Torah Portion: Tazria
“אשה כי תזריע וילדה זכר וטמאה שבעת ימים…” (ויקרא יב ב)
It is a positive commandment that when a women gives birth, she shall be impure with regard to her husband and with regard to eating items that may be eaten only in a state of purity. She is impure for seven days if she gave birth to a boy and for fourteen days if she gave birth to a girl. It is thus written: When a woman conceives and gives birth to a male, she shall be contaminated for a seven-day period…. If she gives birth to a female, she shall be contaminated for two weeks (Vayikra 12:2,5).
Among the roots of this mitzvah is the idea that our Sages expressed, that there is benefit in keeping the couple separated for a short time. In this way the wife will be more endeared to her husband at a time that is suitable for closeness; they will not become loath of each other, which would lead them to set their eyes on others — as what happens to most of the peoples of the world who do not have our strict protective measures.
This commandment applies in all places and at all times.