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Why do some not have a baby shower before the baby is born?

by Rabbi Baruch Emanuel Erdstein

  

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According to Jewish Law, there is no explicit prohibition against celebrating the arrival of a newborn baby before its birth.

However, according to the Sages, “A blessing rests only upon that which is hidden from the eye”.1 This means that divine benevolence is bestowed most generously in environments of modesty and unpresumptuous behavior – often measure for measure.

Therefore, although not expressly prohibited, many have a custom not to celebrate the arrival of a new Jewish soul into the world before the immense blessing has actually been delivered. In fact, many Jewish communities are even particular to not even buy (or even borrow) infant clothes, toys, and other baby accessories until after the baby is born.

There is another reason why people refrain from celebrating before the baby is born: if for some reason the couple’s expectations aren’t met and the child is born differing in gender, appearance or ability, from what they had imagined; or if G-d forbid there is an early termination of pregnancy, the trauma involved may be severely compounded it the expectations were already celebrated publicly.

So we patiently pray to G-d that our dreams be fulfilled for the best, and we will give thanks for all that we receive, when we receive it.

Footnotes

  • 1. Talmud tractate Tanit 8b

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Life Cycle » Birth » The Laws

G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.