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    Offering on the baby’s birth – Tazria

    Excitement at a baby’s birth is so evident that we can well understand why the Torah expects an offering to be made to mark the occasion.

    The strange thing is the difference between the offering for a boy and the offering for a girl. Not just the offering but the amount of time that must elapse in each case – 40 days for a boy, 80 for a girl.

    One theory is that the baby girl symbolises her future child-bearing faculty.

    It is the female who has the privilege of bearing a baby and bringing it to birth. It is the female who has to cope with the stresses of pregnancy and the pain of childbirth. In all the birth processes the female plays a greater role than the male.

    That’s not to say that the male lacks importance in the life of his child: of course he doesn’t. But the crucial contribution to a child’s beginnings is that of the mother. Maybe that’s why the role of the female is endowed with greater sanctity from her very first moment.

    Being a woman is never going to be easy for her, but without her there will be no continuity. Without her the family will have no future and nor will the Jewish people.

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