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Is Marriage What You Thought it Would Be? – The Event

The third official Balaboostas lecture is coming up. Don’t miss out on this important event…where you come with your spouse! You can RSVP by emailing me at or comment on this blog post or message me here. Space is very limited, since it is for husbands and wives, so if you would like to recommend this to a friend, please do so as soon as possible. (We cannot have walk ins as special tables will be rented – so if you RSVP please do show up!) Looking forward to meeting you.


Thank you for reading.

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Getting Closer – The Event

The second official Balaboostas lecture has finally arrived! Don’t miss out on this important subject. You can RSVP on Facebook, or comment on this blog post or message me here. Space is limited, so if you would like to bring friends, please let me know as soon as possible (but they can just show up too). Looking forward to meeting you! Presents “Getting Closer”

Mrs. Fraidy Yanover will be presenting Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in marriage and intimacy for Orthodox couples. On Tuesday, May 7, he will be presenting his new book, “Getting Closer – Understanding and Treating Issues in Marital Intimacy: A Guide for Orthodox Couples”, and he will be discussing its content and related topics for the benefit of Jewish married women (only). Joining him will be Dr. Rivkah Friedman, PT, MS, DPT, an alumnus of the SUNY Downstate’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Together, they will address some of the most common concerns that pertain to marital intimacy from a psychological as well as a physical standpoint.

At the end of the lecture, Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch and Dr. Rivka Friedman will open the floor to Q&A that can be submitted anonymously at the event. We will provide postcards and pens for this purpose. For more information about “Getting Closer”, feel free to visit Some of the topics included in the book are:

  • Low desire disorders
  • Internet addiction
  • Unconsummated marriages
  • Dyspareunia & Vaginismus
  • Sexual abuse
  • Fear of Intimacy
  • Infertility
  • Postpartum Depression
  • And more…

We hope to see you for this important and informative presentation on this crucial topic. Please feel free to invite your friends and RSVP immediately, as space is limited!

Date: May 7, 2012

Location: 829 Montgomery Street

Time: 7:45-9:30 pm

Admission: $12 charge, $18 suggestion.

Light refreshments will be served.

Getting Closer 3 (2)

Flyer by Miriam Hammer Design

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Getting Closer

Authors note: Exclusively on Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch along with Dr. Rivkah Friedman, a physiotherapist who specializing in sexual pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, pregnancy & postpartum related issues, will be writing a new column answering questions from readers concerning sexual dysfunction. If you have specific questions, please submit them to:

In his new book “Getting Closer—Understanding and Treating Issues in Marital Intimacy: A Guide for Orthodox Couples“, Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, Marriage and Family Therapist, aims to remove the shame and isolation felt by Orthodox couples dealing with sexual dysfunction.


In this book, Rabbi Schonbuch, who is known for his success as a marriage therapist in New York City, explores various aspects of sexual dysfunction including:

  • Low desire disorders
  • Internet addiction
  • Unconsummated marriage
  • Dyspareunia & Vaginismus
  • Sexual abuse
  • Fear of intimacy​
  • Infertility
  • Postpartum Depression and more…

The book was edited by two leading medical experts in gynecology, including Dr. Heather Appelbaum and Dr. Robin Bliss of the NorthShore Long Island Jewish Medical Center, with a preface written by Dr. Heather Appelbaum, who is also an Associate Professor of, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, Hofstra University. 

“I wrote the book because I noticed that some couples will attend several counseling sessions to resolve their emotional difficulties, but never report that they are having a sexual problem. I have worked with couples who complained about their finances, children, and their in-laws, but avoided discussing the most painful part of their marriage—their lack of intimacy”, says Schonbuch.

According to Schonbuch, there is not only a lack of understanding of how common sexual dysfunction actually is, but also that it is a very common issue for young women. “It has been found that sexual dysfunction is highest among younger women, with 21 percent of women aged 18 to 29 reporting physical pain during intimacy. Twenty-seven percent report experiencing non-pleasurable relations and 16 percent reported anxiety relating to intimacy. Additionally, many couples struggle with intimacy after pregnancy, internet addictions, sexual aversion, or infertility issues, and they don’t know who to turn to for help.”

In Getting Closer, the author provides couples with a powerful roadmap that shares compassion, deep insight, and proven interventional strategies that have helped hundreds of couples to resolve issues in marital intimacy that may have been left untreated for years. The book also examines the connection between personal attachment styles and intimacy.

“I base my work on something called Attachment Theory created by Dr. John Bowlby. It describes why some couples have an easier time getting closer, while others tend to fight a lot”, explains Schonbuch. “There are three types of attachment: secure, anxious, and avoidant. Secure individuals are comfortable with affection and giving to one another. Anxious individuals tend to crave closeness but may overwhelm their spouse with their fear of not being loved. Avoidant individuals are not comfortable with closeness or intimacy, and tend to avoid talking and close contact.”

The book includes a quick attachment style questionnaire that helps readers identify their own attachment style and how this may be affecting their relationship with their spouse.

“In my book, I aim to normalize the issue of sexual dysfunction by explaining that problems in the bedroom are very common and need to be treated, since they can have a lasting impact on the quality of the marriage. For example, even if a man had PE once or twice, or a woman found relations to be painful, it can create distance between the couple who may spend years avoiding closeness or fighting about secondary issues that have nothing to do with their real problems”, says Schonbuch.

The book is divided into three sections: “Emotions, Desire, and Intimacy,” “Guide to Sexual Dysfunction” and “Finding Solutions”. Throughout its pages are detailed descriptions of dysfunctions and disorders, interweaved with real case studies of how Schonbuch helped couples through Emotionally Focused Therapy. By relaying case studies of couples dealing with sexual dysfunction in their marriage, he illustrates how through focusing on the emotions a couple is feeling when they’re quarreling, they come to realize what they’re truly feeling.

“I trained with one of the most successful marriage therapists in the world, Dr. Sue Johnson. She was the cofounder of Emotionally Focused Therapy which helps couples expand and reorganize important emotional responses, creates secure relationship bonds, increases intimacy, and shifts each spouse’s position towards positive interaction”, say Schonbuch. “During each session I help each person express what are called primary emotions such as fear of being alone, being unlovable, or not measuring up to their spouse’s expectations. I also created a highly empathetic environment where spouses turn towards one another and learn to validate what they are both experiencing.”

Schonbuch believes that individuals may feel ashamed or live in isolation when dealing with sexual dysfunction. He therefore wrote “Getting Closer” as a form of “Biblio Therapy,” where couples can read the book, reduce their discomfort on the topic, and allow them to further discuss these issues with or without a therapist.

Getting Closer is available in Jewish bookstores,, in ebook formats and is recommended to couples, chosson and kallah teachers, therapists, and rabbis and rebbetzins, who encounter these problems frequently and now have a resource to address those difficulties effectively. For a free preview of the book, click here. This book was released only yesterday, you heard it first here!

Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, is a Marriage and Family Therapist specializes in marriage counseling for Orthodox couples. His relationship-based approach to counseling has helped hundreds of couples improve their marriages and resolve issues in marital intimacy. His new book, Getting Closer, explores various aspects of sexual dysfunction. You can view more about his work at:

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Every Wedding Night

I wanted to write about this topic for a long time. Mikvah is something that we can all relate to as a Jewish women and it is a topic that is often discussed between us. There was a recent thread on the forum, “Is your wedding night really that hard?“, that got me thinking and I decided to scratch my other notes on Mikvah and write this one. An anonymous poster wrote that the “wedding night is supposed to be the best night of your life”. It does not matter in what context it was written in, although I am sure you all know (or you can go read). But that sentence really got me thinking.


Every observant Jewish woman knows about Niddah. She knows that there will be times as a wife that she will not be able to be affectionate toward her husband. She will not be able to kiss him, hug him, or even pass him a plate of food. Forget about being intimate. Sometimes it will last two weeks, other times, three, and at times, like post partum, about six to ten weeks. It is hard. No one would deny that. You love the person you are living with, yet you cannot physically express it.

After the bleeding, there is a process. There is the checking, the 7 clean days, the preparing for the Mikvah and finally, the dipping. Mikvah. You prepare for 7 days for 3 (or in some cases 1, 2 or 9) dips in holy water. There are many reasons why the water is holy and special, but the main reason being, is that it makes you Tahor, spiritually pure. This water that covers your body from head to toe, renders you Halachically permissible for your husband.

There is that feeling of euphoria as you walk out of the Mikvah. Bag in hand, spotlessly clean, fresh makeup, and in some cases, wet hair. You have to talk to your feet to walk and not run as you make your way home so that you do not get hurt on the way. And whether or not you actually get to see your husband right away or two hours later, you run into each other’s arms and that feeling is exhilarating. No one can deny it. However tired, moody or stressed you are, your husband’s arm around your waist melts everything around you and all you want is him. Suddenly, you can have each other again, romantically. You can pass him a cup of water after two weeks of not being allowed to. Suddenly, the most mundane little action seems like the only thing you want to do. Kissing and hugging and finally, being intimate.

So is that not really the best night of your life?

Of course your life is so long Baruch Hashem, and you have many many best nights. Your wedding is a fabulous, fun night. The night your child is born, the night you go on an amazing date to the Eiffel Towers, the night your child comes home from school with top grades…and Mikvah night.

I am sure many of you will agree that the more you get to know your husband, the more you live with him and spend time with him, there is more to love and more to cherish. No one can disagree that however long you dated, however long you spoke and touched and kissed when you were engaged, the longer you are married, the more real your love gets for him.

A psychologist by the name of Elaine Hatfield said there are two kinds of love – passionate and compassionate. Passionate is that burning crazy fiery feeling of lust, longing, attraction and desire. Eventually that leads to compassionate love. The kind where you have a mutual feeling of respect and understanding for each other, inner and deep feelings of wanting to protect and care for one another.

The longer you are married, the longer you are together, the more compassionate you will get, the more real your love is…a deep down carved-on-your-heart feeling of love. And who can say that making love to your husband, compassionate, honest, attracting real caring love, after two weeks of being apart, is not going to be the best night of your life?

As Jewish women, we get that every month, assuming you have an average cycle. Look at the rate of divorce and separation in the secular world, and their excuses “we got bored”, “he forgot about me”, “she found someone else”. We (usually) cannot say that. Of course there is divorce, but these are hardly ever the reasons. We cannot get bored. G-d made sure of that. He made sure that once a month, a Jewish man and woman will have their real wedding night all over again.

So yes, I guess I am saying that the wedding night is the best night of your life, but not the one where you are all dressed up in a white gown. It’s the one where you count down the days, go to the Mikvah, and then come home to your husband – to hold and to love.

Authors note: there may be women whom this article is not applicable to for various reasons. Please do not take this blogpost personally if it doesn’t apply to you. Thank you!

Photo by Rivka Bauman Photography

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Date Night

The other night, my husband and I went out to eat with my sister and her husband. My sister mentioned how funny it was that so many couples were sitting there alone, eating.

I was telling her how important ‘date night’ is as a couple. She is newly married, so every night is date night for her. But kids come along, and work, and life. Suddenly, you find yourself sharing 4 words a day, “good morning, good night”, and if you are not too tired, 3 more, “I love you”.

The lifestyle we grew up with did not include restaurants and take outs. Such things were a treat for the family. So for her to suddenly come to New York, where this IS the lifestyle, it was strange. And couples spending money to go out to eat by themselves, with no friends, is a waste of money. Eat supper at home and go to bed.

But is it really like that?

My husband and I rarely go out to eat. We like to keep the “treat” feeling to it, but we still make date nights. I think most couples do this. So what is a date night? Is it just me, or does it seem like ‘date night’ most often means a meal or a drink out somewhere?

No. Not in my world, anyway. I am sure I am not alone when I voice my concerns over spending money just to have some enjoyable time with my husband. Why spend on drinks when I have in the fridge? Why spend on food when I can make it, cheaper, myself? So I am going to give a couple ideas for alone time and hope that people add to my small collection. We are always up for new ideas!

One thing we both love is the couch. We dim the lights, switch off the phones, and sit with a blanket on the couch. I like this because even when we are niddah, we can still do this (we put a large item between us and have separate blankets) but it is all about the talking. Even if it lasts for 15 minutes before the baby wakes up, or it is for those 5 minutes that the supper is heating up, you are taking a time out.

It is funny that as kids, time out is a big punishment but for us adults, time out is all we want and often need.

I also love going for a walk in the park, or on the boardwalk. It is often hard to find a babysitter, so we may take the baby in the stroller. In the summer, it is so nice at night. A slight breeze, the sky at dusk, sitting on the swings or watching the waves against the rocks. It is relaxing in itself and sometimes you don’t even have to talk. The silence is the connection and it goes deep.

Rachel Naomi Remen is a Clinical professor of family and community medicine. She once said, “The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give to each other is our attention….A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words”

Listening is hard when the children are crying, supper is burning, and dishes are falling out of an overflowing sink. Connections are hard to make when there are distractions. Of course, life today is a distraction in itself. But some things are just more than others.

So turn off that phone, hold your husbands hand and sit together in quiet. Or go to your guest room, change the scenery, watch a movie, have a cup of water (or wine) together, lie there and think how lucky you are that you found 5 minutes to spend with the man of your life.


Photograph by Rivka Bauman Photography

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Our Story – Sexual Abuse

Clarification: the person in this photo is not the author of this article. 

Abuse, lies, threats and a cover up exposed.

I call it my story, but it is not really my story to tell. But it has become a part of me, it is part of my life; in fact it is taking over my life.

My husband was raped.

I can say it over and over again. Yet each time it almost doesn’t even sink in.

Thirteen years ago, when my husband was 14 years old, he was raped. He was a young Chassidish boy, who came from a family that never quite fit in however hard they tried. His parents divorced when he was 2, and he suffered for years as a result of that. At the age of 9, a judge made him decide. Mommy or daddy? Yes I repeat, mommy or daddy, “who do you want to live with?” the judge sweetly asked him.

My husband chose daddy, because mommy was no longer frum, stable, nor lived in the community, and daddy said he could still see mommy and he would let her come and visit. Mommy promised she would. But she never did.

After those events, it is safe to say that my husband was emotionally scarred for life. His behaviour or lack of, and education suffered tremendously. His lack of cooperation and willingness to be a part of his new family, with daddy, Ima and his half brothers and sisters tore the family apart. And at the grand age of 12 years old, it was decided that my husband would leave school and officially, he would be home-schooled, but primarily he would get a job to keep busy.

A young and innocent Chasidish boy, with his bekesher and long payos, and who davened in the local Chasidish shtieble each week, was about to embark on a journey that would not let him return.

I recently watched his Bar Mitzvah video and I had to hold back the tears. He gave a beautiful Dvar Torah and thanked all those that needed the relevant Hakoras Hatov. Only watching it in hindsight, it was just so apparent to see the innocence that was about to be ripped away from him in the coming years.

And so it came to be.

He was 14, he had a job in a local shop and got rather close with the owner. Until one day he got a little too friendly and raped him.

I would say I have spared you the details, but in all honesty, I have been spared the details so I am unable to relay them to you. I am not sure whether I am lucky, or whether that means I will never truly understand what my husband went through.

My husband knew something was wrong. Something bad had happened. Being the technological savvy teenager he was, he managed to actually obtain the cd of the CCTV camera that had recorded them.

He decided he would go to speak to their Rabbi about what had happened. Surely his saintly chassidish Rabbi, who everyone in the community flocked to for advice, would be able to help him.

And so there he found himself, seated in his Rabbi’s house, telling him his story. From beginning to end.

Once he had said his piece, he looked up at his Rabbi, with his tear stained face and asked him “what shall I do? What shall you do?” and brace yourself for this response:
“You won’t do anything, you must not tell anyone about this or about this conversation, don’t tell your father, don’t tell your friends, or everyone will know what a bad person and boy you are, you will be shamed, you will be nothing. Now go and never speak of this again to anyone.”

And so he went.

Years past. And there were lots of changes.

Yiddishkeit, Torah, Mitzvos, they soon became memories of the past. And his father, well he surely must have been evil, if he knew about such things happening to boys and then not being allowed to speak about it.

After the numerous meetings daddy had with the Rabbi, surely the Rabbi must have told him why he suspected that daddy’s son had tried to commit suicide a few times, and why he did not want to be Frum anymore.

Relationships broke apart, a father and son, Hashem and his child.

Being involved in the youth program for the ‘off the derech’ teens is where things all started to change. They did not force Frumkeit, they just helped to educate and facilitate. It was there that new strong bonds were created, and my husband got to learn about evil things that people normally get sent to jail for. He spoke about what happened, got therapy, and was offered someone to accompany him in all his meetings with police and lawyers. But for my husband, it was not something that he wanted to do.

He did not blame the man that raped him. He blamed the Rabbi for covering it up.

When I met my husband at some point in our relationship prior to marriage, I was told about all of this. He confided in me, and I promised to keep his secret and support him no matter what.

The glass was smashed, Siman Tov uMazel Tov was sung, and Sheva Brochos were over.
Now it was time for real life to begin.

We found our happy medium in Judaism. We kept some Chasidish traditions, but on the outside, we look like your standard Orthodox Jews.

As every young couple starts their new marriage, one of the most exciting aspects is the physical side, the intimacy. In our relationship, we had it before we were married, although we had firmly kept to our self-made rule of anything but sex before marriage.

I first realised something was wrong when I would cry myself to sleep at night, feeling so rejected when my husband once again told me “I’m not in the mood tonight, I just want to cuddle.”

We had sex, but it was not as often as I would have liked or wanted. But after countless arguments, we just came to the conclusion that we were different from each other and we had different sex drives. And the good outweighed the bad, so we tried not to make it a big deal out of it.

After all who wouldn’t want a husband that loved to cuddle? To him, sex did not equal love.

We had our first child almost two years after marriage. We were so happy.

But that was when the flashbacks started for my husband. Every time he looked at our daughter, all he could feel was fear, and images of what had happened played in his mind over and over again. All he saw were images of himself being raped. He feared for our daughter’s safety, and he fell into a deep depression.

I begged him to go to therapy. “Please go”, I would say over and over again. But it was and still is too painful and it had never helped him in the past.

He did not want to talk. He wanted to forget.

Up until six months ago, we were at breaking point. We spoke to our Rav, who really helped and guided us, and I got myself into therapy, which taught me how to understand the abuse my husband had endured and how to be there for him and cope with the repercussions it had had on him.

And then it happened.

Our community exploded.

Headlines read as follows: “Hariedi Rabbi Exposed in Rape Sex Scandal”, “Prominent Marriage Counsellor Inappropriate with Married Women.” The list can go on and on. And then the big one: “Rabbi Resigns from All Positions”

During the course of these past few months, we have watched the biggest cover-up in our community unfurl. Finally, this Rabbi is being exposed for the heinous crimes he has committed. Not only did he cover up for rapists and pedophiles, but he was a molester himself.

But as always, there will always be the poor misguided souls that will follow their leader to whichever depths of the lowest places they will go. There were those that fought back, and the fights are still taking place. It is far from over.

But finally, my husband is beginning to heal.

Justice has started to take place.

More victims are speaking out.

More abusers are being named and shamed.

The only hard part to deal with is the somewhat like ‘Stockholm syndrome’ that my husband continues to suffer from. For those that are not familiar with the term, it is when a bond is made between captor and captive, or in this case, abuser and victim.

I would not say my husband empathises with or understands the man that raped him. But to this day, he is not willing to press charges against him or speak to the police. Therefore, there is a pedophile roaming the streets of our community and has gotten away scot free.

And that is the hardest part for me. I need this man to be punished. I feel like he has ruined my husband’s life and my own.

I do not think that my husband realises what our sex life could be like if he had not been raped, or maybe he does realize but he does not want to dwell on it, because the harsh reality is that the lack of sex, has led to the lack of a pregnancy. We have been desperate for a second child for over a year; but until now, we have not been able to make that happen because of the lack of intercourse.

I stand by my husband and I am patient for him because I love him. I love him unconditionally, partly because I know he is my soul mate and partly, I make the extra effort because I know he has no one else in the world that can love him unconditionally.

He will never be able to forgive his father for exposing him to the Rabbi that covered this up. And he will never forgive him for not realising that there was something severely wrong with his son all these years.

I urge all victims of abuse to speak out.

This story started thirteen years ago, and the end has only just begun for us now.

I have given you a glimpse into my world, the world of a wife of a victim of abuse.

I have learnt not to cry myself to sleep at night because my husband does not desire me; but instead, I hold him tight and I keep him close and try to protect him from the world that has caused him so much pain.

All I can do is try to understand and encourage people to speak out. Staying silent is easy, but bottling it up is the hardest thing to do.  Whatever a victim does will be painful, and we need to show them support no matter what.

I wish I could end my story with a happy ending, but unfortunately I cannot. Right now, there is no happy ending. My happy ending will be when we live in a community where we do not allow any Rabbis to cover up crimes of abuse of any kind, and when all victims of abuse feel safe enough to speak up.

Please, I urge you, if you know someone who has suffered at the hands of any abuser, be it emotional, physical, mental or sexual abuse, help them to speak up and act now.


Photograph by Rivka Bauman Photography

Clarification: the person in this photo is not the author of this article. 

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He Lives in This House Too

This post is inspired by a current (and ongoing) thread on feminism, where members battle out the pros and cons of pre and post modern era and its effect on women. Read more here, it is called “The War on Men“.

It used to be that upon getting married, a girl would put her years of practice in her mother’s home to good use in her own. From the moment that the glass breaks under the chuppah, the (usually) young lad becomes the man of the house. What he said was what went down. The wife had to clean, cook, scrub and serve without so much of a break… Well, perhaps a break to give birth and then before a blink of an eye, she gets right back into it all. If the husband wanted chicken, he got the whole chunk of it and if he wanted fish, he got it plated up by the time he came home from work. The working or learning man would come home in the evening to fresh supper, a clean house, warmed up slippers, and a quiet room to relax.

Fast forward to my home in 2012. I roll out of bed at 8 am, when my husband wakes me up to tell me that he is leaving for work after making my son a bottle and putting him to play  and often, changing his pamper too. I shower, dress myself and my son, and then we eat breakfast. After a morning rush of supper preparations and a quick wipe down, we rush off to babysitter/work. At 6 pm, we run home to be greeted by my just-arrived-home husband. He takes the baby while I hastily finish the supper that was supposed to be done in the morning. If I am lucky, it is in the crock pot, and if I am lazy I just make pasta and cheese. Then, together we eat, feed the baby, bathe him and put him to sleep. At this point, we are supposed to clean up, wash up and do any folding/washing that is waiting for us. More often than not, we chill out until late at night and then hurriedly, we do a quick clean up and head to bed – to repeat the whole cycle again the next day.

So it is no wonder I dream for a cleaner to do the ‘nitty gritty’ things for me, as my stove and my oven need more tender loving care than I have to give them. After all, I have a husband and a son, don’t they deserve the love more?

I ask my husband, my brother in law, my father and my cousin, do they really wish it was like the good ole’ days? When all they had to do was sit, work, sleep and be waited on hand and foot at all times?

Of course there was the joking, “yes if only I could relax” remarks. However, ironically, they all agreed that they would be bored. Yes. Bored. Sometimes I guilt myself for making him work too hard, at other times, I think I am not working him hard enough. It is then that I say that we are a couple and we are in this together, so let him get down and join me in scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees – yeah as if ;).

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After the Kallah Class – The Turnout with Photos

By Devorah Ascher

The first official event, “After the Kallah Class“, took place Thursday evening in the Crown Heights community. It was a lecture on intimacy by psychotherapist, Rivka Sidorsky, LCSW-C. The crowd of 70 women listened on intently, as she spoke about issues and topics that concern married Jewish women.

The sensitive and crucial topic of intimacy was discussed from a psychological, as well as a physiological standpoint. Starting out with basic information on healthy intimacy, and ending with frequently asked questions in the Frum community, Rivka Sidorsky was engaging and comfortable to listen to. After an hour and half of lecturing, women got to ask questions, discuss, and mingle around the refreshment table. “The lecture was conducted in such a modest manner. For the subject content, that was really impressive”, said some women who attended. “There should definitely be more events like this!”, others added.

“This was an exciting moment for the Balaboostas community. For its first official event, the feedback from the women who attended was superb and it was a great success! I hope that this is a start of many more in the future”, said Bracha Bard-Wigdor, creator of Introducing the event was Mrs. Fraidy Yanover, a certified LifeCoach and it was hosted in the Gutnick residence.

For the readers who want to attend the next lecture, you can subscribe to the emails on main page to be notified on future blogposts and events.

Photographs by Chana Lewis

*As promised, photos of attendants are not included for privacy protection.

This article was also published on COLlive and

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After the Kallah Class

First official Balaboostas event has finally arrived! Don’t miss out on this crucial topic. You can RSVP on Facebook, or comment on this blog post or message me here. Space is limited, so if you would like to bring friends, please let me know as soon as possible (but they can just show up too).  Looking forward to meeting you!

Flyer by Miriam Hammer Designs

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Post Wedding Bliss

Two nights ago I had my brother in law’s wedding.  It was beautiful, emotional (he is the youngest) and as usual, long.

We came home at 4am and we did not head to bed but rather, we sat at the kitchen table to nosh…and talk. I always get jealous of newly married couples. The newness, the shyness, the freshness, and the excitement of everything and of course, all the attention – I miss it. I also cannot stop noticing what they have or do and what we did not have or do as newly weds.

Now let me tell you, my newlywed stage was bliss. We got married in my small hometown; the wedding was gorgeous and fun and did not end in the early morning hours, rather at an hour in the evening when we could all still get some sleep.

We spent hours talking in bed that night as did we the next night and the next and the next. We looked at each other sweetly, went on long walks together and visited family like a real good couple. We did not eat at Sheva Brachot but instead, ate cookies late at night when we got home. Yet there is still something that I am jealous of. I have not forgotten and I never will, those first few months. But I do not have the new fresh feeling anymore and I miss that… I want that.

Thank G-D, my married life is amazing. We know each other, we have a baby, we have fun, we argue and we go on trips. We are a family now. But I still miss that first stage.

It is funny though, seeing how happy my brother in-law is, smiling at his new wife, whispering to her and winking at her. I suddenly forget that we still do that now, forget how when I saw my husband walking into the dinner at the wedding, I still felt that way! Reminiscing that amongst all the fun, all the happiness and excitement, I was still feeling miserable.

As a newly wed, I missed being with my family all day. They were having fun and I was stuck, alone with my husband. I was nervous and shy. I had talked to him for four months and suddenly, he was using my bathroom, we were sharing closets, and he was eating breakfast with me. I was constantly worried that there would be awkward silences, and being nervous that married life would be too hard for me to deal with.

When my husband got sick three weeks after we got married, a minor upset stomach, it sent me into huge bouts of tears while sitting in my parent’s house. As I cried for 45 minutes, he sat in the other room feeling sick and worried what was wrong with his new wife.

When we moved to America, I called my father and said that I want to consider leaving him because I cannot deal with all the new things, the new house, a new city, a whole new family and a new best friend.

I was always embarrassed to tell him things, ask him stuff and suggest things. I worried myself sick if my food was good; if I looked okay for him and if he loved me, even though I was making him crazy. Over time of course, life got easier, I settled and marriage showed me its good sides (as I did to my husband!).

So I tell myself when I see a couple, be jealous, be wishful, be angry that you no longer have all that. BUT be happy, be thankful and be grateful that you are over that stage too.  You got through the phase and you came out on the other side, a better couple, a happier couple and an in-love couple. Marriage has its ups and its downs, its hard stages and its easy stages, its highs and its lows, its happiness and its sadness. So when we are down, we remember it all, and I tell my husband that as much as we are jealous, they just may be jealous of us too.


Photograph by Rivka Bauman Photography