Perhaps you may have heard the argument
, as I have, against mother/baby co-sleeping
because in King Solomon
a woman was said to have killed her child by laying on him. Well, in the process of looking for something else, I stumbled across this fascinating and detailed analysis of the case where King Solomon ordered a sword
be given to him, for the purpose of settling an argument by cutting a living child in half.
First, this quote, an accusation by the first woman that the second woman "lay upon" her child, causing his death. This is the part I have heard used against co-sleeping in the past.
"My Lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while with her in the house. On the third day after I gave birth, she also gave birth. We live together; there is no outsider with us in the house; only the two of us were there. The son of this woman died during the night because she lay upon him. She arose during the night and took my son from my side while I was asleep, and lay him in her bosom, and her dead son she laid in my bosom"
But then, after young King Solomon gave the living child to the first woman, stopping short of cutting him in half (it was all a ruse to expose the second woman as the false mother) the author questions...
"But how could King Solomon have been sure the other (second) woman would not also have mercy on the child? Wouldn't most people break down in such a situation and relinquish their claims? What sort of person would want to be responsible for the death of an innocent child, even if it were not her own? "
The author then answers with this WONDERFUL explanation!
"Perhaps this was an aspect of the depth of King Solomon's insight - he knew that no normal parent lies on her own child and crushes him in her sleep. Babies always sleep with their mothers and fathers, yet this never happens, for perhaps God implants within a human being an innate sensitivity that prevents her from doing such a thing. A woman who lies on her child must be lacking basic human feeling, and such a person would certainly have no mercy on the child of another. According to the Abarbanel, perhaps such a woman developed a blood lust and possessed a cruel desire to see another life snuffed out. "
a web site about Jewish Law specifically the article entitled "Jewish Law - Commentary/Opinion - The Brilliant Wisdom of King Solomon"