by Rabbi Shai Gluskin
Baby at Two Minutes Old
Today is the 44rd day of the omer (May 21-22, 2001) which is gevura in malkhut:
Leaving the Garden of Eden
While doctors are less enthusiastic these days about whacking newborns, crying is still considered good news. It conveys the baby's vigor and contributes toward clearing the lungs of any remaining mucous.
Meanwhile, the baby, after nine-months of perfect temperature, constant food supply, and a lot of cooing and petting, has just been put through the trauma of squeezing through a very narrow passage only to face a world of stark light and cold.
But also outside the Garden of Eden is knowing. Knowing in all it forms: the knowledge of the world and the difference between good and evil; knowing difference and the beauty and complexity it adds to the world; knowing people and the comfort, joy, and fun that friends and family bring; knowing another intimately and the closeness and passion it arouses.
Soon this baby will warm up, and the new touch of her parents will soothe her. Eden wasn't nearly as good as this.