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Ritual Purity: According to Leviticus


For research purposes....I'm guessing MOST of us have no idea where our customs come from....here's an interesting, lengthy read. *compiled from multiple Jewish websites and the bible.


**Niddah - a woman's ritual uncleanliness every month and after birth... plus the covenant of circumcision!***

In the literature the word niddah is used primarily to describe the ritual uncleanness incurred by women during menstruation or childbirth, two functions generally associated with impurity incurred from bodily discharges or secretions (Lev 12:2, 5; 15:19–20, 26).


Everything on which a menstral women might lie or sit was pronounced ritually unclean (niddâ). The impurity defined by this word also extended to abnormal menstruation such as prolonged or irregular periods (Lev 15:25, 33)

Leviticus 12:1–8

1 Then YHVH spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying: ‘When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean. 3 ‘On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.


4 ‘Then she shall remain in the blood of her purification for thirty-three days; she shall not touch any consecrated thing, nor enter the sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed. 5 ‘But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean for two weeks, as in her menstruation; and she shall remain in the blood of her purification for sixty-six days. 6 ‘When the days of her purification are completed, for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the doorway of the tent of meeting a one year old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering. 7 ‘Then he shall offer it before YHVH and make atonement for her, and she shall be cleansed from the flow of her blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, whether a male or a female. 8 ‘But if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”


***Giving birth to a male child will result in a period of purification of forty days and for a female child a total of eighty days. After the time of purification was completed, the woman is commanded to bring a sin offering. Why was it necessary to make a sin offering?


12:6–8. Having a baby was not a sin but instead was the fulfillment of a divine command (Gen. 1:28). Thus the need of a sin offering … to make atonement was only a matter of ritual purification. In order to be pronounced ceremonially clean (12:7), the new mother offered a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering (v. 6). If she was a poor person, she brought two birds, one each for a burnt offering and a sin offering. Mary, the mother of Y’shua, qualified for this concession (Luke 2:22–24).


Leviticus 18:19 19 ‘Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity.


Leviticus 20:18 18 ‘If there is a man who lies with a menstruous woman and uncovers her nakedness, he has laid bare her flow, and she has exposed the flow of her blood; thus both of them shall be cut off from among their people.


To uncover the nakedness of a woman means to have intercourse with her. It is strictly forbidden by YHVH to have sexual relations during the time of a woman’s menstruation.

The punishment being “to be cut off from among your people,” this means to be excluded from the covenant. It can also mean the denial of an afterlife or the end of your family line. It is not the purpose of this article to explore this concept further. Maybe at another time. The point is, that it is a serious offence. An offence against YHVH, that can only be rectified by sincere repentance.


In the days of the Temple, when considerations of ritual purity were more important, a woman was considered partially impure for an additional period of 33 days after the birth of a male child and 66 days after the birth of a female child. No reason is stated why the period is longer for a female child than for a male child; however, it appears that a female child is not more defiling than a male child, because the method of purification at the end of this period is the same for both sexes.


The Covenant of circumcision: The commandment to circumcise is given at Genesis 17,10-14 and Leviticus 12,3. The covenant was originally made with Abraham.

Genesis 17: https://www.mechon-mamre.org/e/et/et0117.htm#10

Leviticus 12: https://www.mechon-mamre.org/e/et/et0312.htm#3


Like so many Jewish commandments, the brit milah is commonly perceived to be a hygienic measure; however the biblical text states the reason for this commandment quite clearly: circumcision is an outward physical sign of the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people. It is also a sign that the Jewish people will be perpetuated through the circumcised man. The health benefits of this practice are merely incidental. It is worth noting, however, that circumcised males have a lower risk of certain cancers, and the sexual partners of circumcised males also have a lower risk of certain cancers.


The commandment is binding upon both the father of the child and the child himself. If a father does not have his son circumcised, the son is obligated to have himself circumcised as soon as he becomes an adult. A person who is uncircumcised suffers the penalty of karet, spiritual excision; in other words, regardless of how good a Jew he is in all other ways, a man has no place in the World to Come if he is uncircumcised.



I find this utterly disgraceful.


Like so many Jewish commandments, the brit milah is commonly perceived to be a hygienic measure; however the biblical text states the reason for this commandment quite clearly: circumcision is an outward physical sign of the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people. It is also a sign that the Jewish people will be perpetuated through the circumcised man. The health benefits of this practice are merely incidental. It is worth noting, however, that circumcised males have a lower risk of certain cancers, and the sexual partners of circumcised males also have a lower risk of certain cancers.

Source: http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48964686.html