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Monday, April 04, 2011

The offerings a woman gives to the Cohen after giving birth.

In Leviticus Chapter 12 the bible discusses a period of impurity a woman has after giving birth. She is impure for 7 days and 33 days for a boy and 14 days and 66 days for a girl. The first 7 and 14 days being similar to the impurity during menstruation (which the bible hasn't discussed yet by the way).


After this period she brings both a burnt offering of a lamb and a "sin" offering of a pigeon or turtle dove. If she can't afford a lamb she bring for both sacrifices a pigeon or turtle dove. And the cohen gets forgiveness for her.

A woman giving birth of course is a good thing and a cause for celebration for bringing new life into the world. So what is she getting forgiveness for and being in a state of impurity for since she has acted in a good way by trying to get pregnant with a man and bringing life into the world. And why twice the amount for a girl then for a boy.

I can think of some answers but the question still is why adopt this for ALL WOMEN the same if this is the reason. I have heard that women many don't want to do it again when they are going through the pain of birth but I have read some women that had a relatively easy time and would do it again. Maybe they are just saying that. All I know is from reading the blog Domestic Felicity her first daughter she had an easy birth while the second one wasn't as pleasant from her own writing and on top of this I am sure some women have different attitudes towards it.

The other reason I thought of is that God gave women the ability to give birth to new life and they may think that they are the source while God created the process. It is true some women seem to think because they gave birth to the child they have special rights to the child or special powers and this period of impurity is so that they don't think they are God since it seems as if they created the life and they shouldn't view it this way. I guess it is also is a period to develop a bond with the new baby and maybe this is not being allowed touch sacred objects is for her to understand the bigger picture of her having the child. Just thinking out loud here The reason why a woman you would be impure double the time (and this I did hear from I think was Rabbi Frand a long time ago even though I am not crazy about him) is that a woman will one day will also be able to bring life and the responsibility that this ability means to women.

Any thoughts on this I would love to hear from you.

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