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Parsha Mitzvot: Tazria: Mitzvah 166 – Concept 455

“Speak to the Children of Israel, saying: When a woman conceives and gives birth to a male, she shall be ritually impure for a seven-day period, as during the days of her separation infirmity shall she be impure. On the eighth-day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. For thirty-three days shall she remain in blood of purity; she may not touch anything sacred and she may not enter the Sanctuary, until the completion of her days of purity. If she gives birth to a female, she shall be impure for two weeks, as during her separation; and for sixty-six days she shall remain in blood of purity (Vayikra 12:2-5).” We are commanded to observe the laws of impurity caused by childbirth (Rambam, Hilchot Mitamei Mishkav u’Moshav – The Laws of the Impurity of Reclining and Sitting).


“When a woman conceives,” when one wishes for Heaven’s compassion, he must “conceive” the effort; he must stir himself to Serve his Creator, only then, “gives birth to a male,” will he find that his efforts have borne fruit. (Ba’al Shem Tov al ha-Torah)

We are often willing to put in the necessary effort of, “When a woman conceives,” and stir ourselves to reach a higher level in our service of God, and, we often find success. However, there is that point just as we have achieved a lofty spiritual goal after much effort and prayer that we experience a sense of loss before we are able to set our sights on the next level. We have worked hard, and have been focused on a specific goal, and have been wrapped up in that effort, and are at a loss once our goal has been achieved. This sense of loss is the “impurity caused by childbirth,” the impurity of losing, even for a moment, our focus on the next stage of our growth.

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