“Intimacy education pioneer” and “cutting edge medical expert” are not words most people associate with Hasidic Jews, but then again, Rabbi Yitzchak Melber, originally from Monsey, is not your average Hasid. Raised Skverer, Rabbi Melber, who now resides in Israel, became a Chasan teacher when he was first married and discovered something troubling. There were many couples who were suffering from intimacy and fertility issue due to bad education and or a lack of knowledge of medical treatments available.
Pain during relations, longer separation than necessary during niddah, and trouble conceiving were among the questions that Rabbi Melber was fielding. “The more that I delved into this topic, we saw the information [on] very advanced technology and medications…which is not really accessible to the average Orthodox and for sure not in the ultra-Orthodox community.” He was struck by this, alongside his wife, and worked to start making a change.
“I took some classes at colleges and universities…and we realized that there are issues that people are facing that they have no answers [to]. They reach out to people to help them, rabbis, doctors, psychologists…they were missing the cultural sensitivity so people could not relate to them, or were giving old-fashioned information that was not suitable, or providing ineffective solutions.” This was the main reason that Melber realized that he needed to jump in. With his wife, he formed Tahareinu, a hotline to empower women and therefore impact the families. He wanted “to focus on the prevention level rather than just helping people who are suffering in silence.”
“The fact that we have no built-in education system for young couples to be updated with the right information made it very difficult.” Melber wanted to turn it into a global organization so that couples from all over the world could gain from the information. “Challenges can make for confused, stressful times and puts families at even a dysfunctional stages. So the idea of Tahareinu is to have the most advanced information ready…so the families can have access…and even get guidance to a practical solution.”
Melber met with leaders from Hasidic, Modern Orthodox, Sefardi and Yeshivish communities. He has rabbinic approbations from the biggest rabbis in the world He has since published a book on the topic of contraception and received a prize from the Israeli government for his efforts. Tahareinu has also been recognized by the Knesset. More than their accolades, Tahareinu is concerned with the individual caller, their concerns, and their experience when they call to get help from the organization.
A group of over 45 women with 200 hours in training by the top OBGYNs are ready to assist anyone who contacts the organization. They reeducate kallah teachers and rabbis working in communities with updated information to best help the couples that seek them out. Additionally their rabbis are well-versed in Jewish law as well as the medical aspects of women’s health. Tahareinu has both a hotline and email address which are open to all women in the US, Canada, and Israel, providing Rabbis or female staff members, depending on individual comfort levels, to all Jewish women with questions about family purity and medical incongruities. Additionally, the hotline has a unit to address questions or concerns of husbands.
Melber says, “[We are here to] empower the woman so they can communicate very effectively with their doctors or local experts…and to know really when it is a question to go to the Rabbi, [and] what is the question [specifically].” Tahareinu helps identify each woman’s needs and individual questions in order to better serve Jewish women and “change the community for a better future.” By starting with educating Jewish women, Melber is confident that the rest will follow. “The women can benefit so they can really be empowered…when there’s a healthy mother, and a happy mother, there is absolutely a happy family.”
For more information, visit: tahareinu.com
US & Canada Hotline Number: 1-855-TAHARA (482-4272)