The Feminine Advantage

Q: Please throw light on the question: after giving birth to a boy, mother is not permitted to enter Sanctuary for 40 days, this prohibition extends to 80 days in the case of a girl. Why the difference? Is there a reason that will not offend our feminist sisters?

Please help.

A: Although there is a certain spiritual impurity after childbirth that extends for a double period after the birth of a girl, at the very same time there is a complementary law in the Torah that for the entire 80 day period for a girl, the blood which the woman sees is pure blood. Thus she is permitted to have relationships with her husband during this entire time. That zivug lasts for a double period as opposed to after the birth of a boy, when her blood is pure, i.e. she can maintain relations with her husband only for 40 days. After the initial 7 days when she goes to the mikvah she is pure for 40 days after the birth of a boy, and after the birth of a girl for 80 days.

The deep reason is that a female represents kelim, vessels. A boy represents lights. The origin of vessels is higher and double with respect to the origin of the lights. That is why there are many things about a female that are double with respect to a male. This double is positive. It is like a ba'al teshuva who is kiflayim l'tushia, twice as good. Even though there is this one implication of not coming to the sanctuary for a double period of time, the opposite double, that the woman is pure for a double period of time is because of the doubly high origin of vessels as opposed to the lights that fill the vessels.

Return7193.gif (198 bytes) Back to Responsa table of contents

Related posts

Q&A: What is a Soul Root?

Gal Einai

Q&A: Gog Umagog?

Gal Einai

Q&A: Soul Suffering in Next World?

Gal Einai

Leave a Comment

Verified by MonsterInsights