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Blessings of the Innocent Sotah

Question: The Commentary of Rashi when talking about Sotah (unfaithful wife, Numbers 5:11) says that a woman who goes through the process and didn’t actually do anything wrong, will get a blessing for an easy childbirth. The second part of Rashi says that if a woman normally had black children, she will now merit to have white children.  Any insight to understand this?

Answer: It doesn’t quite say that. It states, “If she is used to having darker skinned babies, she will not have fairer skinned ones.” One possible explanation is that they viewed lighter skinned children as more handsome. A lighter complexion (My Fair Lady) was considered to be more appealing in those days. Another possibility is that Rashi in the Talmud states that it is healthy for a man to have intimacy with his wife during the pregnancy so that the baby comes out, “Meluban umezuraz.” Which translates to white and enthusiastic. Now enthusiastic makes sense because a males sperm contains petosin which helps bring on labor quickly, but white was perhaps a sign of a healthy baby – or it may have just been cosmetic. Not sure.

All the Best,
Rabbi Meir Goldberg

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