Leana Tapnack, seen here with mikvah attendant Talia Lakritz at the West Side Mikvah in New York, decided to observe the laws of niddah together with her wife, Sandy. (Courtesy of Tapnack)

Some queer Jews are finding meaning in the laws of family purity, traditionally observed by married Orthodox couples

Like many observant Jewish women, Sandy Tapnack visits the mikvah at the end of her period in observance of the laws of family purity. There, she cleans herself thoroughly before immersing in the ritual bath three times while an attendant watches in a practice that Jewish women have followed for thousands of years to ready themselves to reunite physically with their husbands. But unlike most mikvah users, the spouse waiting for Tapnack at home is a woman — a fact that leaves the 36-year-old attorney nervous during her visits to the Orthodox bath near her home. Read More

Nadiv Schorer, right, married Ariel Meiri in 2020 with Orthodox rabbi Avram Mlotek officiating. (David Perlman Photography)

A small but growing number of Orthodox rabbis are officiating same-sex weddings

As a teen, Nadiv Schorer felt a deep sense of grief when attending his older siblings’ weddings. After he realized he was attracted to men, he thought there was no way for him to build a life in the Modern Orthodox community, where he had been repeatedly told there was no space for gay people. Read More