The More Things Change…The More They Stay The SamePosted on Jan 09,2018
The More Things Change…The More They Stay The Same
By: Janis Roszler, LMFT, RD, CDE, LD/N, FAND
The More Things Change…
The new Tahor app recently appeared on the scene. It offers couples an innovative way to use smartphone technology to connect to a qualified rav who can rule on questionable bedikah cloths. Many in the observant community have enthusiastically embraced this app while others worry that it’s too big a change from cloth drop-off services and traditional face-to-face meetings with rabbis. Change Isn’t Easy.
At this year’s Passover seder, did you eat any machine-made matzo? Believe it or not, when those crunchy squares first appeared over 150 years ago, there was a huge public outcry. Efforts were made to declare the matzos halachically unfit for Pesach use. Some even argued against their square shape, while others focused on the machine’s lack of kavanah (yes, really!)
Fast forward to today – Machine matzo is the primary choice of most homes during the Passover holiday. Its availability enables families throughout the world to participate fully in the Pesach holiday. Of course many, like my family, purchase a box or two of handmade shmurah matzos, while some still use handmade matzo exclusively to enhance their chag.
…The More They Stay the Same
Like machine matzo, the Tahor app helps large numbers of families follow halachos. In the case of the Tahor app, the halachos are related to Taharas Mishpacha. Couples who don’t live near a rav or are uncomfortable speaking with one, no longer have to suffer with unnecessary delays because they didn’t or couldn’t get a ruling from a rabbi. Best of all, the app enthusiastically supports the idea that has been with our people for centuries – that one should always turn to a rabbi for halachic guidance.
I know families who will only eat products made from handmade shmurah matzo throughout Pesach. And I know couples who will only take their bedikah cloths to a rav they can speak with face-to-face. If you have no need for this app, don’t download it. Continue to interact with your posek as needed. If the bedikah cloth checking part of the Taharas Mishpacha laws are a challenge for you and your spouse, this app can help you adhere to the laws more comfortably. Baruch HaShem, we have many wonderful options available that help individuals embrace Torah as their guide to living.
Janis Roszler is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in South Florida. In addition to her therapy work, Janis is a published author and an award-winning diabetes educator and an active member of the Miami Chevra Kadisha