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    Life is like a book – Tazria

    Great detail is given in the sidra about the subject of childbirth.

    The Talmud asks a shrewd question (Niddah 30b), “What does the embryo resemble when it is in the mother’s womb?”

    These days the answer is available by means of medical technology, and sometimes the pregnant woman and her husband discover the gender of the child though they don’t have to reveal it.

    In those times there was little way of being certain what an embryo looked like, but it is significant that the sages thought that the unborn child had the shape and appearance of folded writing tablets.

    From this notion developed a great moral lesson.

    When the child was born the tablets were opened and as the years progressed, the pages were filled in.

    At the beginning there was no way of predicting in advance what would be on the tablets of a person’s life. That judgment was only possible when one died and people summed up what the erstwhile baby had made of itself and its opportunities.

    The pages would record triumphs and tragedies, achievements and omissions.

    Is there really no way to prophesy what the future will bring? Only the early education which the child receives. Here lies the key to human personality and to one’s moral CV.

    What a responsibility you have if you’re a parent!

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