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Question About Cleanliness Laws....


Forum: Jewish Parenting

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  #1  
May 19th, 2009, 07:29 PM
foxfire_ga79
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I really really hope this question doesn't come off as rude, I'm not trying to be sarcastic.
I've read Leviticus and I'm so confused at all the cleanliness laws. There are so many, and they are so detailed.
I'm just wondering, wouldn't it have been easier if God had given Moses a recipe for good soap and told him to cook unclean foods thoroughly?
I also don't understand why a woman is ceremonially unclean twice as long if she has a daughter than a son. My pastor said it's because girls are (in Jewish faith not us, I'm Baptist) dirty, and a daughter make a woman dirtier just for being a girl. It doesn't make sense to me. Yes a woman is very messy after having a baby so I can totally see being ceremonially unclean for a while, but a baby is a baby isn't it? I didn't feel dirtier with my daughter than with my sons.
Thanks for your insight!
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  #2  
May 20th, 2009, 12:20 AM
Alchemist's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Sigh. Its unfortunate that your Pastor is stating what the jewish religion is about without obviously being learned in it.

When the original Hebrew text was translated a whole lot of meaning is lost. In hebrew words have various meanings and connotations. For example, it was translated (not sure which bible) that Moses had horns (Hence Da Vincis depiction of him with horns). The real translation was Orah (light) emminating from him. It really is impossible to translate a 3 dimensional language and G-d given language. Human beings wll eventually mess it up somehow. But nonetheless it was translated.

Women are not considered clean or dirty when having a menstrual cycle or having given birth. Its a ritual state of pure and impure. When a woman bleeds from her uterus, she is dealing in a death of sorts from her body (even if it is a live birth, she is no longer able to bring life for a period of time and it is a mini death of her life giving potential). When a woman gives birth to a baby, she is losing potential and life from her body and becomes ritually impure. She needs to go through a process of rest and mikveh to attain a ritually 'alive" and cleansed status to once again receive the ability to produce life. When she gives birth to a girl, she is not being punished for giving birth to a lesser or unclean being. She loses even more life potential in the girl she births. Becuase the girl also possess the ability to have life, she loses 'double' the potential. she has now lost her own potential and the potential of another girl.

Interestingly, this shows the power Hashem has attained to women. We are like Him, able to give birth. Men can also become ritually impure by losing semen (when not having sex) as they too lose the potential for life then (spilling of seed). They too, must immerse in a mikveh to gain the pure status......

hope this was helpfull and explanitary......
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  #3  
May 20th, 2009, 08:44 AM
foxfire_ga79
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Yes, very good information, thank you!
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  #4  
May 20th, 2009, 11:56 PM
Alchemist's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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pleasure. I hope to see you again. Its nice to understand different cultures and religions and its also nice to see ppl questioning :-)

Just a note on the state of impurity (which i am currently in due to my menstrual cycle). It really is a time where DH has to become not my lover, but my best friend. We are meant to be there for one another in a non sexual way. Its perfect for me as I really wouldnt want to feel obligated to be sexual when i reaeeeeaaaallllllyyyyy dont feel like it. i can chill and do my own thing, but ask him things to prepare for our next time together. I certainly dont feel dirty. i feel free from tension. He is now my best friend and i know this is important phase for us (having a very firey relationship) to create that emotional intimicay to prepare us for the two weeks we can make love........
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Last edited by Alchemist; May 21st, 2009 at 12:02 AM.
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  #5  
May 21st, 2009, 03:37 PM
foxfire_ga79
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I think it's very pertinent for Christians to understand Judaism.
I live in an area where the pastors don't typically go to seminary and I find it hard to have conversations with many of them. The only thing they know is their opinion and they haven't been exposed to other teachings. It's pretty irritating.
I appreciate your willingness to share your information. Thank you!
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  #6  
May 21st, 2009, 05:08 PM
Mom2DavidandAaron's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
I really really hope this question doesn't come off as rude, I'm not trying to be sarcastic.
I've read Leviticus and I'm so confused at all the cleanliness laws. There are so many, and they are so detailed.
I'm just wondering, wouldn't it have been easier if God had given Moses a recipe for good soap and told him to cook unclean foods thoroughly?
Well, the laws of kashrut have nothing to do with physical cleanliness. Many people have that misconception that the reason to keep kosher is physical health. It's not. The only reason we keep the laws of kosher is because it's a mitzvah, it's a law given to us by G-d and even if it's a law we cannot understand, we have to fulfill it. Eating food that are not kosher are unhealthy in a spiritual level, not a physical level.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
I also don't understand why a woman is ceremonially unclean twice as long if she has a daughter than a son. My pastor said it's because girls are (in Jewish faith not us, I'm Baptist) dirty, and a daughter make a woman dirtier just for being a girl. It doesn't make sense to me. Yes a woman is very messy after having a baby so I can totally see being ceremonially unclean for a while, but a baby is a baby isn't it? I didn't feel dirtier with my daughter than with my sons.
Thanks for your insight!
Again, not having anything to do with physical cleanliness. The state of "niddah" which a woman enters during her period and after being birth is the state resulting of contact with death. When an ovum is lost during menstruation, we enter this state because the potential of life in that ovum was lost. The same thing happens when we give birth. We had a life inside of us, we no longer have it. And why is the period longer with girsl? Well, because besides loosing the life that was inside us, we also loose all the potential lives that are inside that girl: her own ovums, which are fully formed by birth.
So it's not about being or feeling "dirty". It's nothing like that. It's simply a sipritual state thatresults from having contact with death. And it's not exclusive to women. Every Jew, male and female needs to ritually wash his/her hands after leaving a cemetery, for example.

Sharon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemist View Post
pleasure. I hope to see you again. Its nice to understand different cultures and religions and its also nice to see ppl questioning :-)

Just a note on the state of impurity (which i am currently in due to my menstrual cycle). It really is a time where DH has to become not my lover, but my best friend. We are meant to be there for one another in a non sexual way. Its perfect for me as I really wouldnt want to feel obligated to be sexual when i reaeeeeaaaallllllyyyyy dont feel like it. i can chill and do my own thing, but ask him things to prepare for our next time together. I certainly dont feel dirty. i feel free from tension. He is now my best friend and i know this is important phase for us (having a very firey relationship) to create that emotional intimicay to prepare us for the two weeks we can make love........
ITA: For us it's a time to work on our relationship in other aspects that don't include sexuality. And reconnecting physically after two weeks of zero physical contact is really something that renews our relationship each month.

Sharon
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  #7  
May 25th, 2009, 01:02 AM
Alchemist's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Posts: 1,243
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfire_ga79 View Post
I think it's very pertinent for Christians to understand Judaism.
I live in an area where the pastors don't typically go to seminary and I find it hard to have conversations with many of them. The only thing they know is their opinion and they haven't been exposed to other teachings. It's pretty irritating.
I appreciate your willingness to share your information. Thank you!
Its a pleasure. I am confused. How can you pastor be in his position without having gone to seminary?
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