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(Sir James Frazier, “The Golden Bough”, ch XLIX)
For it is a common belief that the effect of contact with a sacred object must be removed, by washing or otherwise, before a man is free to mingle with his fellows… In short, primitive man believes that what is sacred is dangerous… Thus the primitive mind seems to conceive of holiness as a sort of dangerous virus, which a prudent man will avoid as far as possible, and of which, if he should chance to be infected by it, he will carefully disinfect himself by some kind of ceremonial purification.
The Lord, our God YHWH, is the source of life. And menstrual blood is one of the instruments of new life. Therefore it belongs to him; it is “holy to the Lord”. As, indeed, is all blood.
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.
3 And in 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.…
originally posted by: windword
Menstrual blood is not an instrument of new life.
Now, the blood that is discharged after giving birth could be considered life giving, but according to Jewish tradition women remained unclean for different periods of time
Finally, when she was deemed clean, she had to offer a sin offering, for the sin of giving birth.
However, menstruation is one of the side-effects of the fact that women are capable of giving birth.
I think it was the sin of physical uncleanliness
originally posted by: windword
"However, menstruation is one of the side-effects of the fact that women are capable of giving birth."
Barren women, women who bled every month, were of a lesser class of women than those who were mothers and/or with child.
No doubt their monthly bleeding brought on sadness, grief and shame.
Why should a woman have to present an offering of a yearling lamb to a priest for atonement, from God, for the issue of blood, if it was merely a cleanliness issue? That doesn't make sense.
What is the rationale behind the idea that a woman who gave birth to a girl being unclean for 14 days, rather than 7 days for a boy, and 66 days of purification, compared to 33 for a boy baby, if it wasn't about sin, but merely hygiene?
originally posted by: zazzafrazz
Leviticus talking about periods, is something no human female in the 21st century should read or ponder.
originally posted by: Shiloh7
I know this is dealing with the religious practicalities and all the instructions, but
perhaps its not the law, but the environment that created some of these ideas.
I believe most of the members of ATS are grown-up people, so I'm sure we can discuss this topic decently and without prurience.