Kid friendly niddah laws?

Ok, you might have noticed that we made it to the middle of Leviticus. You know, that part that talks about childbirth and leprosy and all that good stuff. Are you going to read it to your kids, or skip it? Well, I would encourage you to tackle it, but before you do, I’ll share a few ideas with you. πŸ™‚

  • Keep things simple. Feel free to skim more difficult parts and stay longer on parts that are easier to explain.
  • Don’t underestimate your kids. They can understand more than you think, without sharing too much info.
  • Try to find the principles behind the laws. Can these principles apply to other areas of life?

So, we start with childbirth.

Here’s my explanation: It takes a lot of work for a momma to have a baby! She grows that baby in her belly for nine months and then works hard to bring that baby out. YHVH knows all about that, so He made sure that mommas will have plenty of time to rest and heal. If she has a boy, she gets to rest for 40 days. She does need to make sure he is circumcised on day 8, though. If she has a girl, she gets to rest for 80 days! YHVH made it a law so everyone else would remember to let her rest instead of asking her to do too much.

Then we move on to leprosy.

My explanation: Leprosy is an awful disease that we don’t completely understand today. It seemed to terribly affect the skin, and could be passed from one person to another. YHVH gave the priests information so that they could diagnose and treat leprosy. If someone was sick, they went to the priest and followed their directions. If it looked like leprosy, the person would be shut up alone and then checked. If it was leprosy, then the person had to live outside the camp away from other people. Today we call this a quarantine, which helps stop the spread of disease. The priests were also trained to check objects and homes for certain infections. The house or objects had to be thoroughly cleaned or even destroyed if infected. This is a good reason to keep everything clean and clutter free to begin with. Kids, what kinds of disease might be found in your bedroom?

Oh, my! The monthly cycle thing!

My explanation: Women and girls are special. They were designed to be able to carry a baby in their womb. Every month, the womb prepares to hold a baby. Before a girl gets married, her womb practices every month. When a woman is married, the womb needs to be ready, because YHVH may choose to bless them with a child. If He doesn’t, the womb cleans itself out. During this time, the woman is to keep herself a bit separate. Her husband usually sleeps in a separate place and she often has a special chair. This lasts for a week. This is another way for YHVH to make sure that women get to rest during this time, because it can be tiring. It also gives us a picture of our Messiah. You see, we cannot be with Yahshua right now, but we are glad we can talk to Him as we wait for the day when we can really be with Him. As you see Momma and Daddy apart for a week, and then give each other a big kiss when the week is over, you can look forward to the day when we will live with Yahshua in Israel. It will be a wonderful time.

I hope you feel brave enough to tackle a more difficult part of the Torah. We are to teach our children all of Torah. Do you have an explanation for these trickier teachings? Please share! πŸ™‚

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7 Responses

  1. This is a very good approach to difficult topics. I’m glad you don’t shy away from explaining these things to your children, it is important they start to understand from a young age so that when other children get silly about things they know the truth. Could you tell me a bit more about the fact that a woman rests for 80 days after having a daughter? I’ve not heard about this before. I’m currently working my way through the Old Testament (I’m an Anglican) so I shall come across it soon! Thanks for the interesting post.

    1. Hello, May! I’m glad you found the post helpful. I agree that it is important to teach our children, since we see the Scriptures were read out loud to the whole of Israel, right down to the sucklings.

      In regards to the childbirth instructions, you can find them all in Leviticus 12. I am not sure why the time is double for a girl, but I wonder if it might have to do with hormones. I have three boys and three girls, and in my experience, I naturally get on my feet much quicker with boys. YHVH knows the exact reason since He designed us; it is our job to trust and obey. In my explanation for children, I dwell on momma resting, but in practice I believe it would also include refraining from intimacy as part of the healing process. Hope that helps! Enjoy your trip through the Old Testament! There are many treasures waiting to be gleaned. πŸ™‚

  2. I recently gave birth to a baby girl, and on Wednesday I will have reached 80 days! Yay!

    I think it is interesting that at the end of the days of purification, the woman is to bring a burnt offering and a sin offering. I know there isn’t a Temple so we aren’t giving offerings these days, but I have been thinking about this because I want my heart to be proper and sober about these offerings. I thought, “Why a sin offering? What did she do wrong?” I have an idea…

    Regarding the sin offering, it kind of made me think of how Aaron and his sons were to give a bull for a sin offering when they were being anointed for service, and why? They hadn’t done anything yet. I think that’s actually one of the reasons–they were entering a new state where more was required of them. Also, the absence of the negative isn’t enough–we should also do the positive, and they were given important things to do that they weren’t doing before.

    Similarly, with having a child, I was thinking that one of the reasons for a sin offering could be that more is required as a mother, and how I lived before (like scheduling my time) isn’t going to cut it anymore. Maybe another reason is that although I was in the niddah state for two weeks, I still needed to touch my daughter during that time. Maybe it is also in part for my child, since we are all sinful at birth and can only think of the flesh as infants. Although at this time our daughter has the absence of the negative, may it be that she grows up and does the positive!

    As for the monthly niddah separation…I enjoyed your insights! I think the separation could also be for a time of mourning from the loss of potential life. YHWH is all about life, and the life is in the blood, and when we are having our menstruation, it is a loss of potential life. In a way, death is coming out of us. We have to shed the old to bring in the new, and on the eighth day, we become “new creations” so to speak (and the number eight is all about being a new creation and eternity!).

    There are always so many layers to Torah! I love it!

    Thanks again!

    Blessings,

    Allison
    http://www.hebraicmessiah.com

    1. Thank you so much, Allison. Your insights were such a blessing to me. Many times we need to obey before we understand, but I think you brought a bit more light to why we keep the niddah laws.
      And congratulations on your baby girl, and reaching 80 days!
      Shalom and blessings, Heidi

  3. About the 80 days for girls, look to the book of Jubilees, not found in the “Bible” — left out by the Catholic Church:

    Jubilees 3:8: In the first week was Adam created, and the rib- his wife: in the second week, He showed her unto him: and for this reason the commandment was given to keep in their defilement, for a male seven days, and for a female, twice seven days.

    9: And after Adam had completed forty days in the land where he had been created, we (the angels), brought him into the garden of Eden to till and keep it, but his wife they brought in on the eightieth day, and after this she entered into the garden of Eden.

    10: And for this reason the commandment is written on the heavenly tablets in regard to her that gives birth: ‘If she bears a male, she shall remain in her uncleanness seven days according to the first week of days, and thirty and three days shall she remain in the blood of her purifying, and she shall not touch any kodesh thing, nor enter into the sanctuary, untill she accomplishes these days which are enjoined in the case of a male child.

    11: But in the case of a female child, she shall remain in her uncleanness two weeks of days, according to the first two weeks, and sixty-six days in the blood of her purification, and they will be in all eighty days.’

    12: And when she had completed these eighty days we brought her into the garden of Eden, for it is most kodesh than all the earth besides and every tree that is planted in it is kodesh.

    13: Therefore, there was ordained regarding her who bears a male or a female child the statute of those days that she should touch no kodesh thing, nor enter into the sanctuary until these days for the male or female child are accomplished.

    I hope that helps!

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