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WOMEN-----tumah and tahara


alyza Posted - 26 April 2001 17:26

This week's parsha talks about the impurity of a woman after she gives birth.

Isn't it bad to be impure, so why is a woman "being punished" for having a child?

Also, why does she remain impure for having a girl longer than for having a boy? I'm not questioning G-d; I know he has His reasons, I'd just like to know if there was a reason that you can give me to make me understand this concept of tumah and tahara a little bit better.

MODERATOR Posted - 26 April 2001 17:37

"Tumah" does not mean impurity. Although its translated like that, it is not an accurate translation.

"Tumah" happens when life is removed from this world. Because life is special, the gap that it leaves when it is removed is called "Tumah."

When someone dies, there is Tumah, because his life left a gap in the world when it left.

When a girl has her period, Tumah happens, because the potential for life just left the world.

When a woman has a baby, the fact that there was a life inside her which is currently no longer there makes her Tameh. The gap that the life inside her leaves upon its birth creates the Tumah.

Since a female is herself the place where life develops in this world, if a female was inside the mother, its birth leaves a greater life-gap, than if a male was there. Because the female is more connected to life in this sense, the gap she leaves in the mother's womb after birth creates more Tumah.

jj Posted - 27 April 2001 14:01

what do you mean it leaves a "gap"?

MODERATOR Posted - 27 April 2001 15:28

It means that life affects the world in a special way. The world "connects" to it. Since the whole world was made only for the purpose of living creatures (i.e. Yiddin) when a Yid comes into the world, he changes it, because the world becomes more purposeful. It kind of "grows" when a person is born and its purpose becomes that much closer to being fulfilled.

So when a person dies, the world "regresses" so to speak. The Gemora says the Shechinah grows when a Jew is born, which means it "shrinks", kavyochel, from the world, when one goes away.

That’s what’s meant as a "gap".

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