baby shower

Jewish Baby Showers

A classic Turkish evil eye bead

The words “Jewish” and “baby shower” aren’t often heard in the same sentence, but does that really mean Jewish baby showers don’t exist? It’s true that in many Jewish communities, baby showers are frowned upon. Why? Many Jews avoid baby showers (and even avoid purchasing clothes or furniture for the baby before the baby is born) out of fear that making a big (or even medium-sized) fuss about an unborn baby might cause something bad to happen to the baby or the mother.

The Evil Eye

This superstition stems from the notion of the evil eye, or ayin hara. In the Mishnah, a person with ayin hara is someone who cannot be happy for another’s good fortune. She or he is distressed and angry when good things happen to his or her friends and even just having them look at you could cause you great harm or misfortune. As a result, many Jewish communities have developed a tradition of not calling attention to good things, so as not to bait ayin hara.

Still, it’s important to remember that this is a superstitious tradition, and not rooted in text. According to Jewish law, there is nothing wrong with having a baby shower, but that doesn’t mean it won’t scandalize the ladies in the synagogue sisterhood.

A Second Opinion

In order to get some more insight on whether baby showers are truly a Jewish no-no, we thought it best to consult with the woman who always knows best–our resident Jewish grandmother.

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