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Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Birth itself is an incredible miracle.”

The highly charged experience of childbirth and the fall from this high shortly thereafter derive from various aspects of the experience.

First of all, the birth itself is an incredible miracle:

One life is growing and developing inside another.

We often take this for granted; we know how it happens and assume that it is natural.

But in truth, the whole phenomenon of pregnancy, in which a woman bears two lives that suddenly separate from each other, is nothing short of miraculous.

We hear a sense of wonder in Eve’s exclamation of amazement and excitement upon giving birth to the world’s first child: “I have acquired a man together with God!” (Gen. 4:1).

Eve reflects on the birth and exclaims, “Look what happened! I did something together with God; I made a human being!”

Pregnancy demands tremendous changes in the way the body functions.

Throughout the pregnancy, there is a continuous miracle transpiring in the mother’s body, a miracle of creation, to which every other bodily function must adjust.

When the process of childbirth begins, all of the body’s systems speed up dramatically; massive releases of adrenaline and other hormones advance the labor vigorously, eventually enabling the birth of a child.

Then, immediately after the birth, this unique and exceptional process, the miracle of creation, everything stops, not gradually but all at once.

The chasm is huge. One moment the world is full of wonder, and the next moment it is already gone. 

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz