Are you familiar with a tradition/superstition/"rule" about the first child born in a generation?

Some people on my father’s side wouldn’t use my older brother’s first name. They called him by his middle name.

And the superstition must be true because that uncle eventually died. :roll_eyes:

In the more traditionalist sects of Orthodox Judaism, a family’s oldest daughter is often the de facto babysitter for her half-to-a-dozen younger siblings. Allowing her to marry first could be seen as a courtesy for all this unpaid work (which she’ll promptly take on again as a new mother, but still…)

My 2¢:

I remember many years ago a younger sister mentioned naming her son after our father, but opted out because–as her older brother–I should have first choice for that name. Cool, but A) it wouldn’t have bothered me, and B) I ended up not having any children anyway.

My mother-in-law had a brother who died in childhood. Apparently, from what I heard, she would have named her son after her brother, but her other brother and his wife had already used it for one of theirs.

I have a (very) vague recollection of there being some fuss being made over me when I was born because I was the first male born in my generation. I have two older cousins, but they are both girls. I’ve lost touch with them over the years, so I’m not sure if they’re still alive, but now that all of the members of my father’s generation are deceased I suppose that makes me the family patriarch.

As a middle child of a middle child, married to a middle child of a middle child… screw anyone who insists in this birth-order privilege bullshit. If the eldest is supposed to have the first grandchild, it’s up to them to get it done, not for anyone else to wait.

First children are like that initial test pancake anyway. (Mostly kidding.)

Reviewing the comments overall, it seems the primary value of these traditions is to provide fuel for fueding amongst the extended family(ies).

You are quite astute and have revealed the actual basis of these traditions.

I was revisiting that story earlier today on the basis of formulating a new Biblical Math Problem (the original list that I saw is in the hidden text at the bottom). I had never noticed before some of the fine details of that story. Like that Joseph has sex with the older sister on their wedding night and doesn’t notice that it is the wrong girl until the next day. Like, WTF? How did he not notice that he was getting reverse Revenge of the Nerdsded? (Also I noticed that both wives were his cousins.)


Hallelujah! Thank you to my creative friends for all these great Biblical math problems. They’ll really help the Oklahoma school superintendent’s goal of inserting biblical content into math and science! I’ve collected a multitude of the problems into one post for ease of reading:

  1. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3).
    If he lay with one wife or concubine every night, but took off one day per week for rest, how many days would it take him to lay with all of his wives and concubines?

  2. David captured the foreskins of 200 Philistines (1 Samuel 18:27).
    If David split those foreskins into baskets of 40 foreskins each, how many baskets would he need?

  3. The prophet Elisha summoned two she-bears to kill 42 children after they mocked him for being bald (2 Kings 2:24)
    One she-bear mauled twice as many children as the other she-bear. How many kids did each she-bear maul? (Use fractions)
    (Courtesy of Margo Evans )

  4. Jael killed General Sisera by driving a tent peg into his skull. (Judges 4:21)
    If Jael could hammer 1.5 inch per blow and the peg was 9 inches long, how many blows would she need to drive the peg all the way in?
    (Courtesy of Julie Brady Murdoch )

  5. Moses parted the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21).
    If he moved the water in the Red Sea at 1,000 cubic liters per second, how long would it take him to part the Hudson River?
    (Courtesy of Lynn Nesmith)

  6. There are 8.7 million animal species on Earth. If Noah took two of each of them onto the ark, how many square cubits of space were required to accommodate all 17.4 million passengers?
    (Courtesy of Todd Kreisman)

  7. Elijah killed 450 prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:40). If it took him one minute to kill each pagan prophet, how long would it take him expressed in hours
    (Courtesy of James Frese )

  8. Adam and Eve had two sons. One killed the other.
    So where did all the people
    come from?
    (Courtesy of Hilary Dumitrescu )

  9. Jezebel was thrown from a window and died (2 Kings 9:33). If the window was 30 feet high, and she fell at a rate of 16 feet per second squared due to gravity, how many seconds did it take for her to reach the ground? (Use the formula ( s = \frac{1}{2}gt^2 ), where ( s ) is the distance, ( g ) is the acceleration due to gravity, and ( t ) is the time in seconds).
    (Courtesy of Dana Kienzle)

ALSO I have started to craft an introduction to the Biblical Math book. Something like:

The Bible and mathematics make a perfect match. Just consider the name of the Bible’s fourth book: Numbers.
So students of Oklahoma, go forth and multiply (and add, and subtract, and divide).

Once again, thank you all for your help in this project for the students of Oklahoma!

This isn’t some kind of offshoot of the “7th son of a seventh son has precognition/supernatural powers” thing?

This is true, but I had a first cousin with the same given name as me and I assume we were named after the same ancestor since was our tradition.

The usual explanation I remember from Sunday School is that it was dark, and they looked enough alike.

But the naarative suggests that Jacob found out as soon as he removed her veil. So it sounds like they consummates the marriage with the veil still on. If the listener didn’t find that weird, it suggests this may have been the custom at some point, which is bizarre.

We were taught that she was wearing a Darth Vader mask, which explains everything.

Jacob: Wait, you’re not my wife.

Person in the Darth Vader mask: Yes, I’m not your wife.

Jacob: You killed my wife.

Person who then takes off the Darth Vader mask: No, I didn’t kill her. Jacob, I am your wife’s sister.

I had no idea Ted McGinley was in the Bible

Jacob: Close enough. Let’s shag anyway!

So, if you are Leah, which is worse?

“I’m shagging you, but thinking about your sister.”
“I’m shagging whoever happens to be here.”

What narrative are you talking about? Certainly not the one found in Genesis? From Sefaria:

(כב) וַיֶּאֱסֹ֥ף לָבָ֛ן אֶת־כׇּל־אַנְשֵׁ֥י הַמָּק֖וֹם וַיַּ֥עַשׂ מִשְׁתֶּֽה׃ (כג) וַיְהִ֣י בָעֶ֔רֶב וַיִּקַּח֙ אֶת־לֵאָ֣ה בִתּ֔וֹ וַיָּבֵ֥א אֹתָ֖הּ אֵלָ֑יו וַיָּבֹ֖א אֵלֶֽיהָ׃…

(כה) וַיְהִ֣י בַבֹּ֔קֶר וְהִנֵּה־הִ֖וא לֵאָ֑ה וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֶל־לָבָ֗ן מַה־זֹּאת֙ עָשִׂ֣יתָ לִּ֔י הֲלֹ֤א בְרָחֵל֙ עָבַ֣דְתִּי עִמָּ֔ךְ וְלָ֖מָּה רִמִּיתָֽנִי׃

(22) And Laban gathered all the people of the place and made a feast. (23) When evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to him; and he cohabited with her…

(25) When morning came, there was Leah! So he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I was in your service for Rachel! Why did you deceive me?”

Or in the words of the great American poet Stephen Stills, love the one you’re with!