In one of this week’s Parshiot, Parshat Tazria, the Torah states, “Isha Ki Tazria Viyalda Zachar, Vitamah Shivat Yamim,”(12:2) “When a woman gives birth to a boy, she is Tamei for seven days.” Three Pesukim later in Pasuk 5, the Torah says, “Vi’im Nikevah Taylaid Vitamah Shivuyim” “But if she gives birth to a girl, she is Tamei for two weeks.” The question asked by many is obvious – why should there be a difference in the amount of time that a woman is Tamei when giving birth to a boy than giving birth to a girl? Additionally, why should a woman become Tamei at all after giving birth?
Rabbi Yissochor Frand offers the following explanation. In order to understand what is happening in Parshat Tazria, one must look back to the first child ever born, that being Kayin, the son of Adam and Chavah. The Torah (Bereishit 4:1) states that Chavah named her son Kayin because, “Kaniti Ish Et Hashem” “I have gained a man with Hashem.” Chavah felt that by nurturing a child in her womb for nine months and giving birth to him, she had made herself a partner with Hashem.
To support this idea, Rabbi Frand quotes a Gemara (Nidah 31a) which says that there are three partners in the creation of a child: the father, the mother, and Hashem. Chavah realized through giving birth to Kayin that she was no longer a creature, rather a creator, like Hashem.
However, this still does not explain the discrepancy in the amount of time that a woman remains Tamei after giving birth to a boy and girl. In order to explain that problem, Rabbi Frand quotes the Kuzari who defines Tumah as a void left by the absence of Kedushah.
Using the statement made by Chavah claiming Hashem as a partner in the birth of Kayin, the Gemara in Nidah that writes that Hashem is a partner in the creation of a child, and the explanation of the Kuzari as to what Tumah is, it is now possible to answer the original question. When a woman is pregnant for nine months, up until the moment of birth she is in a way a copy of Hashem in that she too is a creator. As a result, she attains a great amount of Kedushah. Yet once the child is born, she is no longer creating, resulting in the loss of that level of Kedushah. As the Kedushah leaves her she becomes Tamei, using the Kuzari’s explanation of Tumah is.
The answer to why is she Tamei longer for a girl than for a boyis because when she is pregnant with a girl, she is given more Kedusha during her pregnancy than with a boy. Consequently, she loses more Kedushah during the birth of the child, as she is giving birth to a child that is capable of becoming a creator herself one day.