For an explanation of the methodology of this series, see the introduction.

"Speak to the children of Israel, saying: If a woman conceives and gives birth to a male, she shall be unclean for seven days; as [in] the days of her menstrual flow, she shall be unclean." (Gen. 25:1)

Peshat (basic meaning):

Rashi: "If a woman conceives"
Rabbi Simlai said: "Just as in the Creation, man was created after all domestic animals, wild beasts, and birds, so too, the law [concerning the cleanness] of man is stated after the law [concerning the cleanness] of domestic animals, wild beasts, and birds."
"as [in] the days of her menstrual flow":
According to the order of all the uncleanness mentioned in regard to the menstruating woman, she becomes unclean on account of giving birth. [This is true] even if the womb opens without any issue of blood.
"flow": [One explanation for] This expression [is that it] denotes a substance that flows from her body. Another explanation: It denotes illness and sickness, for there is not a woman who sees menstrual blood without feeling ill, [since] her head and limbs become heavy upon her.

Remez (hinted meaning):

Baal HaTurim:"conceives and bears"
the gematria of this phrase (742) equals that of Tzurat Adam ("of human form").
"a male"
The gematria of this word (227) equals that of Beracha/ blessing.

Derash (interpretive meaning):

Ramban: The Rabbis don't mean that the child is formed from the woman's seed...rather they meant that the term "she emits seed" means the blood of the womb which gathers in the mother at the time of sexual relations and attaches itself to the seed of the male. The Rabbis believe that the child is formed of the red blood of the woman and the white semen of the male: "Three partners are in the formation. The male emits the white semen which forms the sinews, bones, and white of the eye. The female emits red which forms skin, flesh, blood, hair, and black of eye, etc."

Rabbi Chaim of Sanz: The Congregation of Israel is called "woman" as well as is each individual of either gender in relation to G‑d. Spirituality is a feminizing process for women as well as men. The spiritual effort increases our kabbalah/ receptivity and our kavanah/intuition, our ability to charge with holy energy and remain charged [in Hebrew, 'hitlahavut'], radiating love as its discharge. When a person in this state has a holy moment it is called producing a seed. Sometimes this moment comes in a powerful manner, creating unexpected healing and fixing. This is called "and bears a child". After this, in most cases, life returns to normal: to a time of integrating the lessons learned, of bringing the residue of holy energies into the body and our daily interactions. This is a drop in intensity and is called "remains impure for seven days," referring to the 7 soul qualities, until it is integrated with the new experience. (Divrei Chaim)

Or HaChayim: The word "male" hints that during the moment that the bodies of the parents join in marital union they have within their power the ability to determine the sex of the child, which results from their thoughts at that time. This enables them to [choose to] draw down from heaven a male soul.
The meaning of the words "leimor esha" suggest that Moses was telling the women how to obtain a higher spiritual level by volunteering to have children and to entertain lofty thoughts during conception. This is the mystical meaning of "but a [foolish] son" in the verse, "a foolish child is his mother's sorrow." (Proverbs 1:1) A son who is not up to the expectations of the mother may well be the outcome of the kind of thoughts the mother entertained at his conception.

"And she gives birth to a male child"
When the initiative for the husband-wife relationship with G‑d comes from the Jewish people, then the product of this will be a male child and the nation will attain the highest spiritual level. The word "male" is a metaphor for this level.

Rabbi Shemuel of Sokachev: Impurity and holiness are relative states. One flows into the emptiness left behind the other. One may be impure relative to a higher state of holiness, but not really impure or even holy relative to an ordinary state. A state of lessening is experienced when childbirth, which occasions a high degree of holiness, is over and the state of holiness departs. This is called impurity but it is not due to depression or contact with death, rather the abating of the relatively higher level of holiness. (Shem MiShemuel)

Rabbi Elimelech of Lisenzc:
"when a woman brings forth seed"
The Congregation of Israel causes seed to come forth and the abundance from above to be drawn to it by the arousal to the performance of good deeds by those below who have been awakened. The will to do so comes from The Congregation of Israel and all this occurs when it has abundance from the holy eternal soul that descends to it. (Maggid Mesharim)

R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi: Our sages said that when an infant is in his mother's womb, "his head is between his knees, his mouth is closed, and his navel is open. (Nida 30b), meaning that even though he has eyes, they do not see, and his nourishment passes through his navel, directly to his lower faculties.
This hints to the Jewish people in exile. Since the Shechina is not revealed, our eyes do not see G‑d's Presence. Also, the spiritual energies of the mitzvot do not pass through the mouth to the higher faculties, but rather through the navel, as mitzvot are carried out by rote.
The redemption is compared to birth, when the eyes of Jews will see G‑dliness in the world, and our mitzvot will be fulfilled with inner commitment and true understanding. (Torah Ohr Vayera p. 55a)

Sod (esoteric, mystical meaning):

Zohar Tazria 43:
Come and see: When man is about to be sanctified and mate with his wife with his holy desire, a Divine Spirit is aroused upon him, included of male and female. G‑d indicates to a minister appointed over the conception of men and hands him that Spirit and lets him know where to place it. That is the meaning of, "and the night which said, There is a man child conceived." (Job 3:2) And the night said to that minister, "There is a man child conceived" by so and so. And G‑d commands that Spirit whatever He does. This has already been explained.
The spirit then descends with an image (a refined spiritual garment that enclothes the soul and joins it to the body), the same that assumes a "G‑dly image". One is created with that image, grows up in it, and walks about with it in this world. This is the meaning of, "Surely every man walks in an image." (Psalms 39:7) As long as that image is with him, man exists in this world and when it leaves him, he passes away and leaves this world. These two images join together as one. King Solomon warned people, saying, "Before the day cools, and the shadows flee away," (Songs 2:17) two of them. [The two shadows enclothe his image; once they flee, he cannot continue to be in this world.]
Come and see, when the soul descends to be ushered into this world, it first goes to the Garden of Eden where it beholds the glory of the spirits of the righteous that stand in rows. It then goes to Purgatory where it sees the wicked crying, 'Woe, woe,' but none has mercy upon them. It is given testimony about any thing. That holy image stands by it until it comes into this world.
When it goes out into the world that image comes to it, joins it and grows with it, as said, "Surely every man walks in an image." Man's days join that image and depend on it. This is the meaning of, "for we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow." (Job 8:9) Assuredly, "our days upon earth are a shadow". From the day a woman conceives until the day she gives birth, no men know the deeds of G‑d, how great they are, how superior. This is the meaning of, "Hashem, how manifold are Your works." (Psalms 104:24)

BeRahamim LeHayyim:
Many are familiar with Nida's explanation of what takes place in the womb. We are taught by an angel with a light upon our head everything in the Torah, are sworn "be a tzaddik ", and then we are hit on the mouth (leaving the mark on our upper lip called a philtrum), forget everything we learned, and are born into this harsh world on our own, to make mistakes galore.

But wait, we learn in the above Zohar that we are never really "alone", that we walk with a Divine image that accompanies us as long as we are on this earth-plane. It is this holy image that perhaps is our inner spiritual guide, our higher consciousness, the still silent voice telling us always "Do the right thing." This image is with us when we tour both heaven and hell. While we may not remember this trip consciously, the details are embedded in our deep conscience. Everything we needed to learn we did in fact learn before kindergarten, and the supernal image is with us always. How to access it and to implement? Well, that is a whole other thing.

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