Jerusalem – Religious Large Families Are Joy, Ignore The Evil Feminist Anti-Motherhood Terror


    file photoJerusalem – The evil winds of secular, anti-motherhood terror are blowing in our sector. “Taliban mom” and the “starving mother” are just twigs in a fire that has been burning for a while. During the recent Kolech conference, several sessions were dedicated to family planning. The unequivocal demand of the organization’s members is to spread the word of limiting birth. “It’s possible,” they say, “It falls in line with Halacha! Even male rabbis understand it now!”

    And they don’t only talk about numbers, bust also about the age factor. Why should young women give birth before they graduate from university? And before they integrate into the job market? And before they complete a second degree, without which they’re not worth much? And how can they expect a meaningful, fulfilling career in between pregnancies and births?

    This goes against everything I believe on this issue. I’m not shamed to say that in my view, the greatest gift we can give ourselves and our children is a big family. Very big. Plenty of brothers and sisters who will grow up to be the anchor and home of each and every one of them. And us.

    I believe it’s best to start having kids as young as possible, soon after the wedding, and before egotistical needs take precedence in our life. Yes, even before we grow a fake brain that tells us we should fulfill ourselves as well.

    Because unlike the other things we might succeed in outside the house, there’s nothing like the complete fulfillment that stems from love and happiness at home.

    I truly believe this, and strongly oppose the feminist secular terror that tries to influence us, with all the means at its disposal, to think that motherhood is the worst thing a woman can inflict on herself. Reading women’s journals and watching so-called reality shows, one can easily get the impression that these women’s one child (maximum two) is ruining their life, poses impossible demands, and that the “natural motherhood gland” was probably invented by women… like me.

    And truthfully, as long as it stays there, in “their” magazines and “their” TV, and in their super-egocentric, spoiled, repulsively self-centered worldview, I couldn’t care less.

    But when this penetrates my own sphere, our sphere, I recognize a threat to the number of my future grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. And for me this is an important warning sign.

    I want to encourage the young women (and, of course, their spouses) who are deliberating this issue: You don’t have to obsessively deal with family planning. Don’t believe those who tell you you’ll miss out on something in life if you have many kids. You’ll miss out no matter what; the question is where you will lose more and where you will gain more, and how your family will look like in 20 or 30 years.

    Don’t believe such expressions as, “Sure, religious kids raise one another.” They don’t. They learn to live together, in cooperation and mutuality. Don’t believe such words as, “The parents can’t give so many kids enough attention.” No child needs the amount of attention given by parents who raise only two kids (me, me, me). And don’t be tempted to believe the phrase, “I don’t have a moment to myself.” Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t. But it’s better not to have a moment because you’re busy with your family, rather than not having a moment because you’re organizing a feminist conference on family planning…

    Children bring joy. Trust me.

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    1. you dont have to be a rocket scientist to know that you only have as many children as you can support even an animal knows that instictively to have children on the account of someone else supporting him is uncontionable its a no brainer to argue otherwise is insane and evil

      • We are neither rocket scientists or animals. We do not live by animal instinct. We are maaminin bnei maaminim. We have bitachon in the One who supplies everyone of us with all of our needs. That includes you.

        What a Bashefer we have. He takes care of every one of us.

        • if you dont plan then youre worst then an animal to rely on miracles is mindless behaviour youre answer is no answer youre arrogant assumption that you dont have to earn youre living and somehow hashem will save you from youreself is outright idiotic at the least you can write a letter like this because no one knows who you are but there are many many others who find making a living and supply the needs of a family very difficult if not impossible di bist a groisen shoite as the saying goes shoite anoi margish

      • “Even an animal knows”??? Are you nuts? You talk EXACTLY like the author was complaining about. YOU are the person who thinks having children is a burden! Let me tell you something, HASHEM knows what he is doing. With each child one has, a bracha comes with it. Besides the child itself is a bracha. Linda in #2 said she was happy. Did she get her attention? she says no. Yet she says she wants 6-7 kids. Will each one of them get as much attention as if she only had 2? After all you can figure that out. Do the math. Why not then only one child? Like this it would get ALL the attention! WAIT won’t the husband feel like he’s getting less attention if he has to share it with a child?? So that means no children, right? But if you have a husband only, doesn’t that mean you have to give up some of the attention you give yourself? HM I think you are happy I didn’t talk to your parents before you were conceived.

      • Have you ever wondered how every animal has enough food? The answer is: Hashem provides for each animal as much as they need. What makes you say that you’d be poorer if you’d have 12 children? If Hashem wants you to have 12 children, you can be sure that you’ll have the amount of money you’d need for 12 as you have now solely for 2? There’s no proof to your theory. Having less children will not save you money at all. Hashem has His ways of providing you with money and taking away money if He feels it’s too much for your needs.

        • Not true. If they don’t have enough food, the other animals eat them, or they just die. When Canada stopped the seal hunt due to PETA, the population went down anyways because there was not enough food to feed all the seals.
          In NY and NJ, they have controlled hunts to kill bears to control the population.
          Until Kollel people start eating their kids, I don’t think you can compare the two.

      • What a stupid comment, one can see you live by your animal instinct you are therefore no better than an animal as it says in pesachim regarding an am ho’oretz, and FYI animals mate only for children, there is no such thing as mating just for the pleasure, and with regard to support “Masbia lechol chai rotzon”, Hashem provides animals with their food, and provides humans with their food, when was the last time you heard of someone die of hunger unless there was a gezerah of famine, what difference does it make if He provides it by Him making people employ you or buy from you etc. or by making people support you and by that saving themselves from gehinom, Hashem especially created tzdoko as a form of parnossoh for this reason, and he only gave the extra money to the rich people over poor people for this reason. Why is it different paying a doctor to heal your body, to giving money to a poor person and by this healing your soul.
        And while i’m already writing I would like to point out about birth control that people misunderstand that their are 2 points, one that one is not obligated to have more children then one can physically or emotionally cope with, but to this limit it is an obligation at least mdrabonon, this though has nothing to do with contraception as one could simply abstain. Ah, you say that you need to fulfill your ta’avos (and definitely most men need to in moderation to fend off impure thoughts) this is a different issue and one must realize that any heter is only to accomadate a mans weaknesses.

    2. Personally I want a pretty large size family abt 6-7 kids but this author is totally not convinceable. Her arguments are ridiculous. A family with 2 kids will be recieving more attention than one with 10 (of course there are exceptions sometimes) Its undeniable. I grew up in a family of 12- was i happy? yes. did I receive tons of attention? no. And being a mother I know that I definitely had more time when my family was small and opposed to it being larger now.
      I’m definitely happy with a larger family but come on, give me some convincing arguments.

    3. Who is going to pay for the tuition? health care? food? etc. of all of her children? G-d forbid a woman should be able to help support her family in a meaningful and fulfilling way.

      • I am so sick and tired of hearing these people who have 12 kids writing these glowing articles about how wonderful it is & how everyone lives happily ever after. I would love to know how you can live with yourself relying on handouts for years on end. I have no problems with people using welfare when it’s necessary, but PLANNING on using it? No – that mindset goes against everything I was taught. Unless one of the baby-makers is planning on EARNING A LIVING and not relying on my (and many others’) hard-earned dollars/euros/pounds/shekels, it will never work. I know your response will be “I have bitachon in Hashem to provide”. Well, there’s also the concept of taking the first step (I don’t recall the exact phrase in Hebrew). I’m making the effort to support myself financially — why can’t you?

        • In a quick moshel, I’ll explain how they support themselves.

          A bochur was approaching is soon-to-be father-in-law asking for permission to marry the man’s daughter. The f-i-l asked the bochur what he plans on doing for parnassah after he gets married. The bochur responds that he will be kollel and has faith that HaShem will provide. The f-i-l asks, what about your children, how will you provide for them? Answers the bochur, “I have bitachon in HaShem, He will provide.” The conversation continues, and the f-i-l wishes the bochur well and gives him permission to marry his daughter. After the bochur leaves, the man’s wife comes in the room asking about her future son-in-law. Her husband, beaming with nachas, says, “We have nothing to worry about, He thinks I’m G-d!”

        • It is boduk umenusah that people who make such comments are not generous people who are supporting people in EY. In fact they also use this excuse for any nitzrach.

          Being charitable includes attitude, not just money.

      • Easy! The Lakewood way:
        Women have the kids.
        Women work to earn the money to support kids & men.
        Women cook & clean the house.
        Men learn in exchange for kollel stipend that defrays cost of 2 months’ rent.

    4. The path to nothing
      I’ve been there done that- I have a master in Economics- and was assistant economist at Goldman Sachs many many years ago- there were only a handful of of women on Wall Street then.I was smart enough to marry. NOTHING compares to having/raising children (and teaching Limudie Kodesh- to my great astonishment)
      Know any women who never marreied? I do- BIG REGRETS!!

    5. As others have said, this logic does not make sense. There are many more factors at play such as – who will pay for all these kids if there is no money? Who will feed all these kids if no one is working? On factor (and not the only factor) is that this is not a matter of needing to live our own lives as parents, it is a matter of not wanting our children to grow up neglected and hungry.

    6. Although I would not advocate waiting for children to pursue an profession, there must be some realization out there that birth control is in fact NOT assur, especially when you have a boy and a girl already. Having 12 children (or more) was not the norm in the Torah or the gemara. Women are not baby making factories and never have been.
      There needs to be a middle ground. I am finding that people these days are having more children than in my parents days and I wouldn’t worry that much about some fringe element’s desire for professionalism infringing on the normal frum population. Women want to have children, it is part of their makeup. And yes they need to be able to use birth control when necessary (with halachic sanction – which there always has been).

      • “..You’ll miss out no matter what; the question is where you will lose more and where you will gain more, and how your family will look like in 20 or 30 years…”

        This is the crux of the argument here. Nothing is guaranteed, but a large family is definitely a guarantee for just that – a large family, which in our circle usually means a large and happy and sometimes boisterous family. That’s all we are really required to do other than supporting our children into their late teens….

        On a side note, is anyone here familiar with – lehavdil – the catholic teachings on family planning? Care to be ashamed of some of the reactions here? Then do a quick search on NFP and “Natural Family Planning”. It is a real “shanda” that there are Jewswho are regular advocates for the pill and what not when there are so much people who are less holy than us and not even close to having the beauty of our “mesorah” demanding more of themselves.

        This is not to say that they have it all right. Far from it. But just read about their attitude to artificial family planning and you will come away with a new found sense of purpose of fulfilling a higher purpose.

      • Point: The gemara in Yevamos daf 12b is repeated in *four* other places in shas. In not one case is it brought lehalacha by the ayin mishpat. You still must ask a posek about this after all these years!

    7. “fake brain telling us that we should fulfill ourselves as well”…um why exactly is that a fake brain? everyone needs and has a right to be fulfilled – the purpose of this world is to gain fulfillment. having children may be one of them, but remember, woman can fulfill themselves in a lot more ways than just having fifteen children. “But it’s better not to have a moment because you’re busy with your family, rather than not having a moment because you’re organizing a feminist conference on family planning…” yes, because those are the only two choices a woman has, a million kids or heading a feminist conference. enough said. ridiculous article.

        • The purpose of this world IS fulfillmnet… the question is fulfillment of WHAT? Do we strive to fulfill our personal desires or do we strive to fulfill the will of our Master? The modernist/feminist says you an do both. This a great lie. They are worse than secularists because they try to introduce non-Torah values and ideas into the frum world. Like the Chofetz Chaim said of “religious” zionists: they are like ARMED robbers (where as the seculars are just robbers) because the arm themselves with mantle of Torah

      • Our purpose in this world is to do the ratzon HaShem and fullfill his commandments. HaShem commands us to procreate. This mitzva is fullfilled by having one boy child and one girl child, and kol a marbeh, harei at meshubach. Not everyone is physically or emotionally capable of handling a large family. Let them be happy with what they can handle. To belittle those who chose to have fewer than twelve kids is wrong.

      • This article is not idiotic at all. As I approach 40, I look at my friends who are still working on being “fulfilled”. They have great careers so that they can support their learning husbands – and that’s all they have. I have a beautiful family b”h, loads of nachas, and lots of fulfillment. And I DO have a career – I am a mother.

    8. All i can tell you as a father is, that having 9 children is just love and joy and nothing more!!! its the real fulfillement in life – and don’t let the secular selfish views overtake the real “tachlis” of klall yisroel.

    9. While the underlying ideas in this article are spot-on, the arguments are downright silly. For one thing, the 2 women in the news lately have nothing to do with large families- they are ill, and many people think that maybe they specifically should not have had so many kids, but not necessarily that no one should have a lot of kids.
      Also, while indeed it is wrong to postpone children just because of finances (unless you are really in dire poverty, and another child will mean the whole family starves on the street), and certainly wrong for career advancement, there are other legitimate reasons to do so. My wife and I had serious shalom bayis issues in our first year of marriage, and our Rav categorically forbade us from having children until we worked things out, and built a solid foundation for our marriage. BARUCH HASHEM for that advice, without it would have for sure gotten divorced; today we are happily married with a growing family, and our kids are being raised in a happy, peaceful home. We do want a large family, and are working our way towards that goal, but we also want to do right by our kids; what good is quantity when they end up lacking in quality? Many other couples sometimes need to delay the first child or space between children because of shalom bayis (although one must always ask their LOR). Better that than kids who are messed up and off the derech because of terrible tensions at home or an ugly divorce!

      • There are circumstances when a woman has to take birth control, but it has to be discussed with your Rabbi. I myself take birth control after every birth on the advice of my “very frum, Chassidishe Rov”. I have several children and plan on having more Be’ezras Hashem.

        The reason why my Rov and many other very frum Rabbonim advise people to take BC is because women were not meant to have babies every year. So the reason is just to space out the kids to a reasonable time frame – most Rabbonim will say to take BC until the baby is a year old, and then to discuss it again to see if the woman needs more time, is still nursing the baby, etc. This would give the woman at least 21 months between each kid. Even so, it is still possible to end up with 10 kids, but we probably won’t have 17-18 kids.

        As to this article, I don’t think the author “forbade” taking birth control. She was discussing the delaying of having children due to career advancement, and to limiting the family (to just 1-2 kids). This is very different than “spacing out” the kids.

        Please, if you are considering BC, don’t use my words as a heter, you “MUST” discuss it with your Rov. Another point, you can’t shop around for Rabbonim. If your Rov says that you can use BC but does not allow something else that other Rabbonim are more lenient with, then you have to follow his ruling on all matters.

    10. The writer is 100% accurate. Despite my many achievements, the greatest satisfaction I have are my children and the greatest gift I have ever given my kids are their siblings.

      My only regret is that I did not have more. I wish I had the writer’s wisdom when I was younger.

    11. It is a real partnership in Israel the chreidem keep the jewish majority by raising large famlies and the secular work and indulge in Olem Hazeh (movies TV traveling).
      I see nothing wrong that some tax money goes to support the chreidem without whom the arabs would be in the majority in 20 years.
      I think it is in israel national intrest to support the large famlies just as much as buying tanks!

      • Here’s another solution: stop aborting 50000 Jewish children in Israel every year. You all talk about large families and not using birth control buy where’s the outrage about the murder of close to 1,000,000 unborn Jewish children since the 1970s??

    12. Next time i receive a letter in the mail begging me to donate money to a family with 12 kids that can’t make ends meet, I’lll be sure to send it straight to you.
      You can pay their grocery bill with your “bitachon”.

    13. To all the big “maminim” who advocate huge mishpuchos-
      (1) What about “ain somchin al hanes”-the cost of raising 5 kids today is prohibitive-let alone 10 kids-it takes an open miracle to earn enough money to support 10 kids (as evidenced by all of the shnorrers “in a shevreh matzav” who come collecting in my neighborhood -we are not allowed to rely on such a miracle;
      (2) What about the kids??? The author os focused on her joy and fulfilment-did it ever occur to her that children in families on 10-12 kids experience difficulties??? As one of a huge family, I can tell you it was not that pleasant
      (3) Why not focus on each child as a precious individual neshama instead of trying to produce as many as possible prior to menopause??
      I say, let each person decide what is good for them and what they are capable of handeling…

    14. Our purpose in this world is to do the ratzon HaShem and fullfill his commandments. HaShem commands us to procreate. This mitzva is fullfilled by having one boy child and one girl child, and kol a marbeh, harei at meshubach. Not everyone is physically or emotionally capable of handling a large family. Let them be happy with what they can handle. To belittle those who chose to have fewer than twelve kids is wrong.

      Right on !! The main reason why there is so much money scandals with frum men today is because of the pressure of supporting their large families.. Oh, and that’s the MAIN reason, no matter how much you want to cut and dice it.

    15. A woman who was on the verge of a nervous breakdown from 6 children and no money because her husband was in kollel, begged him to ask a shayla for birth control. After much beseeching he went to Reb Shlomo Zalman Aeurbach, Z’TL. Embarrassed because he thought he was asking for such a terrible heter, he explained the situation.

      Reb SZ responded angrily: “Now you are coming to ME for a heter after your poor wife has suffered so much! Why don’t you go back to the Rov that gave you a heter to have 6 children to begin with!”

      Told to me by a close Talmid Rabbi Dr. Avraham Seinberg, MD

      Raboysay, we need to be balanced. We need to live and let live. We cannot point fingers to the “spoiled, self centered repulsive world view” out there, when we have the same middos in our community. When a rabbi is allowed to molest children because the Moysdos that know about it cover it up, because they are self centered, and they claim that they are allowing this horrible form of child abuse “lsheym shamayim” (its mesira, and lashon harah to expose the molester, its agaist daas torah, etc.) as was exposed just yesterday in a yeshivah in Lakewood, it is equally as repulsive a world view.

      We MUST start taking Chazal’s words seriously. “Kshoyt Atzmecha V’achar Kach Kshoyt Acherim”. Blaming the outside world “seeping in” for all of our ills has been tried for years and years by the leaders of our community. It is not working.

      I am not saying that the outside world is wonderful. Far from it. But consistently blaming all the evil in the world on the outside, prevents us from examning what Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz on his website ( has called “The monster within”.

      • Very good post, Dr. Lipner. I heard a similar story regarding R’ Bick, zt”l.
        It’s ideal to have a large family, there’s little question in my mind. On the other hand, as people have more and more children, their costs of living go up, and as the years fly by, inflation makes that cost go up even more. Frum living costs tend to far outpace inflation. Should we all have large families all at once, it’s feasible that in 2-3 generations a much larger section of frum Jewry will not be able to support themselves or any mosdos at all.

      • Lipner,
        Thanks for using your doctorly credentials to smugly shoot from the hip.
        If you only knew the truth of the Lakewood case, the utter falsehood that will be exposed, and what kind of maniacal family the kicked out of a couple yeshivos psycho accuser comes from – and all the askanim that stand staunchly behind the falsely accused, you would run and hide in shame into your vile self righteous rat hole.
        When this is all cleared up – we will all be waiting with bated breath to hear your apology.

      • “Why don’t you go back to the Rov that gave you a heter to have 6 children to begin with” if this story is true the way you bring it is misleading, as it may imply that anyone who wants 6 kids needs a heter c”v, so just for clarification this is obviously not the intention, rather that this particular woman who obviously had emotional problems all along, should’ve been advised for the sake of her mental health to to take some BC measures.

      • You realize that you could be a machti es harrabim with such a story?
        When it comes to halachos that are not readily available to the masses and someone reading your story may take it for granted that a heter of R’ SZ Aurbach Zt”l applies to everyone in all circumstances is very wrong.

        I question your credentials for posting an obviously sensitive halachic topic in the form of such a story.

        The fact remains that most rabbanim did not allow B.C. for anything other than *real* health or mental concerns. I heard many such stories as yours but to make a point when we are discussing general B.C. without a health concern – is quite misleading on your part.

        I suggest you post a clarifying comment. There are many young impressionable people here who have a hard time asking for advice as is and there is no need on your part to make a bad situation worse.

        Thank you.

    16. My friends who have large families are not worried if they die due to the tremendous backbreaking pressure that they are going through to suppport their families.

      First, they prepaid the chevar kadisha (that includes Tachrichim, The Talis, Tahara etc.)

      2nd, they have a large insuance policy. And third, Klal Yisroel are Rachmunim Bnai Rachmunim who will have rachmonis on an Almona and her Yesoimim. She’ll get Tomchei Shabbo, Major breaks on tuition, the oilam will raise funds for her and the children. All of this while her husband “likt in kever”.

      Let’s have some rachmunus on the family while the husband is still alive and before his first heart attack. GO KOLECH !!!

    17. Children are the biggest blessing. I come from a family of 12, we had all the love, did not rely on handouts and worked out well.

      Having more kids might mean one less vacation, one less cruise, but ultimately its the only thing that lasts forever, real brochois.

      Yes, some medicaly (physically or emotionally) cant, but for the rest, that can, should, finances come and go, we as yiddin have bitochoin, yes, I know it might sound new to you, but Jews have bitochoin, that is how we got here after 2000 years, not statistics.

    18. While I am completely in favor of larger families, I don’t believe in a one size fits all mentality. I honestly do believe that there are many parents (mothers and fathers both) that simply can’t handle large families. It really does take a certain special individual to have the patience and koiech to raise large families. It’s NOT for everyone.

    19. The reality is that, even for Chareidim, economics is factor. Since the child allowance was cut in Israel a few years ago the average number of children per Chareidi family has gone from 9 to 8. (The Arabs also decreased by 1.)

    20. Just a thought, I do not think we are in a hunger year at the moment, however we see that it is forbidden to procreate when there is a hunger, so perhaps there is some connection between what you can afford and how many children one should have, unless you say that this is not the underlying reason ? I am a father of 8 children, and I come from a family of 9 I think it is beautiful to come from a large family and to have a large family health permitting. I have never taken money from anyone else nor did my parents, and have managed financially money is only a means

    21. Back in the “good old days” half or more of a woman’s children died before the age of 2 (if not in childbirth r”l). No woman ever had this many children-this is new to the modern age. Chadash assur min haTorah!!!

      • My husband’s great grandmother had 13 children, of whom 9 lived to adulthood. From what they tell me, it wasn’t too unusual at that time (her yongest child was born over 90 years ago). And, by the way, they were poor, living in some small village in Russia, so you cannot say that it happened because they had better medical care than everybody else.
        My own grandparents had 6 children (yongest was born in early 1920’s). All lived to adulthood.

      • So what are you trying to say, that you prefer the old days where children died r”l? We are lucky that this has changed and our children live B”H.

    22. The torah says:

      To avoid having kids for finicial reasons is wrong! We can see it with our own eyes how big familes support and marry off thier children even without being rich… somehow hashem helps everyone to push it thru!

      But a woman who can not handle the pressure of having a big family should definitly consider BC after asking a ruv.

    23. I can feel only sadness for this woman and her yinglach. It makes it easy to understand the pervasive levels of poverty, health issues and disenfranchisement within the chareidi community. The women have no self respect and view themselves as baby machines….the children have no hope of getting a decent education or a job and become easy targets for those who would manipulate them for demonstrations to promote a dark and insular view of yiddeshkeit.

    24. We do live in a different world,it used to be that a father’s horsepower meant his horse strenght Today, it’s the size of his minivan. in the past fathers could count on children to join the family business,Today, fathers pray their kids will soon come home from yeshiva to teach them how to work the computer and set the camera..
      my father smoked a pipe,If I try that today, I get sent outside and a lecture on lip cancer. I use to learn with my father and have heart-to-heart conversations ,Today, as a father I have to pluck the headphones off my sons’ ears and shout, “WHEN YOU HAVE A MINUTE..”

    25. the term “baby machine” within the frum world is repulsive and excuse me but i have plenty of self respect.of course we have some serious issues ,WE’RE IN GALUS!stop your ranting for one moment and take a serious look at the problems in the world at large;i’ll choose our own any day.

      • I wear the title Baby Machine proudly. Bring it on!

        Once, I walked into a furniture factory with my 3 little kids in tow. The owner asked what I was looking for. Then, looking at my kids, he said to me: So, you are a baby machine, eh?

        I look around the store at the furniture laying around in various states of being built, picked up my chin, and said to him: Yes, indeed I am a Baby Machine, and proud of it! And what are you sir? A sofa machine! I prefer being a baby machine – any day…

    26. the term “baby machine” within the frum world is repulsive and excuse me but i have plenty of self respect.of course we have some serious issues ,WE’RE IN GALUS!stop your ranting for one moment and take a serious look at the problems in the world at large;i’ll choose our own any day.

      • This woman is effectively saying it is selfish for a woman to want a career and instead should forego getting a college degree and advanced training (which she might have the skills for) and instead focus her life on having babies as often as possible. If you find that view normal and acceptable, thats your option but 90+ percent of jewish women reject that myopic view. It has nothing to do with being frum or not. I know many frume women who are doctors, lawyers and college professors. Somehow they managed to have several children but did not live in the narrow world you have chosen for yourself and children.

        • i know many women who work who wish they could stay home,at least part time and take better care of their families and THEMSELVES-come to find out most of us can’t do it all;something gives.

    27. I have one point, in the olden days women nursed clean that was there way of birth control, today a lot of women dont nurse clean so they take the pill for a year or two. it was very rare to find large families going back 75 years and beyond because all women nursed for 2 to 3 years.

        • Well, once upon a time, nursing was indeed a protection against pregnancies, but nowadays it is different. This is why most Rabbonim will allow BC for 1-2 years. Many people are not aware that their Rov allows it and are afraid to ask so they just keep having babies every year, until they go crazy.

          For those that don’t know, nursing clean is an expression that means a nursing woman who does not release eggs (and all related matters…) and therefore cannot become pregnant. The hormones involved in nursing prevent the eggs from being released. We don’t use the expression “nursing dirty”. We just say “nursing clean” or “not nursing clean”. In the olden times, women were able to “nurse clean” until the baby was two years old (when they stopped nursing) but that rarely happens nowadays.

          Clear enough?

          • “most rabbanim”

            There is no such thing! When it comes to such shailos the only thing that matters is what your Rav (the one you would trust with a question of life and death…)holds.
            Yes, it may be true that there is more leniency but only in certain communities who have already tarnished the image of “large” families.

            It is very important that you keep this in mind when comparing different rabbanim. The mind is a sensitive thing and once someone has been brought up a certain way, undoubtedly they will feel the burden after the third child rather than the eighth. Nough said.

            And from your comment of “so they just keep having babies every year, until they go crazy.” you are doing the same thing. Fear mongering. People go crazy from having babies. Wonderful. Glad my parents are still sane.

    28. One of my great-grandmothers gave birth to 10 children, 2 of whom died as babies. The others grew up and got married. They did not have much money and in those days welfare, food stamps etc., did not exist. While I know that there are those who will read this and say that the previous turn -of -the -century immigrant generation was ignorant about BC or that it didn’t exist over 100 yrs ago, that was not true. They worked hard and didn’t waste a penny but they also didn’t pay anything to give girls a Jewish education and their sons only went to Talmud Torah. Their children ended up not keeping yiddishkeit .
      Today we have bent over backwards to give children a proper Jewish education at considerable cost and at the same time discouraged young Jews from going to work. We must separate the 2: having large families and living beyond our means and not working. Jewish men in the past prided themselves on their ability to make a living. Jewish wives prided themselves on making their husband’s salary stretch.

    29. The premise of this article is wrong. Today’s feminists are not anti-family or anti-children. What they are anti is viewing a woman as just a womb with no other abilities, rights or interests.

      • “viewing a woman as just a womb with no other abilities, rights or interests”, this view never existed and this is not what the feminists are anti, rather they are anti the special role that Hashem created for them in this world and instead they want the mans role.

    30. having a large family is wonderful, a true bracha but i dont agree at all with what the writer said about university education.
      though it is good to “start off young””, how young were you referring to do, becuase people cannot be married and have children when they are mentally children themselves.
      universities may be look down on, but how abiut an all girls, or all boys course? completing this course will give confidence and independance, and the key to a salary if needed.

    31. The best way to support and encourage large families is to encourage fathers to do their part. That includes getting trained and educated so they can support their families and helping in childcare and household tasks.

    32. For all those people judging and criticizing people who have smaller families or no children at all or are bragging about how many children you have and how fulfilled you are, remember you have no idea which of those people wanted children desperately but it never happened or whose choices were constrained by other life situations (i.e. supporting and caring for disabled parents or relatives, dealing with illness, etc.). You just might be sticking a knife in the heart of a good person.

    33. It seems that lately there are more and more frumme women desparately trying to rationalize their own desparate situations by writing these articles telling everyone else that hashem wants them to be as miserable as they are with no life, no career, more children than they can afford and nothing to look forward to other than the end of their next pregancy. There is a middle ground but they seem oblivious to the notion that 3-4 children is enough and they can also have a career and make some contribution to society and yiddeshkeit by being a doctor, lawyer or indian chief.

    34. I am a mother of 5 ka”h myself and the oldest of 14 b”h.
      It boils down to thanking Hashem for your brochos. If a woman does not take BC, doesnt mean she will have 12 + children. Hashem gives the children to some, and not to others. I know plenty of women who do not take BC who really, really want more children, and it doesnt happen.
      My great, great grandparents had 10 children ka”h that they raised to torah, chupah and maasiv tovim. apparently some ppl did have lrg families in those days.
      On the other hand, there are some women who need to space their children or not have any more children for a variety of reasons, and ppl need to know when to go speak to a Rov for advice. Rabonim are generally very understanding. The Torah says “Vechai bohem!”.
      My parents always said and still say, that they are so thankful for their children, and still wish they would be given more. We always hear from my father that Hashem gave him 14 diamonds. The attitude at home always is that the children are the riches.
      My parents work to provide for the family and do not take handouts.
      My mother manages to stretch the salary and doesn’t spend much on herself. Does she feel like she has no life or she is a baby machine? NOt at all. My mother is a very busy woman who teaches 1/2 day and gives countless more hours to the community.
      My mother always says though, that it’s worth it for a woman to work at least 1/2 a day, so she can air out, come back with more strenght and patience for her children and family and MOST IMPORTANT so she can have cleaning help full time, and be able to be a mother and feel like a mentch herself.
      Obviously once there are children, a husband SHOULD be bringing home a salary. THe gemara mentions many Tanaim and Amoraim, that did menial labour to provide an honest living for their families.
      Only Yechidei segula, can actually handle a life of only learning, and the wife needs to be a tzadeikes who has no concept of gashmiyus/ earthly needs to go along with it.

      Good Luck to all Jewish mothers everywhere taking care of the special gift/s the Aibershter has given them!!!!!

    35. Scenario: Asifa for prepubescent girls


      Place: Ateres Chaya Hall- Brooklyn,NY

      Main Speaker: Rabbi Avrohom Vasartreiger – Head of the Moetzes Gedolei Torah of Agudath Israel of America, Israel,Outer Mongolia and the planet of Saturn.

      Sponsered by Frumka (frum burka) International

      The speech:

      Yiddishe Tochtors – For 60 years we have been improving LADIES yiddishkeit. For example, your great grandmothers “only” had 2-4 children. The next generation of LADIES had larger families and started wearing Bullet-proof stockings and tights.

      The next generation of LADIES -your mothers took upon themselves not to wear any colorful clothes on shabbos -ONLY WEARING BLACK – JUST LIKE THEIR CHASUVA HUSBANDS AND SONS !!

      However, the soton doesn’t stop working and never gives up. We have today 2 new issues. Myself and the other gedoilim have instituted that every bas yisroel over the age of 12 must wear a FRUMKA- THE FRUM BURKA !! It was designed in Tehran specifically for the frum LADIES in brooklyn.

      There is another issue- Our Askanim have informed the Moetzet that there are girls in sub-sahara africa that are giving birth as young as 15.

      Do you have any idea what this means ???? There could very well be a kitrug (decree)in shomayim against our people !!! Why is an african girl giving birth at 15 and a yiddishe LADY has to wait until 19 or 20 years old to give birth ??

      WE decree that FRUM girls should get married and thereby become LADIES as early as 12 years old !! Imagine the joy of having 5-7 children before you are 20 years old !!!

      We understand that you will still have to go to seminary in eretz yisroel. The chaverim of the moetzet with our askonim will be convening long and hard in the months ahead to find a solution to this problem.

      Program over !!


    36. I am sorry to say that I know too many cases of mothers who did the family planning just to be more comfortable. Somehow I saw them suffering from some of their children more than the norm, or they got sick physically , or the mother got sick, or “off the derech” kids or they had a hard time getting pregnant when they were ready for the next one. Of course when there are serious issues you can receive a heter. Otherwise, you better be careful. It is almost like playing G-d. I really don’t like to point a finger at anyone because perhaps they had serious issues. On the surface this is what I seem to realize. We mustn’t family plan because of Parnosso. You can’t push of having children bec. the husband wants to learn in Kolel. then he shouldn’t get married, no?The Parnosso is Hashem’s job and the husband has to do the best he can in bringing in parnosso.
      But now is a new generation. We can’t expect the young ladies to want to give their young life for their family. The world is much more career minded and the expenses are high so mothers have to work outside. It is a challenge to remain steadfast against birth control.

      I have B”h a large family, with not a big income at all but Hashem really really helped. I don’t even know how !! We did not collect welfare B”h. We can’t afford luxuries but definitely more than the basics. B”H B”H

    37. While not everyone can or should handle a large family, everyone who says that we should limit family size forgets that we lost so many Yidden to both the physical Shoah of the Nazis YMS and the spiritual Shoah of assimilation (including Zionist kekol haamim assimilation in EY). Anyone who feels it is their duty to replace these neshomos, and can do so properly, should be encouraged to do so indeed.

    38. There was a book written about 40 years ago by Sam Levinson called Everything but Money. Sam was the 8th child of a Jewish immigrant family who lived in a NY tenement with many other similar immigrant families. They struggled and there were no handouts but they had each other. If a girl in their tenement got married, the other mothers pitched in and put together a chassunah. Everyone helped each other and the tenement families were like one big happy family.
      Unfortunately, there was very little Jewish education available and there was a big push to Americanize immigrants. Sam and his siblings left Orthodoxy and became professionals. The premise of his book was that poverty did not stop him or his siblings from success and gave credit to his parents for valuing secular education. Unfortunately the secular education was Sam’s only education except for whatever religious education occurred at home and at shul. That generation left yiddishkeit.
      Obviously, for large frum families to continue to exist, there must be a way to incorporate the values in Sam’s family with frum values. Frum families must go back to being self-supporting and the time has come for them to stop relying on someone else for support. Children who grow up seeing that a large family is a happy thing will want to have many children as well.

      • But you contradict yourself. It is a fact that in some kehillos everyone is sort of from one big family and go out of their way to help those that need help.
        Let’s all take a lesson from them before we all sign up for work at the local checkout counter.

        • While some kehillos help those in need, there has to be a proper ratio of helpers to helpees for the helpees to receive enough help. If everyone works at the checkout counter, then there is no one who can help the poor. Sam’s parents pushed secular education and had no way to really give him much of a Jewish education. He was financially successful but not Jewishly successful as was true of much of his generation. They viewed frumkeit and large families as old fashioned. It is a shame that he felt that he had to secularize to be successful.
          My point was that Sam’s father did not come to the community for support because his community was made up of other poor, struggling immigrants who took whatever jobs that they had to in order to support themselves. While they might cook and bake for each other’s simchas, they were not supporting other families where there was a healthy head of household to do it. No one then expected that type of support.
          Work at the checkout counter obviously will not provide enough income for a family. Are you advocating living off someone else?

          • I am not advocating living off someone else.
            I am just making the point that a kolel yungerman doesn’t have to meet *my* criteria of being financially stable to be considered worthy of my respect. And I hope you agree with that.

            As to comparing today’s families that earn below average to the families of “Sam’s” generation: Apples and oranges.

            • The kolel yungerman deserves our respect but the system needs an overhaul. Comparing the poor large families from 100yrs ago to today means comparing a society that had no choice but to live within whatever means they had to today’s world where most people in the modern world, frum Jews included, live well above their means. They did whatever they had to in order to make a living because no one was coming to the rescue. Few people had wealthy relatives to get them started.
              Sam’s family did a lot of things to make ends meet but birth control wasn’t one of them. I guess that if they had to make choices, they did without something but brought children into the world. Sam’s book stated that the parents gave them the gift of family and the desire to get ahead, if nothing else.
              I think that what most people don’t respect in regards to those who learn in kollel are those who cheat the government, make a living off of fraud, plan lifelong dependence on government entitlements, and expect a lavish lifestyle at the expense of society. This does not mean that all who sit and learn behave like this but it is understandable that more and more people have stopped respecting the system. I don’t have any trouble respecting a low income worker (or kollel yungerman) who lives within his means like Sam’s family and many others did. Income does not equal respect but integrity does.

            • Sam’s family and many others didn’t use birth control because it only became a real item in the sixties to early seventies. Many deemed it unsafe even then. The entire convolution of b.c. is a recent thing. But you are right. The last thing people gave up was their right to have children. Today it seems more common to give that up first in some circles, and a lot of the blame goes to those medical professionals advocating it and those belittling childbirth and large families in general.

              I do strongly disagree with your blanket statement that “what most people don’t respect in regards to those who learn in kollel are those who cheat the government, make a living off of fraud, plan lifelong dependence on government entitlements, and expect a lavish lifestyle at the expense of society.”
              First of all, when you say most people you are talking about the mainstream media and those influenced by it who have no concept of yisachar zevulon at all. Zilch. Nada. The concept of supporting bnei torah – whether they will grow up to be the next Rav Sadya Gaon or not – is a merit that only few achieve because their outlook is not tainted by what they read in the papers and hearsay. It is done by *choice*. Those that bemoan supporting yeshivas and kollelim are those that do not appreciate or want this merit, so their complaints are moot.

              Now as to cheating the government: I fail to see how someone who is making little money and is entitled to social programs is “cheating” (and I am writing this as someone who has worked since a year after my wedding)? If he is entitled, then so be it. The fact that there aren’t more Yisachars willing to give some of their money to support and have therefore lowered the ben torah to the “madreigah” of low life beggar comparable to the homeless is not the yungerman’sfault. It is still his prerogative to sit and learn.
              And nobody plans a lifelong dependence on others. They just don’t plan well. Many do not have the proper training and are afraid to make their mark on the world of commerce, but when things get tight eventually most do the right thing and make proper hishtadlus – even if that means making an appeal.
              Our nation thrives on chesed. As much as you read financial advice of “give so that you shall receive”, us yidden are way, way above just plain giving. At least we should be.
              And I will repeat what I wrote above: How much did *you* give to your local kollel this past year, and if you did do you regret it? You do realize that today kollelim are all over and have all types and colors…not just the chasid with peyos. From Los Angeles to Passaic almost every Jewish community has kollelim – we just live in the largest community.
              So let’s start respecting more and stop believing everything said in the name of “fairness”.

            • It is one thing to receive what the government gives and another to work off the books and get the money. That is called cheating and that is what I am referring to. While it is meritorious to support Torah learning, most of us can only support our own sons or son-in-laws while they are learning, (and not forever either) and cannot afford to support more. Obviously no one regrets it. They wish they could do more but the reality is that some parents cannot even do that. While yidden always give, they have to have money to give. If the receivers outnumber the givers, there is not much to go around. Today the learners outnumber the workers, or so it seems. Most frum Jews do donate to yeshivas and even if they send their own sons to sit and learn in Beis Medresh prior to marriage (rather than sending to college or work) they are supporting Torah study. Realize that very few men learned past their mid-teens in previous generations. They had to leave yeshiva and work.
              As to BC, there are other ways besides pills to avoid pregnancy and I remember my grandmother (and I am also a grandparent BH) telling me what was available to them.
              Planned Parenthood was started way before the 60s when it was believed that having large families was dangerous for a woman’s health. I believe that it started in the early 1900’s. I don’t think it is proper to spell it out but if a person wanted to avoid becoming pregnant for whatever reason, they knew what to do. They were not powerless over the reproductive process. They had children because they believed in having children.

            • I will not rehash what I wrote above as you obviously are set in your opinion and have acquaintances that work “off the books”(?). I do agree with your closing statement:
              “…They were not powerless over the reproductive process. They had children because they believed in having children…”

              This, then is the issue at hand and it is up to our generation to use a very fine filter when accepting advice about the “dangers” of having many children. Especially with the rising level of quality medical care and holistic approaches to the entire process. And the caring and doting grandparents (such as yourself) that give a hand where one is needed. Easy? Nothing worth anything is.


              P.S. The fact that “they knew what to do” is not proof that this generation was not subjected to much more critic when it came to having children – especially in the US. Add to that the mass transition to H.B.C. and it was only a matter of time until our communities were infected with the “dangers of” mantra. It goes without saying that all the other “safe” methods of promiscuity that was being pushed twenty years ago and on did little to help our cause.

    39. 6) What chazal knew as the [first two years] after giving birth that a woman is “mesulekes damim” has ben made into a whole internatiuonal study – spanning the globe – and been dubbed the “LAM” (lactational amenorrhea method) “method”.

      Society pre-Isomil and Prosobee (today “Materna”) took this as a given. Today the lack of LAM brings the need for HBC (hormonal B.C.), so rabbanim have taken this into consideration. But there were some amoraim that recommended other means – see Gem. Yevamos – but that is not brought lehalacha and is, again I stress, one of the MOST important sheilos a person will ask in his lifetime.
      Come one guys/gals! We are talking future generations here!

      7) I am constantly reading about the huge amount of tzadaka being raised. This is a sham and simply a childish off the cuff and selfish (as a yid: anti-Torah) observation.
      Maybe it’s just me, but for the hundreds of thousands of families that are “charedi” I see very little “begging”.
      How many people approached you for money in the past 24 hours? Week? Month?
      Not everyone who doesn’t work on Wall Street (ahem…bad example) doesn’t have.
      Not everyone who you don’t *see* working is actually out of a job.
      Not everyone who you *think* is on social programs – is.
      Not everyone who doesn’t have – takes.
      And not everyone who doesn’t have – begs.
      That is to say that you would actually *give* wholeheartedly a large sum of money in the first place…

      The comment above about the Israeli government and large families being more important than tanks – while slightly true and cute – is unnecessary. The charedi sector is a very large contributor to society in more ways than one and we have to stop looking at everyone through that narrow and dark viewpoint that certain media outlets can’t get enough of.

      8) Just a recommendation. I believe strongly that you must fight fire with fire sometimes. But there is something that works better – water. If you come from chassidish roots and have been a bit disappointed with chassidus or your outlook on “Hasidim” is tarnished, or you simply have a hard time coping with gashmiyus here in the land of apple pie, baseball and DVDs then please listen to my plea and listen to Rav Moshe Weinbergers shiurim. His perspective and his erudition as well as his knowledge of true chassidus make each shiur into a refreshing chizuk shmooz.
      Contact them at and I am sure they could recommend some shiurim over others, but realize that the shiurim cost money – but worth it. (Note: Some shiurim (very good ones, and very relevant to this topic) are available for free at Kol Haloshon (718) 906-6400, dial code 1415 (1=English, 4=Mussar and Chassidus, #15= Rav Moshe Weinberger)

      I have heard many, many shiurim by many magidim and talmidei chachamim. BUT: for an American yid trying to make it through the wild rapids called golus – he hits the spot like a cold glass of water. His english and delivery style is wonderful and you come away feeling better and wanting to be better.

      Trust me!

    40. Wow, anti-feminist terror? Just as you don’t appreciate someone telling you that your life choices are not valid, what then gives you the right to proclaim others are not valid. Not every women shares your feelings about womenhood, motherhood and fulfillment.

      Feminism is about giving women the ability to make the choices they WANT to make. No one should force you to have more children than you want but of course the flipside of that is no one should force you to have less children than you want to.

      People are all different, we all have different priorities and different things we want out of life and that is perfectly acceptable.


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