Israel Forever

For the week ending 25 December 2010 / 17 Tevet 5771

Too Many Children?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

"Too many children are being born to the religious in Israel and this is what is causing our economic problems."

This is what one of the speakers at a recent convention in Israel declared with a straight face. To observant Jews who see bringing children into the world not only as the fulfillment of a Divine command but as the best thing for the future of Israel as a Jewish state, this outrageous remark sounded like an echo of Pharaoh. In this week's Torah portion we read of the Egyptian ruler's warning to his people about the danger they faced "lest they (the Jews) increase."

What a switch in the attitude of secular Israelis towards birth increase! In the early years of the state the government awarded prizes to women bearing many children because there was a desperate need for bolstering the Jewish population. The same need still exists in light of the demographic danger posed by the Arab birth rate.

One can only conclude that the above-mentioned speaker had a problem only with the fact that the religious population was growing. He should recall, however, that the Heavenly response to Pharaoh's "lest they increase" was "they shall indeed increase."

© 1995-2014 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.

Articles may be distributed to another person intact without prior permission. We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as synagogue or school newsletters. Hardcopy or electronic. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission in advance at ohr@ohr.edu and credit for the source as Ohr Somayach Institutions www.ohr.edu

« Back to Israel Forever

Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) and your donation is tax deductable.