25 11, 2020

Pidyon HaBen over Zoom

November 25th, 2020|Birth, Yoreh De'ah|


Maryland, USA

It seems it should be totally mutar to do a Pidyon HaBen on Zoom because many Acharonim say that shelichut can work (Rav Yosef Zvi Rimon says as much). That said, I have a family that wants the kohen to be someone they know who lives in Israel (in some ways, taking advantage of the Zoom situation!). The kohen happens to currently be in America, but in a few days is going back to Israel. May they send him the coins (or something worth that amount) now while he is in America with […]

24 11, 2020

Planning for Going into Labor on Shabbat

November 24th, 2020|Birth, Choleh, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions|


Midwest, USA

Curious about a woman who goes into labor on Shabbat. Clearly we allow her husband to drive to the hospital with her. Would we allow him to do this if he was driving separately? What about other support people who are part of her “birth plan” (like a mother or sister)? What about someone like a doula, who is not part of the medical team, but is a trained support person who the woman is expecting to be there? (Let’s assume everyone is Jewish.)


11 03, 2019

Surrogacy (Joy of Text 3.10)

March 11th, 2019|Birth, Fertility, Marriage and Family, Sex|

On the Season 3 Finale we interview a Jewish woman who made the decision to be a surrogate and carry a child for someone else, with the support of her husband and their three young children. Carrie and Jamie Bornstein share personally and poignantly about what it means to help another couple become parents, and how their kids and their community dealt with this new reality. And for our opening segment, we respond to a listener who asked about kink: Are certain sexual practices problematic on Shabbat or Yom Tov? What if they involve rope or other implements? What other […]

11 03, 2019

Childbirth (Joy of Text 2.3)

March 11th, 2019|Birth, Marriage and Family, Niddah|

In this episode of The Joy of Text we will discuss the laws of touch during a natural birth, and we will be joined by Gila Block, founder of Yesh Tikvah, to discuss infertility issues in Orthodox communities. We will ask: Can a husband touch his wife while she is in labor? Do the laws of niddah apply if touch between husband and wife is serving a medical purpose? How do halakhic authorities assess which kinds of touch are intimate and sexual and which are not? How can communities provide support for couples who struggle with infertility? Listen to this […]

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