to the mikveh is a minimum of twelve days. The IUD turned that 12 into.... let's just say longer than 12 days, and we were given no advance warning. We would have taken it anyway, but to endure that hardship when any rav would either have to know this in advance or be brain dead is absolutely appalling.

And what do you do when your wife is due to go to the mikveh, there's a niddah shailoh, and you can't get hold of a rav? You go to bed thinking of what might have been, angry at the Jewish world, like I am most of the time now, anyhow.

This was my rant. I hope it made sense.

To the Chainik Hocker, I wish you all the happiness in the world. Perhaps you'll be spared some of the insanity I've had to go through during my marriage, but don't think for a moment that I'd rather be single.


At 9:21 AM, Blogger The Chainik Hocker said...

*incoherent sputtering*

You've given me things to worry about that I've never heard about 24 hours ago!

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Borderline said...

Hey, just stumbled on the blog, looks interesting. Mazal tov on the new baby!

At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Yossi said...

Before you choose a form of birth control shouldn't you consult doctors and other medical material and THEN the Rav? Since when is it the Rav's job to advise you on the longer periods? I thought his job is Halacha not medicine.

If you don't have the brains to do some research, don't blame your Rav.

At 7:35 AM, Blogger aLan said...

Try the Mirena IUD, no blood at all :)

At 11:36 AM, Blogger justme said...

Hello. I don't know if you will see this, being that this blog was written so many years ago. But I recently stumbled across this post while doing a google search for something unrelated. And I just felt terrible about your experience with rabbanim. It is a terrible discouragement to feel let down by those who are in leadership positions. But I just want to say... I do believe there are good people out there. Not perfect, but good people, who are really moser atzmam latzibur. Sometimes the hard part is just finding them. But when you do, it's worth it. I was thinking of a rav I know who is also a chosson rebbe. He mentioned to me that he keeps his phone on every night due to his capacity as a chosson rebbe. Now, I did not ask what exactly he keeps it on for, but I imagine... So yes, I do believe there are good people out there... if you do see this and there's anything you want to ask/comment, you can email me at

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Normank said...

Hi I don't know who you are or anything else about. I randomly found this blog on a google search as well. Being that I did see this I feel as though I have a requirement to stand up for one of the foremost poskim in pur generation. Reb Hillel is my Rav as well as the rov for many of my friends. True he can be curt at times and I don't know what the reason for that is. However almost all the time he is one of the nicest people you will ever speak to. He is very involved in Kiruv allover the USA. I have seen him with kids from Seattle doing a so called Seattle handshake with all the motions. The out of town rabanim who know him all say how friendly he is and how he gives them so much time. Perhaps it is because he is asked the same questions from Flatbush people all the time is why he is at times curt. Not an excuse but nobody is perfect but please excuse me for wanting to take exception to him as some sort of monster. When I went to him because I thought my wife had some sort of complication in her pregnancy he was very gracious and helpful and as always gave me a heartfelt bracha that everything should be ok. Just to give you a picture of the respect and admiration people have for him there was a dinner for the shul, something they hadn't done in a while and hundreds of people came from near and far to show their appreciation for him.


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