More Discussions for this daf
1. Birth of Girls 2. The positions of the fetus 3. Nidah And Zavah- Intro to ch. 4

Sam Kosofsky asks:

Rabbotai (Cyber Rebbes?),

How does one explain the Gemara's contention that everyone is sad when a girl is born? I saw the Maharsha's explanation that everyone is sad about the fact that she too will have to go through labor pains yet I wonder if that is what people automatically think about at the time of birth. It seems as if the actual metziyus is that many fine parents who are shomrei mitzvos are quite happy when their daughters are born.

The Kollel replies:

Dear Sam

Thanks for your question - a tough 'un, I must admit.

Apart from the Maharsha, it would seem that people's sadness is not so much an intrinsic one, but one of disappointment - something like staking a claim for gold, and finding gold to the value of $50,000, after dreaming of a million.

Perhaps it was because they were more sensitive to, or because they possessed a deeper knowledge of the significance of having a boy, than we are today, that they were more upset at not having one, than we are today. Bear in mind too, that one's name lives on in a boy, not in a girl.

Look forward to hearing from you again

be'virkas Kol Tuv, u'Kesivah va'Chasimah Tovah

Eliezer Chrysler

P.S. I have a wonderful daughter, of whom I am both extremely fond and equally proud. I assure you that I would not have been sad to have a few more like her (and I doubt whether anybody else would, either!)

(P.P.S. - The Vilna Gaon explains that people prefer boys since that will give them the opportunity to have more grandchildren than if they had girls -M. Kornfeld)