Dr. Fatimah J. M. al-Qudayfi: Children's Rights in the Jewish Family
11 March 2024
Dr. Fatimah J. M. al-Qudayfi: Children's Rights in the Jewish Family

The Islamic Studies and Philosophical Studies departments of Bayt al-Hikma Scientific Institution in Iraq held the second (in-person) international post-con meeting of the International Conference on Imam Reza (PBUH) and Interreligious Dialogue on February 26, 2024. At this session, Dr. Fatimah J. M. al-Qudayfi (Researcher in Religions, University of Baghdad, Iraq) delivered her speech under the title “Children's Rights in the Jewish Family"



Presentation Video


A family, in general, consists of a father, a mother, and children, with the children being the fruits of a sacred relationship commanded by religions. The children thus constitute nearly half of this family entity; the family that, on the other hand, is the core of any society, in strength and weakness. If families are raised on solid foundations, they form a strong, cohesive society that preserves its entity and the entity of all its members. Each member of the family holds a position preserved by religions and traditions. The father holds a distinguished position in this social entity, as he is primarily responsible for the family in all its affairs and needs, including the care and follow-up in all aspects of life, including the safe upbringing of the children so they grow up righteous based on religious and social educational foundations, to become the future fathers and mothers. The mother also holds a prestigious position in the family institution as the other wing along with the father, collaborating in launching this educational system that has been esteemed throughout the history of humanity. The Judaism focused on highlighting the role of the mother through what is known as "A virtuous woman! who can find her?". In the Book of Proverbs, this woman is glorified as a model that every wise man is keen to possess. And if this is the status of the father and the mother in Jewish law, it also did not neglect to talk about caring for the children from their birth and throughout their lives, even before their birth as well. Among the rights that indicate the Judaism’s care for children are:

Encouraging procreation and having children, circumcision on the eighth day, blessing the children, the coming-of-age ceremony, Introducing "fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge" concept, parents praying for the welfare of their children, respecting the young as the old, teaching jurisprudence, preserving the child's physical well-being, caring for abandoned, homeless, and foundling children, adopting children, acknowledging children at birth, children's rights, inheritance for orphan children, guardianship, advices from the Tanakh in terms of children, warnings against mistreating children.

These were some of the most important rights that the Jewish religion in the Old Testament focused on, urging Jewish families to adhere to them as they are part of the Jewish worship that must be completed for the family to become whole and receive blessings from the Lord.