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22
votes
8answers
498 views

Birthdays in Judaism

Is there any significance in Judaism attached to the day someone was born (aside for the 13th year)? Is there anything wrong with celebrating one's birthday? And is it more correct to celebrate the ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew once born?
19
votes
3answers
753 views

Premature birth contradicting science

I am a teacher at a private all-girls Jewish high school. There are two science teachers in the school, and both of us are Christian. I was talking with my fellow science teacher recently, and she ...
18
votes
2answers
518 views

What is the source for the tradition that the philtrum is formed by an angel before birth?

Physiological context: The philtrum is the dip or groove in the middle of the upper lip below the nose (link). It is a feature of most mammals, thought to draw water from the mouth to the nose to keep ...
17
votes
2answers
167 views

The custom of adding a candle for each child

Many people, including myself, added or will add a candle on Friday night for each child that is born. Where and when did this custom originate?
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are women unclean longer after giving birth to a girl?

I read that women are unclean for two weeks after giving birth to a girl and seven days after giving birth to a boy. What does it tell us?
14
votes
2answers
543 views

Morning After Pill in Halacha

Is the morning-after pill considered an abortion in Halachic terms or does it have another status, and, if the latter, may it be used?
14
votes
1answer
355 views

Time-frame for naming a newborn girl

I have heard many differing Minhagim as to the time-frame for naming a newborn girl. There are those that name at the first possible opportunity and some that wait till the second Shabbos. Many others ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is a woman allowed to get pregnant?

This should be taken as a bit of a light hearted question (but not a Purim Torah by any means, I am looking for a real analysis), inspired by a discussion in chat. Why is a woman allowed to get ...
12
votes
2answers
202 views

Did Adam and Eve have bellybuttons, fingerprints or ridge over lip?

Since they were created by God and did not form in a womb and had no umbilical chord did they have bellybuttons or fingerprints (that are formed by womb pressure) or upper lip ridge which the malach ...
11
votes
6answers
665 views

40 Days Before Conception

It is written somewhere (I don't remember exactly where) that 40 days before conception, it is called out in Heaven who that person will marry. However, if the person gets married multiple times how ...
11
votes
1answer
182 views

Woman with 2 wombs in regards to pidyon haben

There is a medical condition known as "Uterus didelphys". Wikipedia describes it as follows: Uterus didelphys (sometimes also uterus didelphis) represents a uterine malformation where the uterus ...
11
votes
1answer
423 views

May a lady take a pregnancy test on Shabbos?

Are there any issues with taking a pregnancy test (non-electronic) on Shabbos?
10
votes
5answers
287 views

Does the colouring of animals depend on what the mother sees before conception?

What is the meaning of the hishtadlus that Yaakov made with the conception of the animals starting at 30 (37)? Is it or was it a natural thing that the colouring of animals depends on what their ...
10
votes
2answers
161 views

When was Moshe conceived?

We know that Amram and Yocheved (Moshe and Miriam's parents) divorced so as not to give birth to baby boys and Miriam explained to them that they should get remarried because not only are they killing ...
10
votes
2answers
228 views

What is the origin of giving “Pesicho” to the expectant husband?

What is the origin of the practice of giving “pesicho” (the honor of opening the Ark) to the husband whose wife is expecting a baby?
10
votes
2answers
559 views

What can a pregnant woman do if she already stepped on nails?

A pregnant women is advised by the gemara (Nidda 17a) to avoid stepping on cut human nails out of fear of miscarriage. What can she do if she has already stepped on them? Is there a way to "fix" ...
10
votes
1answer
187 views

What is the “Kos Shel Ikrin,” a potion that renders one infertile?

The Talmud discusses the "Kos Shel Ikrin" (Cup of the Barren, or Cup of Roots), a potion that rendered a woman or man infertile. The recipe for this potion is on record in tractate Shabbos and there ...
9
votes
5answers
312 views

Sonogram (ultrasonography) on Infant for Gender

It seems there are some people who specifically don't want to know their baby's gender before birth. Is there any halachic basis to this, or is it just superstition?
9
votes
2answers
956 views

How should one dispose of cut finger nails? Is it dangerous for a pregnant woman to walk on them?

Is there an Inyan of pregnant women walking over cut nails ex: a nail salon? Also, can I just vacuum up the cut nails from the floor?
9
votes
1answer
267 views

Does someone who dies very young have a soulmate?

As discussed in this question, the Talmud tells us that 40 days before someone is born, a heavenly voice calls out "This person is destined for so-and-so". Not sure if anyone can answer this, but ...
9
votes
2answers
263 views

May a woman freeze her ova?

Is a woman allowed to freeze her own ova if she is coming to the later years of her life and is afraid she will miss her opportunity to have her own children naturally or otherwise, or is that frowned ...
8
votes
2answers
162 views

Is it permissible to be mechalel shabbos to save a fetus?

Is it muttar to set aside the rules of shabbos to save a fetus? If so, how is it possible to reconcile that with the permissibility of killing a fetus (abortion)?
8
votes
2answers
745 views

Is there an issue with ladies going to the zoo when they are pregnant?

Is there an issue with ladies going to the zoo when they are pregnant? If yes then why is it a problem?
8
votes
2answers
349 views

Having children when both parents are Tay-Sachs carriers

This is an obvious CYLOR question, but I am interested in whatever halachic information is available out there. Suppose a couple got married without ever getting genetically tested for Tay-Sachs. ...
8
votes
1answer
352 views

Is abortion of a gentile child of a Jewish father permissible?

If a Jewish man were to father a child with a gentile would they be allowed to consider an abortion or would that be disallowed in the Halachic literature ?
8
votes
3answers
588 views

Why does the Talmud assume a woman cannot get pregnant on the first act of intercourse?

There is a rule in the Gemara (Yevamot 34a) that אין אשה מתעברת בביאה ראשונה. The question is why the Talmud assumes that a virgin cannot conceive on her first act of sexual intercourse if the hymen ...
8
votes
1answer
335 views

May a non-Jew have an abortion?

Are non-Jews permitted to have abortions? (Consider the gemara in Sanhedrin 57b where "a baraita brings in the name of Rabbi Yishmael that a Ben Noach gets capital punishment if he intentionally ...
7
votes
4answers
189 views

Good inclination or evil inclination in the womb?

The Posuk says: ויתרוצצו הבנים בקרבה (בראשית כה, כב)‏ To which Rashi comments: כשהיתה עוברת על פתחי תורה של שם ועבר יעקב רץ ומפרכס לצאת, וכשהיתה עוברת על פתחי עבודה זרה עשיו מפרכס לצאת ...
7
votes
1answer
431 views

If a woman cannot have children, can she marry?

I've been doing some research, and I found a lot of references to the rule that if a marriage lasts 10 years and does not produce any children, the couple must divorce and remarry in a new attempt to ...
7
votes
1answer
273 views

The “Miracle” of Hagar's giving birth

This question, coupled with some math I did today leads me to a question. Yishmael was born (according to the Jewish Timeline Encyclopedia) in the year 2034 from creation, the same year that Avraham ...
7
votes
1answer
113 views

What is the Orthodox Jewish position regarding a criminal ban on abortion?

I know that many Orthodox Jews oppose abortion - presumably because they see this as a religious requirement - but does Orthodox Judaism see it as required or preferable to support a secular law ...
7
votes
1answer
583 views

Why “new-mother bat her-father” for a woman who gives birth?

When we pray for the healing (refuah) of a woman or girl, we refer to her as "(patient's name) bat (patient's mother's name)", for example "Shoshana bat Michal" or "Rivka bat Shifra Aviva". This is ...
7
votes
1answer
100 views

Prenatal testing

I've been hearing that some people are discouraging prenatal testing for halachic reasons but it seems pretty important to me. Does anyone know if there's actually something halachicly wrong about ...
7
votes
1answer
276 views

Is there a source for not buying things for a baby before it is born?

Is there any source for the custom to not buy things for a baby before it is born? I have heard that the reason is due to averting ayin hara, but I would like to know if there is any recorded source ...
6
votes
1answer
136 views

Are marriages on yom tov recognized if all other halacha is observed?

I attended a reform Jewish wedding on Shavuot and was wondering if the marriage is acknowledged and what the status of the children of that union are?
6
votes
2answers
842 views

Angel in the womb for women?

The Talmud (Niddah 30b) teaches us that when a child is in the womb, an angel comes and teaches it the entire Torah, which he subsequently forgets. The simple reading of the Gemara gives no reason to ...
6
votes
2answers
774 views

What does biting off the Pitum have to do with Pregnancy?

I recently read that it's a Segulah (others put it as a minhag) for a pregnant woman to bite off the Pitum of the esrog on Hoshana Rabbah for an easy labor. (please correct me if I misunderstood it) ...
6
votes
3answers
648 views

Segulah of Kvatar: Source

Is there a source for the claim that being a Kvater (person who carries a baby to/from his Bris) helps cure infertility?
6
votes
2answers
107 views

Why did Leah give Zilpah to bear children?

I understand that Rochel saw she was not bearing children so she gave her maidservant Bilhah to Yakov but Leah was able to bear children. True the verse says she stopped from bearing children but what ...
6
votes
1answer
384 views

Medical treatment for pregnant woman that jeopardises pregnancy

I ran into an article about a woman who died shortly after refusing cancer treatment in order to be able to carry out her pregnancy. This isn't an uncommon scenario — I can think of at least three ...
6
votes
1answer
52 views

Gad, Asher, and Dinah: absolutely, totally, and in all other ways inconceivable?

In parashas "Vayetze" (Gen. 29–30) we read about the birth of twelve children of Yaakov's: וַתַּהַר לֵאָה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ רְאוּבֵן….‏ וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד… ...
6
votes
1answer
70 views

Halachot of IVF

Does anyone know of any good teshuvas or sefers giving an overview of the halacha of in-vitro fertilization IVF? (Feel free to also give overviews in your answers, but I'd appreciate links to the ...
6
votes
1answer
516 views

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen? Case #1 -- Assume her husband is a Jew by birth. Case #2 -- Assume her husband converted to Judaism prior ...
6
votes
2answers
182 views

Embryo adoption and status as a Jew

My wife and I we are Gentile, and we will adopt a (frozen) embryo, probably in Israel. If the ovocyte of the embryo comes from a Jewish woman, and later my wife gives birth to this baby, can the ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

Kaparos for a pregnant woman — why the extra chicken?

From Sidur Tehilas Hashem, Sidur Rav Amram, and Nitei Gavriel Hilchos Yom Hakipurim 10:20 you take additional chickens for Kaparos for a pregnant lady in order to cover the fetus. What sin (or sins) ...
5
votes
2answers
470 views

Taharas hamishpacha practices during pregnancy

I am basing this question on this quote from the Wikipedia page on Hasidic childbirth customs: At the beginning of pregnancy, a woman's separation behavior depends on the regularity of her ...
5
votes
2answers
215 views

Fasts for pregnant women and new mothers

What fasts are pregnant women and women right after childbirth obligated to keep? Thanks.
5
votes
2answers
396 views

If a convert's parents convert to Judaism, do they become his halachic parents?

If a convert's parents convert to Judaism, do they become his halachic parents? I understand that a ger is thought to be "reborn" upon conversion to Judaism; therefore, his birth parents are not ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

Life support for a dead pregnant woman for the sake of a pre-viable baby

Suppose a pregnant woman dies*, and it's too early in the pregnancy for the baby inside her to have any chance of viability if delivered now, but if the woman's body is kept connected to life-support ...