Ask The Rabbi

Here Comes Baby!

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Fetus, Sensitivity to Spiritual Environment

Name@Withheld from Chicago, Illinois wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

To my continual joy and miraculous wonder, I am pregnant with our first child. Is there anything I should or can be doing during this exciting time to help prepare, spiritually, for the incredible job of parenthood & motherhood? Thank you for your consideration and for the weekly dose of humor and wisdom!


Dear Name@Withheld,

Judaism teaches that the influences surrounding the baby in the womb have a profound effect.

So avoid negative influences, like those on television and in movies. You dont want your developing babys first sensations to be ones of violence and immorality. Instead, listen to inspiring music, study about Judaism, talk to positive people, etc.

The Talmud relates that one expectant mother used to go to the houses of Torah Study and ask the scholars to pray that her unborn baby should one day become a Torah scholar. And when her baby was born, she brought him in his crib to the Torah academies so that his ears should absorb sounds of Torah study. He grew up to be one of the great Sages of the Talmud, Rabbi Yehoshua.

And remember, your baby is made from the food you eat. So, make sure your baby is kosher! Kosher food has a positive spiritual effect on the developing fetus, and non-kosher food has the opposite effect.

Someone once asked a Rabbi, "When do you Jews start educating your children?" The Rabbi answered, "Twenty years before theyre born!" More than anything else, the example set by the parents is the greatest influence on a childs life. Begin now a renewal of your own commitment to the study and practice of Judaism.

May Hashem bless you with an easy pregnancy and birth, and with children who are a constant source of joy to you and your family!

Sources:

  • Avot 2:5 and Commentaries
  • Rabbeinu Bechaya, Vayikra 11:43
  • Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 81:7

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