It’s been awhile since I’ve traded childbirth stories with other women, my youngest is 15. But I remember, the intensity, the profound feeling of a new life with big blue eyes staring at you, but also the feeling like you might die because your body can’t possibly take that kind of pressure.
The Torah portion for this week opens with the rules for becoming “pure” for a Mom after conception and childbirth- able to return into relationship with the Divine.
I think it’s interesting that wording of Text begins with Tazria AND Yalda: Conception and Birth.
Conception is Life, but Labor and Delivery bring death incredibly close. That’s what it feels like, and for much of history was reality for a really large percentage of us.
And spring brings life from a dead land. TS Elliot wrote that April was the cruelest month, because he would rather remain dead inside, and unfeeling.
Yet interestingly, with the stresses of spring, death rates are high (spring is second only to winter) and we mark yom HaShoah in spring
Finally, the focus is on the Mom, not the Dad in this portion, and her ability to return to holiness, and to the Mikdash, which is kind of interesting, because it says she belongs there: comes from, and must return to holiness and the Mikdash.