Babies on their Backs

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been frequenting other websites. And even participating in discussions on other boards (Gasp!).

As a Jewish professional and a religious person myself, I was finding it fun and refreshing to discuss things that weren’t about Judaism to people who weren’t Jewish–asking and answering questions about parenting, baby carriers and the like.

And then I found the Jews on one of my favorite parenting boards. Though I had come there to discuss anything but Judaism, the lure was irresistible.

The question that had brought us all from the four corners of the website to this particular thread on the “Traditional Babywearing” discussion forum was this:

How did the Jews in the Bible carry their babies?

When you think about it, this is a really good question. Nobody was sporting all-terrain running strollers back in Biblical times.

All the posters agreed that our foremothers, as well as all those moms who shlepped their babies and toddlers through the years of wandering in desert, probably strapped their babies on their backs with a simple piece of cloth or fashioned an improvised baby sling.

It got all of the participants in the thread thinking about the challenges of parenting (read: mothering) in Biblical times. We really liked the idea of Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah practicing “natural parenting.” And the idea of a community of women helping to care for and raise each other’s children.

Definitely a different paradigm for thinking about the intersection of the modern Jewish family and the Jewish community.


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