Jewish Mamas...a Question about Jesus (stay with me lol) - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-02-2010, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not asking about beliefs and whatnot...I'm asking about rules.

 

Mary and Joseph went to the inn alone. No other women or anyone around to help.

 

Was Joseph in violation of any rules by delivering baby Jesus? Isn't it for a certain amount of days he wouldn't be "allowed" to touch Mary because of her bleeding or whatever? So, wouldn't he have violated rules by taking care of her? I mean, no one else would have been around to help with the delivery or to help after the baby was born...so I have to assume it was all up to him.

 

 

 

Help this ignorant Christian! :lol


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Old 12-02-2010, 09:50 AM
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I'm not asking about beliefs and whatnot...I'm asking about rules.

 

Mary and Joseph went to the inn alone. No other women or anyone around to help.

 

Was Joseph in violation of any rules by delivering baby Jesus? Isn't it for a certain amount of days he wouldn't be "allowed" to touch Mary because of her bleeding or whatever? So, wouldn't he have violated rules by taking care of her? I mean, no one else would have been around to help with the delivery or to help after the baby was born...so I have to assume it was all up to him.

 

 

 

Help this ignorant Christian! :lol



I'm not Christian nor Jewish, but I don't see anything in the Bible that says Joseph helped with the delivery. What I've read says that Mary delivered her baby, and that is all.

 

Also....the story goes that the Holy Spirit made Mary conceive. Maybe the Holy Spirit helped with the delivery.

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Old 12-02-2010, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by AFWife View Post

I'm not asking about beliefs and whatnot...I'm asking about rules.

 

Mary and Joseph went to the inn alone. No other women or anyone around to help.

 

Was Joseph in violation of any rules by delivering baby Jesus? Isn't it for a certain amount of days he wouldn't be "allowed" to touch Mary because of her bleeding or whatever? So, wouldn't he have violated rules by taking care of her? I mean, no one else would have been around to help with the delivery or to help after the baby was born...so I have to assume it was all up to him.

 

 

 

Help this ignorant Christian! :lol



I'm not Christian nor Jewish, but I don't see anything in the Bible that says Joseph helped with the delivery. What I've read says that Mary delivered her baby, and that is all.

 

Also....the story goes that the Holy Spirit made Mary conceive. Maybe the Holy Spirit helped with the delivery.


So he stood outside and waited? I can maybe see that...

 

What about post partum?


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Old 12-02-2010, 12:57 PM
 
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If there was no one else around to care for the birthing mother, then there is no question of "violating the law" or the like.  The mother's life overrides here.  So in that case the husband would be required to help her, and, yes, to touch her when necessary.

 

The violation of law comes if you're delivering with the help of a midwife or doctor and there is someone there to care for you and if the husband's presence is not critical for you, then according to the basic halakha (Jewish law), the mother is nidda (meaning the husband is supposed to keep his hands to himself ;) ) when either she has uterine bleeding or when she is unable to walk unaided.  

 

So don't worry about Joseph having "violated... laws."  He didn't.

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Old 12-02-2010, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If there was no one else around to care for the birthing mother, then there is no question of "violating the law" or the like.  The mother's life overrides here.  So in that case the husband would be required to help her, and, yes, to touch her when necessary.

 

The violation of law comes if you're delivering with the help of a midwife or doctor and there is someone there to care for you and if the husband's presence is not critical for you, then according to the basic halakha (Jewish law), the mother is nidda (meaning the husband is supposed to keep his hands to himself ;) ) when either she has uterine bleeding or when she is unable to walk unaided.  

 

So don't worry about Joseph having "violated... laws."  He didn't.


I didn't know that :) Thank you!


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Old 12-02-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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I really think that there would be a midwife or woman in the town/village. Maybe Mary was an UC'er?

 

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Old 12-02-2010, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really think that there would be a midwife or woman in the town/village. Maybe Mary was an UC'er?

 



Hmmm or maybe the inn keeper's wife?


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Old 12-02-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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Many Catholic theologians surmise that a midwife was present.


I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. 

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Old 12-02-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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Other then the midwivies in EXODUS are they ever mentioned again. I don't remember ever reading about "the birth". It would just say she gave birth to a son/daughter/child/baby.

 

Mary was in a very crowded city with the cenus going on. So I would think that one midwife would be in the bunch?

 

If Joseph did help her it would OK too. I alway wonder about Eve. Being the first to go though the whole thing and all. What did Adam and Eve do when she had her first baby. That I would like to be a fly on the wall.....

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Old 12-03-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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If you look at icons of the nativity, there are midwives.

 

800px-Mural_-_Birth_of_Christ.jpg


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Old 12-04-2010, 10:50 AM
 
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COOL!!! Who are the two guys with sticks?

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Old 12-04-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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Shepherds.  They match the rest of the shepherds standing by the sheep.

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Old 12-04-2010, 06:12 PM
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Bluegoat, you beat me to it! I was going to chime in on that. I have always loved the icon of the nativity, and the midwives are one of the many reasons it's close to my heart. smile.gif


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Old 12-04-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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If Joseph did help her it would OK too. I alway wonder about Eve. Being the first to go though the whole thing and all. What did Adam and Eve do when she had her first baby. That I would like to be a fly on the wall.....



I imagine that Eve would have been physically near-perfect, so it probably went pretty easily.


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Old 12-07-2010, 07:37 AM
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I imagine that Eve would have been physically near-perfect, so it probably went pretty easily.

 

But Eve gave birth after the "fall". Nothing was perfect anymore; especially childbirth.
 

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Old 12-07-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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I imagine that Eve would have been physically near-perfect, so it probably went pretty easily.

 

But Eve gave birth after the "fall". Nothing was perfect anymore; especially childbirth.
 



God cursed her especially with pain in childbirth, right? 

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Old 12-07-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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Yes, here it is underlined.

 

14 And Jehovah God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all the cattle And more than all the animals of the field: Upon your stomach you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman And between your seed and her seed; He will bruise you on the head, But you will bruise him on the heel.

16 To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply Your pain in your childbearing; In pain you will bring forth children. And your desire will be to your husband, And he will rule over you.

17 And to Adam He said, Because you listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree concerning which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil will you eat of it All the days of your life.

18 And thorns and thistles it will bring forth for you, And you will eat the herb of the field;

19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread Until you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.

 


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Old 12-07-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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I imagine that Eve would have been physically near-perfect, so it probably went pretty easily.

 

But Eve gave birth after the "fall". Nothing was perfect anymore; especially childbirth.
 

Yes, this.  Furthermore, God drove them out of the Garden of Eden and used a cheribum to block the tree of life (represents God as their life source and supply).  So the relationship between God and Adam/Eve was greatly effected by their choosing the wrong tree.
 


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Old 12-07-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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However, many people think that over time we have become much less physically perfect as we have grown further from God.  So we have even Cain who can see and talk to God directlky, and Noah, and others, and also people who had a long life-span.  It's one school of thought anyway, and quite an old one.


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Old 12-07-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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Yes, I see the fall as a progressive state of falling away from God beginning from Adam.   When Moses was given the Law to give to the children of Israel it acted like somewhat of a 'stop' although it didn't stop sin.  It just made them very much aware of who God is and God's standard, which helped them to try and reach God's standard.

 

Well, we all know how well that worked. lol No one can live up to God's standard, but Christ can.  Now we can be joined to Christ, who can can fulfill all of God's standards.


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Old 12-07-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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Pardon the interjection ...

 

Feeling compelled to point out that I'm the only Jewish mama who's replied (that I'm aware of) on this thread.

 

All the talk of "Christ" and "Jesus" and all of that was entirely from a Christian perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This PSA was brought to you by The Resident Neurotic Poster Entirely Because of the Thread Title.  Thank you.  Carry on ...)  

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Old 12-07-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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Pardon the interjection ...

 

Feeling compelled to point out that I'm the only Jewish mama who's replied (that I'm aware of) on this thread.

 

All the talk of "Christ" and "Jesus" and all of that was entirely from a Christian perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This PSA was brought to you by The Resident Neurotic Poster Entirely Because of the Thread Title.  Thank you.  Carry on ...)  


I'm sure if more Jewish posters want to post their perspective would be welcome. 


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Old 12-07-2010, 03:10 PM
 
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Another Jewish mama here.  Just wanted to reply that Merpk's explanation is a good one, and I also echo her feelings/PSA, as my feelings are similar!  Us Jewish mamas probably won't be able to contribute the to rest of the thread, unless you have a specific question about Jewish laws, customs, or belief.

 

...bowing out....

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Old 12-07-2010, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another Jewish mama here.  Just wanted to reply that Merpk's explanation is a good one, and I also echo her feelings/PSA, as my feelings are similar!  Us Jewish mamas probably won't be able to contribute the to rest of the thread, unless you have a specific question about Jewish laws, customs, or belief.

 

...bowing out....



What ARE the laws/customs/beliefs surrounding childbirth? Is the father allowed to be there and watch or participate? Can he catch?


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Old 12-08-2010, 12:46 AM
 
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Another Jewish mama here.  Just wanted to reply that Merpk's explanation is a good one, and I also echo her feelings/PSA, as my feelings are similar!  Us Jewish mamas probably won't be able to contribute the to rest of the thread, unless you have a specific question about Jewish laws, customs, or belief.

 

...bowing out....



What ARE the laws/customs/beliefs surrounding childbirth? Is the father allowed to be there and watch or participate? Can he catch?



There are laws/customs/beliefs surrounding childbirth and they're the accumulation of 3,000 years' worth of laws/customs/beliefs.  More specific, maybe?

 

In brief, I know Orthodox men who have been there and caught.  I know one or two or more who've done the whole UC thing themselves (well, the wife helped a little, too LOL).  And I know Orthodox men who hold that they should stay outside and let the midwife handle it while they pray.

 

Kind of like nonJews, you know?  Some do, some don't; some believe one way is the right way, others don't.

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Old 12-09-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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I'm kind of wondering if the laws/rules would have been interpreted in the same way in Mary's time as they are today? It seems to me, a few thousand years is a long time. With cultural changes, new technologies etc I would think the way the rules are interpreted may have been altered in between? Plus, a few thousand years of religious study might have brought about new interpretation or understanding?

For instance, and I'm not religious, so I'm sorry if this is wrong, I know that "work" is prohibited on the sabbath. but individual interpretations of "work" vary, depending on the form of Judaism and other things. Some very observant Jews will not turn off a TV if a baby accidentally turns it on for instance, as doing so would be work (this was an example from a university class on religion I took) Or, they cannot carry items outside of their household. and then, in the case of carrying items, some communities have made symbolic larger "households" that encompass a few blocks, so it would be possible to say, carry an item to the Synagogue, without breaking the rules. I'm not seeing how some of this stuff would have been practical in Mary's time.

The other thing I was thinking is, I was reading about Niddah, and how the prohibition on touching was to avoid temptation for the type of touching that might be against the rules. So while touching is technically ok, because it might lead to not ok touching, its avoided as well. It also appears that anyone who touches the woman or anything she has touched becomes ritually impure for a day (unless they lay in the same bed- then its a week) At the end of the day they wash and become pure again. So I'm guessing, back in that time, it might not have been such a big deal? Perhaps noone had decided that a friendly or helpful touch might lead to a forbidden sexual touch and outlawed that yet. And perhaps being ritually impure was just something that was dealt with?

I'm not sure. I'm just thinking things might have changed between now and then in interpretation of the laws.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:05 AM
 
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I'm kind of wondering if the laws/rules would have been interpreted in the same way in Mary's time as they are today? It seems to me, a few thousand years is a long time. With cultural changes, new technologies etc I would think the way the rules are interpreted may have been altered in between? Plus, a few thousand years of religious study might have brought about new interpretation or understanding?

For instance, and I'm not religious, so I'm sorry if this is wrong, I know that "work" is prohibited on the sabbath. but individual interpretations of "work" vary, depending on the form of Judaism and other things. Some very observant Jews will not turn off a TV if a baby accidentally turns it on for instance, as doing so would be work (this was an example from a university class on religion I took) Or, they cannot carry items outside of their household. and then, in the case of carrying items, some communities have made symbolic larger "households" that encompass a few blocks, so it would be possible to say, carry an item to the Synagogue, without breaking the rules. I'm not seeing how some of this stuff would have been practical in Mary's time.

The other thing I was thinking is, I was reading about Niddah, and how the prohibition on touching was to avoid temptation for the type of touching that might be against the rules. So while touching is technically ok, because it might lead to not ok touching, its avoided as well. It also appears that anyone who touches the woman or anything she has touched becomes ritually impure for a day (unless they lay in the same bed- then its a week) At the end of the day they wash and become pure again. So I'm guessing, back in that time, it might not have been such a big deal? Perhaps noone had decided that a friendly or helpful touch might lead to a forbidden sexual touch and outlawed that yet. And perhaps being ritually impure was just something that was dealt with?

I'm not sure. I'm just thinking things might have changed between now and then in interpretation of the laws.

As I understand it, you are correct - the Jewish "scene" in year 0 was not the same as it is now, even among Orthodox Jews.  Even as far as pretty basic things like exactly which texts are used.  However, even at that time, as Merpk said, there were a variety of groups that believed somewhat different things.  I know for sure that one significant division was between the educated and the peasant classes.  The peasants were not expected to practice or even know the details of the ritual practices of the educated, which corresponds perhaps to some degree to what you are talking about.

 

I know there are a fair number of books about Jewish belief and practice during that period, including the various Jewish sects, and also stuff specifically about where Mary and Joseph would have fit into that.
 


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Old 12-11-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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There were different sects then, yes, but "Orthodox Jews" did not exist then.  It was Jewish, all of it, and you were either observant or not, but there weren't "denominations" like there are now. 

 

So Ouiblette, there are some problems with your descriptions of the laws, they're not correct.  But certain things we have as the law are very clearly specifically spelled out from that time via the Talmud, which tells us very specifically how various laws were observed, so we know that we follow these things the same way.  Yes, there were no light switches to turn on back then, but the law works with the times to deal with the changes. 

 

Which, by the way, is the difference between the Jewish denominations ... the Orthodox believe that the law does not change, and innovations (like, say electricity) are dealt with as per the law; and the Reform believe that the law does change with the times.

 

 

Anyway, The laws of nidda are dealt with very intensively in the Talmud (it has its own tractate, named Nidda, in the Talmud), so we know very clearly how it was observed back then.  Which is not much different than the way it is observed now.

 

 

 

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Old 09-25-2011, 06:49 AM
 
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Yes, here it is underlined.

 

14 And Jehovah God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all the cattle And more than all the animals of the field: Upon your stomach you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman And between your seed and her seed; He will bruise you on the head, But you will bruise him on the heel.

16 To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply Your pain in your childbearing; In pain you will bring forth children. And your desire will be to your husband, And he will rule over you.

17 And to Adam He said, Because you listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree concerning which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil will you eat of it All the days of your life.

18 And thorns and thistles it will bring forth for you, And you will eat the herb of the field;

19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread Until you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.

 



Late to this, I know, but just wanted to add...IIRC, in the Hebrew of these verses, the word translated as "pain" is actually the same word translated as "toil" in regard to Adam. Really, the word should be translated as something like "labor" for both of them...her labor, or her work, in childbirth will increase...and his labor and toil will increase. It has nothing to do with pain. That is a terrible mistranslation that I feel is very hurtful to many women. (fyi, not Jewish, but a Torah observant Christian. :) )

 


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Old 10-14-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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The OP may be interested in investigate the Protoevangelium of James.  While not canon, it is a very early document which encapsulates a lot of what was known and believed about the Holy Family from antiquity, and does include the presence of midwives at the Nativity.  You can find the whole document many places online.  It's not terribly long, and quite interesting reading.  


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