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Tahor Creator Responds to Questions About App

Following the announcement of the launch of a new App – called Tahor – to assist women with Bedikah Inquiries, fierce debate over the Kashrus of such an App ensued, while others hailed it as being long overdue. Zisa Levin, one of the apps creators, has authored a response to questions about the App.

This response comes following the publication of a letter by Rabbi Sholom Ber Shuchat, in which he called the use of the App “a stumbling block” and urged that it not be used.

The following is a response to Rabbi Shuchat:

After a very positive launch, we have received some very good points which we intend to address in this article. Namely, Rabbi Shuchat’s response to our app.

First, it’s important to remember that this app is intended only to help women who do not or cannot ask questions. For example, a woman who is traveling and has a question now has the ability to send her picture to her Rabbi. In the proper environment, she would bring her question to the Rav, but since she’s travelling, she cannot. Tahor app enables her to keep this mitzvah even though she cannot access her Rav in person. Attempting to prevent women from using this app will unfortunately result in excluding these from keeping this Mitzvah

Next, many women are currently calling their rabbis and describing the color to them when they cannot come in person. This app is obviously a better option to enable these women to provide their Rav with the best description available. A very accurate photo.

Lastly, we hope this app will ultimately result in more people keeping Taharas Hamishpacha. We have come across so many women who do not ask questions because they are embarrassed or live too far away. As is evident from the huge amount of positive responses from these women, asking us to shut down this app effectively excludes these women from this mitzvah.

Now, regarding the specific points Rabbi Shuchat raised:

  1. Rabbi Shuchat starts off his response to crownheights.info with “When a Rov get a Mar’eh, there are various things you look at.”
    1. First, this app was designed to assist those who DO NOT send their Mar’os to a Rav. The purpose is to include these very people in this Mitzvah. If they aren’t sending their Mar’os to the Rav, the Rav cannot review it.
  1. Rabbi Shuchat describes a litany of tests that the Rabbi uses to review the Mar’eh.
    1. One thing Rabbi Shuchat doesn’t mention is that in many instances, it’s very easy to tell if the stain is pure or not. When the purity status of the Mar’os is easily discernable (such as when the stain is clear or slightly yellow) most, if not all, of the detailed review Rabbi Shuchat describes is not necessary.
    2. Further, if the Mar’eh does require the detailed review, the responding rabbi will instruct the user to bring their cloth to a rabbi.
  1. Next, Rabbi Shuchat shows a series of photos and states that in different lighting, the photos are slightly different.
    1. We agree. Any time you introduce a different lighting to any color it will affect the color. This is an unavoidable fact of life. This has nothing to do with a camera. Different lighting will always affect color whether it’s in real life or on a screen. However, Rabbi Shuchat did not follow the apps instructions which instructs the picture to be taken in sunlight.
  2. Lastly, Rabbi Shuchat wonders how the color of the stain will be affected if the brightness on the Rabbi’s phone is dimmed.
    1. We instruct all our responding rabbis to make sure their screens are turned up to the brightest level. This ensures a more consistent and accurate picture.

Let’s be clear. We at Tahor completely encourage all women to bring their bedikas to their Rav. However, we recognize the fact that many women do not do this. It is for these women that Tahor app was created. Our goal at Tahor is to make sure all these women can be included in this mitzvah.

Thank you,

The Tahor Team

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Comments Disabled To "Tahor Creator Responds to Questions About App"

#1 Comment By Yanki On May 10, 2017 @ 8:11 pm

Great response, and Rabbi Shuchat deserves the credit for having this clarification come out. In that case Tahor is wonderful.

#2 Comment By Good rov On May 10, 2017 @ 8:17 pm

I cannot argue the merits of yes or no. I’m not qualified to do so. However I can tell you thank you for trying to make this sensitive issue much easier for many people.

shuchat isn’t worth your time to respond. You can reach out to real rabonim that know halacha, aren’t ignorant and egotistic AND know technology. That will be time well spent.

#3 Comment By Telling On May 10, 2017 @ 9:18 pm

Calling a Rov with a profanity shows how much respect you have for Judaism. You don’t have to like the man, but his knowledge of Halacha is unimpeachable. You can Rabbi-shop as much as you want, but after 120, you can’t shop for a different Creator and Judge.

As an aside, respect is an important thing. With an attitude like yours, your children will learn they can disrespect whatever they disagree with. Hopefully, you’re never on the other end of that.

#4 Comment By Good rov On May 11, 2017 @ 10:36 am

Finally done rabonim with years of experience are speaking up and prohibiting this app.

דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה
Is my response to all those claiming that SB shuchat is a great Talmud chochom

#5 Comment By Yankel On May 10, 2017 @ 8:59 pm

Tohar (in your headline) or Tahor (“the Tahor team”).?

#6 Comment By Husband On May 10, 2017 @ 9:47 pm

To avoid the women’s embarrassment let her husband go to the Rav.

#7 Comment By Angry On May 10, 2017 @ 9:48 pm

Based on the responses its clear that they are scrambling to answer which they do very weakly. Who are they to make these decisions?

#8 Comment By Not right On May 10, 2017 @ 10:50 pm

This should not be an online open discussion!!!

There are kids reading these articles

Just not right. And not tziosdik . Period!!!!!

Please remove

#9 Comment By Live and let live On May 10, 2017 @ 10:59 pm

Great response. This app can do great things. If someone chooses not to follow the rabbanim who support this app, that’s fine. Don’t use it. This is something that can benefit so many people and simply pressuring the creators of this positive idea to take it away is just wrong.

#10 Comment By ML On May 10, 2017 @ 11:14 pm

Cannot wait to use this app! So glad that there is finally something out there to help me keep the mitzvah of Taharat Mishpacha. Which is not always the easiest thing to do! Thank you to the Tahor team! So excited to be able to use this app!!!! Best of Luck!

#11 Comment By Anonymous On May 11, 2017 @ 12:07 am

In today’s day and age every Rov has a drop in box so you don’t need to meet them and for out of towners overnight mail is a great option. So, if anyone is honest with themselves they can always get around the discomfort of meeting the Rov face to face.
The downside of this app is encouraging people that would not have opted for this will ch”v take it as the easy way out.

#12 Comment By tech On May 11, 2017 @ 12:30 am

Without getting into the legitimacy of the idea behind this app lets clear up a few misunderstandings in the response

Item #3, regardless of the “sunlight” a picture and real life viewing are 2 different mediums and ‘will never match’ just like a screen and print are different mediums that dont match

Item #4, “brightness level” is just one aspect in a screen, there is the type, age and quality of a screen the color saturation the graphics processor etc.

So no its not just an issue of “following the app directions”

Ps can you guarantee that the pictures are being snapped in full sunlight?

#13 Comment By Men On May 12, 2017 @ 2:53 am

There is one way to know. Test on hundred of samples and compare to see if the difference is significant enough to where the Rov will give different answers. And from what we know the creators have spent months testing it with engineer and Rov and it works . You don’t trust them? Compare yourself. Don’t use Cabernet Sauvignion like rabbi shochet though;)

#14 Comment By From the pan into the fire On May 11, 2017 @ 12:34 am

You’re not allowed to view the Mareh in direct sunlight! So what kind of response is that that he didn’t take the picture in the sunlight?! Also in all his pictures the app prompted him to “Next” saying that his pictures were taken well! If he didn’t understand then maybe other users also won’t understand…
So far there are printed letters from Rabbi Oberlander in Monsey and Rabbi Schmerling from Far Rockaway in the name of Rabbi Farkash who prohibit this app.

#15 Comment By My two cents On May 11, 2017 @ 1:41 am

Not appropriate to even discuss this subject on such a public forum
Whatever happened to kevodah bas melech penimah
Certain things are better off not being discussed here
Children have easy access to this article
Have mercy on our children

#16 Comment By Who are Tahor’s checkers? On May 11, 2017 @ 7:22 am

Who checks the maros when sent through the app to Tahor? Also who are the rabbanim who do stand behind this app? I love the concept!

#17 Comment By Chicagoan On May 11, 2017 @ 8:15 am

I know the Levins as they are from Chicago. I hope Rabbi Hertz addresses this and whether it is okay for some women to use.
PS The Levins are great, caring people and only want to help people.

#18 Comment By The Tahor App Team On May 11, 2017 @ 9:54 am

To clarify (as this seems not to be clear):

“Tahor” is meant to serve as a halachically approved “filter” for a majority of Shailos (many of which are straightforward and simple to determine). It is meant to allow those who may not have access to a rov, or who may not feel comfortable going to a rov, to have an option, when halachically viable, to send in their sample anonymously.

What this app is not:
This app IS NOT meant to be an umbrella replacement for the process of showing questionable bedikah cloths to Rabbonim. Rabbonim were all able to pasken correctly because of our advanced white balance technology and Rabbinic measurement capabilities. The ones which are borderline or questionable, will be told to show the actual cloth to a Rabbi.

It is obviously preferable to take the cloth directly to the Rabbi when possible, but many many women are not doing it! This will allow them to keep Taharat Hamishpachah and get accurate answers.

We know that anything new is scary, but this app is not at all lenient and halachah will not be compromised.

#19 Comment By Eliana P. On May 11, 2017 @ 10:07 am

This app is brilliant. Looking forward to using it!!

#20 Comment By ch info On May 11, 2017 @ 3:03 pm

why is there a comment section on this series of articles? don’t you have to be a rabbi to debate this topic?! (and dont say that the rabbis are self-interested, and condescending creatures who aren’t fair to their constituents is pathetic: would you ever trust a non doctor to treat you medically; a non attorney to defend you in court? of course not! ask yourself: can you even read shu”a!!!)

#21 Comment By Men On May 12, 2017 @ 2:48 am

I agree , we should not debate politic and let politician do their job.
Ahah.. anyway your comment is so childish and immature. But you do sound like a lot of sheep in our community , I’ll give you that.

#22 Comment By Avrohom Keller On May 12, 2017 @ 9:02 am

They charge $3.99 to send a picture.
It is despicable to charge any money to pasken a shaalah.