A great blessing.
You just have to love them.
They look to you for support and love.
They help keep you sane.
Occasionally remaining calm is a challenge,
when they turn to you for their needs and you are busy.
G-d put them in your hands to bring the best out of them.
Every day is a new day to discover and appreciate them.
The First Commandment
“There are three partners in the creation of man: G-d, his father and his mother. His father supplies the white seed, out of which are formed the child’s bones, sinews, nails, the brain in his head and the whites of his eyes. His mother supplies the red seed, out of which is formed his skin, flesh, hair, blood and the black of his eyes. And G-d gives him the spirit and the breath, beauty of features, eyesight, the power of hearing and the ability to speak and to walk, understanding and discernment. When his time comes to depart from the world, G-d takes away His part and leaves the parts of his father and his mother with them.” (Talmud: Kiddushim 30b & Niddah 31a)
The first commandment mentioned in the Torah is the commandment to have children.
Jews and Gentiles have this commandment.
One reason is for the proper settlement of the world.
The commandment is incumbent upon a male. It is the man that asks for the hand of the woman, not vice versa. It is the male that pursues – a woman does not pursue the male.
The commandment is to have one boy and one girl. Some say two of each.
The Proper Balance
Having children is a positive commandment from the Torah. Those that choose not to have children – would do good to reconsider. In the Talmud, Ben Azzai chose not to have children – but the rabbis did not condone his behavior.
Rabbi Eliezer said, “He who does not engage in the propagation of the human race is like one who sheds blood.”
Rabbi Jacob said, “It is as if he diminished the Divine Image. For the Torah says “…in the image of G-d He made man” [Genesis 9:6], and then immediately afterwards comes “Be fruitful and multiply”.’
Ben Azzai said, “It is as if he sheds blood, and as if he diminishes the Divine Image.”
Ben Azzai himself, however, was not married.
They said to Ben Azzai,”Some preach well and act well, others act well but do not preach well. You come into a different category: you preach well, but do not act well.”
Said Ben Azzai, `What can I do? My soul is in love with the Torah. Let the world be carried on by others.’
- Talmud: Yevamot 63b
A person who wishes to refrain from procreation should consult with a competent Orthodox Rabbi.
A Proper Education – Helping a child reach their potential
Said the Hafetz Hayyim: “Every man enters this world with a certain endowment. It behooves him to make use of his endowment, for he will be held accountable regarding it.”
-(Mikhtevei ha-Rav Hafetz Hayyim, Aryeh Leib Pupko, Warsaw, 1937, p.51)
Apparently a couple is given a child because they have the ability to bring out their potential.
Rabbi Uri used to say:”I am not afraid that I will be judged for not being like the Patriarch Abraham. I am not Abraham and can never be. What I fear is that I will be judged for not being all that I could be.”
-(Imre Kadosh, R. Margulies, publisher, Lwow. p.9)
The pleasure that we gain from them is intrinsic, but our goal should be what is best for them – materially and spiritually.
Parents provide materially for children and teach them a trade – like it says:
Anyone who does not teach his son a skill or profession may be regarded as if he is teaching him to rob.
- Talmud: Kiddushin 29a
Spiritually parents set the example for children:
A father should be careful to keep his son from lies and he should always keep his word to his children.
- Talmud: Sukkah 46b
The main goal of parents is to teach children kindness, goodness, humility and the pleasant paths of the Torah.
G-d, with His infinite wisdom, gave us Torah as a guide for our and our children’s lives to attain satisfaction and our potential for doing good.
G-d gave us children – a tremendous opportunity to do kindness to them and ultimately to the world. By providing them with a proper Torah education – they achieve meaning, true goodness, happiness and reach their potential in Tikkun HaOlam – Benefiting the World. Ultimately they become givers – who develop wholesome relationships with others and giving pleasure to their parents and their Creator.
“There are three partners in creation: the Holy One of Blessing, the father, and the mother. When a person gives honor to his father and mother, the Holy One of Blessing says, ‘I consider it as if I had lived among them and they had given honor to Me.” (Kid. 30b)
Source: Sefer HaChinuch – First Positive Commandment