Judith Fogel is the Eden Center's Program Coordinator for our Advanced Kallah Teacher Course she also teaches a number of our Eden in the Community courses, including "Labor, Delivery, and Postpartum through the Halakhic Lens: A Refresher Course for Expectant Mothers"
This week’s Parsha, Parshat Tazria, begins with the purity and impurity laws of a yoledet, a woman who gives birth. A woman postpartum, according to the Torah, goes through two time periods: one with a stricter set of laws in which she is unable to be with her husband or to visit the mikdash and a second one in which she is unable to enter the mikdash, yet is allowed to be with her husband. (Nowadays, the laws are different due to Rabbinic decrees, of which I will not elaborate on in this dvar torah.) The postpartum impurity varies in length between a woman who has a baby boy and a woman who has a baby girl. When a woman gives birth to a boy, she is tamei for seven days and prohibited from visiting the mikdash for an additional 33 days. When a woman gives birth to a girl, she is tameifor 14 days and prohibited from visiting the mikdash for an additional 66 days. Many commentators tackle the obvious question: why is there a difference between the lengths for a girl and a boy?