Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Many children of one gender

27 April, 2014

Question:

Theoretical question:

If a couple has a few children of only one gender––say 6 girls––and the wife does not feel like she can handle having more children, what, if any, is her obligation in regards to "helping" her husband fulfill his mitzvah of p'ru ur'vu? I was under the impression that a woman is never obligated to have children because it is considered a danger to her life. How does that fact get reconciled with the fact that her husband still has not fulfilled his d'oraita obligation?


Answer:

Even though a woman is exempt from the commandment of Pru U'rvu, she is partners with her husband who is obligated to fulfill this mitzvah. As such, she should try to the best of her abilities to help her husband fulfill this obligation. If a woman feels that she is no longer capable of bearing any more children – whether due to physical, emotional, or other factors – then she has done her utmost and they are not held responsible for the fact that Hashem did not bless them with children of both genders. She is not required to push herself beyond what she feels are her limits to enable her husband to fulfill this obligation (which is clearly not in their total control). A couple in this situation may wish to consult with an experienced, empathetic rabbi or mentor for further guidance.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.


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