I've heard multiple times that when a woman is in labor it is a special time to pray for other people. Is there any source for that?


1 Answer 1


I've never heard a specific idea about women in labor praying for others.

However, there's a concept from the gemara Bava kama 92a: דאמור רבנן כל המבקש רחמים על חבירו והוא צריך לאותו דבר הוא נענה תחילה A Person who needs something, and prays for a friend who needs the same thing, the one praying is answered first.

So based on this, it would make sense that a woman in labor should pray for another woman to have an easy labor (and to raise healthy and righteous children etc.) as that might help her with her own labor.

Rav Y. Zilbershtein explains how this works (in Aleinu L'Shabeach; I'll try and find the exact source):

He says that when you water a garden with a hose, what's the first thing to become wet? the hose. The water wets the hose on the way to the garden.

So too, when a person prays for another, they become a "pipeline" for divine blessing being bestowed upon the other. As such, the blessing first lands on them, enabling them to be answered first.

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    Do blessing pipelines work like hoses in any other ways? Can they get tied in knots? Are they green? I don't understand how this analogy helps anyone understand anything better. The principle of the Gemara can be true, but this analogy didn't help me see why it should be. Did anyone here find it helpful?
    – Double AA
    May 18, 2020 at 16:43
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    i think it's the difference between receiving the blessing as a "reward" for doing something nice (praying for someone), which sounds kind of random- why that particular reward instead of something else? versus a more "causitive" or "naturalistic" concept, i.e my prayers created a divine channel of blessing, which flows through me. It's a question of understanding (in some way!) of the rational for the gemara's concept. Is there a nafka mina le'halacha? I doubt it. It's a question of understanding.
    – Binyomin
    May 18, 2020 at 17:25
  • If we're talking about random vs makes sense, getting a reward for a good deed vs randomly getting undeserved gifts because of mechanical kinks in how God chooses to metaphyscially send blessings through the mail, i think you have your cases backwards. I still have no idea why this kink exists, and the pipe analogy doesn't help me see why it must or ought be so. But if you think R Zilberstein is just trying to subtly claim that it's not a meaningful decision by God but a mechanical side effect of His chosen postal service then maybe clarify that explicitly.
    – Double AA
    May 18, 2020 at 18:00

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