Never heard of this

I was reading one of my message boards  - a poster tells that she is pregnant, and has been informed that she is not to go to the zoo because a pregnant woman is not supposed to look at wild animals. Another replied that she also heard of this, but was told she was allowed to look only at the kosher animals.

Any truth to this? Any halachic sources?

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  1. batya from NJ says:

    i’ve heard of it but i think it’s more of a jewish old wives tale…

  2. le7 says:

    It’s not a halachic thing. But it’s a minhag. The idea is that you’re carrying such a holy precious neshama and while you’re pregnant you should make an effort to only surround yourself with kosher holy things. I’ve never heard not looking at non-kosher animals but I’ve heard that when you’re pregnant you shouldn’t touch non-kosher animals. Same with not using baby clothing or toys that have non-kosher animals. I think it’s a Lubavitch thing.

    • mrsmelissasg says:

      so i don’t know about the zoo thing, but i do know a lubavitch family who was adamant about no non-kosher animals on any baby clothing or toys…

      • le7 says:

        Yup. I’m so used to it that I don’t even think about it. Since no one can give stuffed teddy bears everyone is obsessed with stuffed giraffes, cows and sheep.

  3. Chabad says:

    It is a lubavitch minhag.

  4. Dovid says:

    Lubavitch all the way. I can think of a couple things they shouldn’t do, but hey, there is a time and place for e/t;)

  5. Mark says:

    Even more important, a pregnant woman should avoid stepping on fingernail clippings lest she miscarry! (TB Niddah 17a)

    • Frayda says:

      I am always scared of that!

    • Chanief says:

      Ok, no offense meant, but do people still believe this?!

      • Mark says:

        Ok, no offense meant, but do people still believe this?!

        I don’t know, do people still believe that wool and linen shouldn’t be mixed in cloth?

        Do people still believe that meat and milk should be mixed?

        Do people still believe that a man should have relations with his wife while she is menstruating?

        Etc.

        • Chanief says:

          Some of these beliefs, as bizarre as they are, are more widespread than others. I have a lot of contact with a lot of frum people and I did not realize the nailclipping – miscarriage connection was still taken seriously. The only people I know who worry about that are of a much older generation.

          That said, if you look at many of these beliefs objectively it becomes obvious that they do not have any basis in the physical reality of the world. I’m talking about the especially bizarre ones like not looking at non kosher animals while pregnant, being scared that nail clippings will cause a miscarriage, etc.

          Kosher and taharas hamishpacha have basis in the reality of the times they were instituted, a lot of these other ones were based in superstitions that most of the frum people I know no longer believe in.

  6. Y Kohn says:

    Its not only a Lubavitch thing.

    It is based on the Talmud story of the mother of Rav Yeshua Ben Chananya who went to shul every day while she was pregnant, in order for her fetus to hear the voice of the holy Torah.

    Also in Shuchan Aruch it is recommended that when a woman leaves the Mikva she should meet first a ‘clean’ being, and if she accidentally meets first, a ‘tamai’ animal (cat or dog), she should toivel again.

    The classic Kabala sefer Maavar Yabok also says that a pregnant women should avoid staring at a “davar tamai” during pregnancy.

    Thus it is a widespread minhag among religious women to prefer hearing and seeing clean and holy things during that period, and therefore avoiding visiting a Zoo.

    • klink says:

      Yes, it is a Talmudic story, and an inyan in kabbala.
      But as a minhag it is lubavitch.

      It is not in any litvish halacha or minhag seforim.

  7. Chanief says:

    It is a lubavitch minhag. One which I always found rather amusing, but hey to each their own.

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