Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jewish Family Planning

18 of the Eleventh Month 5771
YNET: Rabbi, Plan Me A Family

Not every religious newlywed couple wants to start a family as soon as honeymoon is over. In light of problematic alternatives, Bar-Ilan University convention focuses on halachic perspective towards family planning, as more rabbis see way to approving birth control

Tzofia Hirschfeld, Israel Jewish Scene, January 23, 2011

Children are a blessing, or so people say, but when and how many to have – that is a different kind of blessing all together. Considerations like career, self-fulfillment or making the most out of your relationship, are causing young couples to postpone the idea of expanding their families. (Read more...)

This is not the first time the issue has come up, nor, I am afraid, will it be the last time.

I have heard this story countless times. Usually, it comes from the kallah (bride).

"We need time to get to know each other, and build our relationship, before we bring children in the world, and into a loving home."

My response? If you want to "get to know each other better," then have a long engagement.

Her response to that? "Um,..."

Translation: "I want to have marital relations with the marital relations consequences, and call it 'getting to know each other.'"

(eyes rolling)

I appreciate the need to be "modest" in expressing ones desires, even though the sexual component of a marriage is nothing to be embarrassed about (...just something to be modest about).

However, let's be honest, and honest with ourselves. How compelling is this argument really?

Many "rabbis," including those calling themselves students of Rav Solivechik, have given a heter (permission) for female birth control for the above reasons.

Funny, how in books of Shu"T (Q & A) of Rav Solivechick, the Rav has said that there is no such heter ( for risks to life of the mother. Some others have also said health risks, including mental health, and health of the many children already born into the family. Tip credit: The Jewish Fist).

This kind of "pilpul," using "examining the reality of the current world in which we live," is nothing more than an example of the on going, increasing, and very unfortunate, confusion of the "let's be like the goyim" Western culture (ie. not Jewish) with Torah.

Don't care about halakhah, or just don't agree me? Then there are some very practical considerations for not post posing the additions to your new family.

With Arabs wanting to overpopulate us, if they don't kill us first, with Christians wanting to convert us, and with the problems of Jewish self-hatred and intermarriage, among others, this is the time to be producing more Jewish babies, not postponing pregnancy for selfish reasons like ", self-fulfillment or making the most out of your relationship."

Want to "get to know each other better?"

Have a long engagement.


Ben-Shmuel said...

Great post. (Thanks for the shout-out. Totally unnecessary, but you're a mensch.) It infuriates me when people distort Rav Soloveitchik's teachings. In that psak din that you referenced, his position was clear. Birth control is highly problematic.

Batya said...

You won't know anyone really well until you have to deal with a kid or two or more. Until then it's still "honeymoon."

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