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1. There is a dispute about how long it takes for a female fetus to form.
2. Each opinion quotes as proof an incident that happened to a queen.
3. Rebbi Simla'i describes at length the physical characteristics of a fetus in the womb.
4. Rebbi Simla'i continues to describe at length the experience of a fetus in the womb.
5. When a child is born, an angel slaps him on the mouth and causes him to forget all of the Torah that he learned in utero.


1. Rebbi Yishmael: If a miscarriage occurs between day 41 and day 81 after conception, it can only be a male child; a female is not fully formed until day 81. Chachamim: Both males and females take 41 days to become fully formed as a fetus to be considered a birth when miscarried.
2. The Chachamim relate that Queen Cleopatra of Alexandrus had two maidservants who were sentenced to death. She allowed them to conceive. One was killed 41 days later, and they found a male inside her womb. The other was killed 81 days later, and a female was found inside her. Rebbi Yishmael quotes a similar incident from Queen Calaptara of Greece, wherein the female fetus was fully formed only after 81 days. (Both reject the other's proof for various reasons.)
3. The fetus' head is between his knees, his mouth is closed, his navel is open (receiving nourishment through the umbilical cord), and he eats and drinks from what his mother eats and drinks. When he is born, what is closed while in the womb (his mouth) becomes open, and what is open (his navel) becomes closed.
4. There is a light over the head of the fetus, and he can see from one end of the world to the other. It is the best experience of one's life, as he is taught the entire Torah.
5. The child is made to swear that he will be a righteous person and not an evildoer, and that he should never consider himself someone who has already done enough good. (See Maharatz Chayos.)

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