21

This is from the Babylonian Talmud. Shabbat 135b says that we don't break Shabbas to save the life of a baby born in its eighth month of gestation. The idea was that there are 7-month babies and 9-month babies, and an 8-month baby was either an early 9-monther or a late 7-monther and if it were an early 9-monther, it probably wasn't going to make it. ...


18

The Rashbam to Bereishis 43:33 writes that not only were the 6 sons of Leah born in 7 years, but also all of the other sons of Yaakov (with the obvious exception of Binyamin, who is explicitly mentioned as having been born later). There are two basic possibilities of how this would happen. One option is that the literal chronology of the verses (which ...


18

Short answer -- it's allowed. You'll find a discussion elsewhere on this site about if someone impregnated a woman, do we recommend that he marry her. Which implies that the rabbi can certainly do such a wedding. The discussion becomes a little more complicated if the pregnant fiancee was not Jewish at the time, and the rabbi now wants to convert her and ...


16

First, you should remember how bad infant mortality was in those days. So what it says about how some infants were considered not viable (and thus could not be touched on Shabbos), no longer applies today when infant mortality is much lower. You should talk about the change in infant mortality with your students. The way you phrased your question implies ...


15

The last Lubavicher Rebbe, the Chazon Ish, and Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach (to name just a few prominent Rabbis who were never blessed woth children) did not divorce their wives, as we have not forced divorces after ten years, at least for half a millennium. I am not sure what the reasoning was for the change – if there ever was a change. It may be that rule has ...


14

Someone asked this question online to Rabbi Yitzhak ben Yosef (posek and rabbi of Ramat Gan) here, and he responded as follows: בהחלט שאלה נדירה ביותר. לכאורה כל תינוק הוא פטר רחם וצריכים שני הילדים פדיון צריך לבדוק האם הם פטר רחם דהיינו שלכול רחם יש פתח נפרד. This is an extremely rare case. Seemingly, each infant is the"opener of the womb" and ...


13

In מריח ניחוח (Issue 10, Nitzavim - Vayeilech), R' Gamliel HaKohen Rabinowitz writes (as quoted in Daf al HaDaf to Nida 30b): הסתפקתי פעם, אם גם לנקבה מלמדין התורה, או רק לזכר, ופשטתי זאת מדברי ה"נועם אלימלך" זי"ע, הנ"ל, שאם לא היו מלמדין התורה קודם שבאו לעולם, לא היה באפשרי להשיג התורה, והנה נשים צריכים לדעת היטב הלכות נדה חלה ועוד, וא"כ מה שהם צריכים ...


13

Summary - Abortion is generally prohibited, but is permitted in certain cases. All opinions agree that one is permitted - perhaps even obligated - to abort if the mother's life is in direct danger due to the pregnancy - perhaps even up to actual birthing. If the mother is not in direct danger, but will have negatively impacted health, most opinions hold ...


12

The Ramban addresses this in his commentary to B'reishis 17:17. He explains that miracle of Yitzchok's birth was not the age of Avraham or Sarah (as Avraham later had children from Keturah (Hagar) when he was 140). At that time, as long as people remained fertile they could still conceive children past age hundred. Rather, the miracle was in the fact that ...


12

Dinonline answers, Although a Ger is considered to be “born anew” when becoming Jewish, this is a halachic concept that relates to family relationship and the like, and it is not a “biological fact.” The Ger’s birthday thus remains the date that he was physically born on. Note that there is no actual halachic significance to a person’s ...


11

The Tosefta (Taanit 2:12) cited in part in the Bavli (Pesachim 54b) says that pregnant and nursing women must fast on Tisha Bav (in contrast to other minor fast days). No distinction is made for a postponed fast. Such a ruling is uniformly accepted and documented in all the classical codes, including the Mishneh Torah (Taaniyot 5:10) and the Shulchan Arukh (...


10

One way to look at Tuma is that it is a lack of holiness. When a women gives birth she has less life inside her, and thus less holiness. When she gives birth to a girl she lost more holiness than with a boy because the girl inside her also has the capacity to grow life. http://www.613design.com/tti/articles/tahara-tuma.pdf


10

You're possibly referring to the Maharsha to Shabbos 55b. To explain how Reuven didn't sin with Bilhah, he explains based on the gemarra in Yevamos that Avaraham's children couldn't marry a shifchah. Therefore, Yaakov freed Bilhah and Zilpah when he married them. The way he freed them was with biah, which simultaneously freed them and was mekadesh them. ...


9

Rav Ahron Lopiansky seemed to dispel this myth as being an old bubby's tale in a lecture. His words were some thing along the lines of "Yiddishe bubbies say that this is the makeh, (slap)", while gesturing to his philtrum, with a smile on his face. I subsequently had a phone conversation in which I asked him directly for his stance. He said that he hasn't ...


9

This blog post mentions that it appears in some collections of Jewish legends and the like, but not in any traditional Jewish sources. R. Chaim Kanievsy (in this Kuntres on Chinuch) was asked whether or not woman are taught Torah in the womb, and pointing out that women also have a philtrum, and it seems like he uses this as a proof that the philtrum is not ...


9

The Ramban (B'reishis 30:9) comments that this was a means for Leah to ensure that the majority of Ya'akov's destined twelve sons would emanate from her or from her maidservant who was under her domain: ותרא לאה כי עמדה מלדת - לא ידעתי מה המעשה הזה ללאה, ולמה נתנה שפחתה לבעלה, והיא לא היתה עקרה שתבנה ממנה, ואין דרך הנשים להרבות נשים לבעליהן. אבל נצטרך לומר ...


9

R. Chaim Kanievsy is quoted as being asked this question, and pointing out that women also have a philtrum, as per this question (though it seems like he uses this as a proof that the philtrum is not created because of the angel's hitting). Rav Yaakov Emden (Siddur intro to Bris Milah, 15) posits that the reason for making a 'shalom zachor' is to help the ...


9

Although Judaism prohibits abortion, including for non-Jews it doesn't necessarily prohibit all abortion. Certainly in the context of saving the life of the mother, abortion isn't only permitted, it is required. That being the case, a question of a secular law which permits, but doesn't require or even sanction, prohibited behavior is much more of a ...


9

No, a Jewish man cannot be a sperm donor. Based on tshuvos from Reb Moshe (Igrot Moshe, Even Ha'Ezer 1:71 & 4:32.5) we can say Niuff byad is an issur which only married couples who undergo IVF can get around, but single guys in a clinic can't. The assumption is that the sperm will go to a nonjew, so there is no kiyum of pru urvu to dissipate the ...


9

R' Chaim Bochner, another Polish rabbi who was a contemporary of the Taz, uses the term שטערי"ן שו"ס to refer to shooting stars (Or Chadash, ברכות על חוש הראות , s'if #2): זיקים והוא כוכב היורה כחץ באורך השמים ממקום למקום ונמשך אורו כשבט (בל"א שטערין שוס, מעדני מלך פ"ט סי' יג אות י בשם הרמב"ם) או כמו כוכבים שיש להם זנב ברוך עושה ...


8

I was in a shiur Rav Moshe Heinemann gave 3 years ago about halachos of pregnancy and childbirth, and he said that it is completely permitted and people just haven't gotten used to the idea yet.


8

As far as I know, there are three approaches to this: This was a natural occurrence. This is the opinion of Ramban, as is explained in this answer. This approach is also taken by R' David Tzvi Hoffman, who adds that given Avraham's lifespan at 175, his age at the time of marrying Keturah (about 140) is comparable to the age of 56 for someone of a more ...


8

Yes, someone born on a certain Hebrew-calendar date will have the same calendar date as his birthday every year. Thus, some one born on a red-letter day that is the same date every year, like the first day of Sukos, will have that as his birthday. (In fact, I have seen yahrzeit plaques that indicate "1st of Sukos" or the like instead of a date.) Some red-...


8

Nowadays a woman becomes a Niddah during childbirth, as we pasken (or: have taken upon as a Halacha) that most vaginal discharges cause Niddah. Some very specific colors are except, but it needs training to discern them. Since childbirth includes a lot of blood, we assume that some of the blood may be Niddah-blood and since we cannot tell the bloods apart (...


8

Rav Sa'adya Gaon explains in his commentary to Psalms (51:7) that David was not making a statement about the state of Man. Rather, he was speaking personally; that he was so ashamed, that he felt as though he were conceived in sin. He writes (as translated into Hebrew by R. Qafih): והרי אני מרוב כלימתי כאלו בעון חוללתי For I, from my great ...


8

The source is probably the Talmud (Shabbos 30b): כי הא דיתיב רבן גמליאל וקא דריש עתידה אשה שתלד בכל יום שנאמר (ירמיהו לא, ח) הרה ויולדת יחדיו Rabban Gamliel was sitting and he interpreted a verse homiletically: In the future, in the World-to-Come, a woman will give birth every day, as it says: “The woman with child and her that gives birth ...


8

Yoma 82a ת"ר עוברה שהריחה בשר קודש או בשר חזיר תוחבין לה כוש ברוטב ומניחין לה על פיה אם נתיישבה דעתה מוטב ואם לאו מאכילין אותה רוטב עצמה ואם נתיישבה דעתה מוטב ואם לאו מאכילין אותה שומן עצמו שאין לך דבר שעומד בפני פקוח נפש חוץ מע"ז וגילוי עריות ושפיכות דמים Our Rabbis taught: If a woman with child smelt the flesh of holy flesh, or of pork, we put ...


7

I'm going to say that whoever wrote the wikipedia article did not understand the sources they were reading. First let me state the noticeable problems. According to Halakha a woman may not tell her husband that she is Tameh when she is not (Even HaEzer 77 and Nosei Kelim). It would give her the status of a moredet, which is a person (a mored in the case ...


7

The first section in Nishmas Avraham on Even Haezer reads (in my own translation): Rabbi S.Z. Auerbach zatzal wrote me: I'm uncertain about someone with an hereditary disease whose descendants will be in pain all their days, or who suffers a blood-clotting disorder that passes to sons (hemophilia), whether he may therefore refrain from fulfilling the ...


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