Teachings: Birth

Bereishit - In the Beginning There was Healing

Bereshit bara Elohim et ha shamayim v'et ha aretz

Tazria - After Birth: Separation

by Rabbi Shefa Gold
 


The Blessing

These parshiot are concerned with the delicate times when one’s condition necessitates a period of separation from communal life. How does that separation happen and how is that person re-integrated into the community?

What Do Rites of Passage Accomplish?

What do Rites of Passage Accomplish? by Rabbi Goldie Milgram with Barry Bub

Rituals and their symbolic, action, and liturgical components facilitate lifecycle events or significant transitions by:

·     providing the framework of support for desired or necessary change

·     acting as speed bumps that invite reflection and integration

When Does Life Begin? A Jewish View

Most often in Jewish sacred literature, a fetus in the womb is considered a human life “under construction.” The soul is usually described as arriving when the first breath of life is taken at birth. The primary Jewish imagery for the beginning of life comes from Genesis 1:2, where breath hovers above the waters of earth before life emerges from that cosmic womb. Then, in Genesis 2:7, after the body of Adam is fashioned from the clay of the earth, G*d is described as breathing life into him. These stories frame the basis for the Jewish view that the fetus gains full human rights and status only once the baby’s head has emerged from the birth canal [Ohalot 7:6].