In this week’s portion the Torah teaches us that a woman is required to bring two sacrificial offerings after childbirth — an elevation offering, which is totally consumed on the Altar, and a sin offering to atone for her transgressions. Abarbanel questions why she has to bring an elevation offering at all, and also asks what her sin was, which required atonement after childbirth. In terms of the sin offering, Abrabanel mentions first the gemara in Tractate Niddah which explains that the pain of childbirth causes a woman to swear to abstain from relations with her husband in the future. Such an oath is considered to be taken in vain since a woman is prohibited from voluntarily abstaining from relations.
Abarbanel then offers a different insight. Although a sin offering normally precedes an elevation offering, the order is reversed here as a result of the unique experience of childbirth. An elevation offering expresses an individual’s desire to come closer to