Snapple Judaism


The commandment to be frutiful and multipy applies to the men only. Women are not obligated to be so because childbirth carries the risk of death and we are commanded to live by Torah…


ahem… so just how these men to be fruitful and multiply with then? By the laws of nature, it would have to apply to both sexes because 1 sex can’t manage it alone.


But only the men are obligated. The women can say no and not be in breach of a commandment.


Are you comparing the different beliefs on birth control?

Being a convert to Catholicism I might be off on this but I believe that the church’s view is that men and women should leave themselves open to the possibility of life. That means no artificial birth control but Catholics can use natural planning methods. That is why there are some very religious Catholics families with only a couple kids.

I do know of some Protestant families who believe that all planning should be left to God and that there shouldn’t be any say on the parent’s part as to how far apart children should be spaced.

The majority of nonCatholics seem okay with any type of birth control, artifical or not.


I’m not buying it.

**It’s not logical, not that I know the mind of God.:stuck_out_tongue: **
Common sense says man would be unable to fulfill his duty to God if their wives were not also bound by the same law. It’s a marriage law, which binds them both.


I wasn’t really thinking about birth control. My only point was that in Judaism, the positive commandment to be fruitful and multiply is for men only. It is not a commandment which I woman must follow and if she chooses not to have children, she is not violating the commandment.


Not really. If the woman were obligated to this commandment, it would mean she would be committing a sin if she didn’t marry and have children. Because childbirth carried such a high risk of death in biblical times, and because we are not supposed to die by Torah, but to live by it, the obligation was never imposed on women.



New American Standard:
God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

New International Version:
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

King James Version:
And God blessed them, and God said unto** them**, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.

Bereshit (Torah):
God blessed them. God said to them, 'Be fertile and become many. Fill the land and conquer it. Dominate the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every beast that walks the land.

**How did you get the impression God was speaking only to Adam???
I suppose it’s possible that through the generations the teaching from the rabbis modified the meaning of this passage, but then that would fall on that rabbi’s personal interpretation. I don’t know, but do rabbi’s believe they have the authority to change scripture? The passage looks rather clear to me as it is.


No. It was not my intent to compare birth control. Only to show that in Judaism, the woman is not obligated to have children. Because the act of childbirth has historically been such a life threatening event and we are supposed to live by Torah’s commandments, not die by them (in the vast majority of circumstances).


Jews also have an Oral Torah, (Talmud) which was given to Moses at SInai. Talmud is made up of the Mishna (what was given to Moses) and the Gemara (later rabbinic commentary). It aslo contains other commentaries on the commentary, including the commentary of Rashi, one of the most followed Rabbis in Judaism. Talmud sets forth the laws based on the commandments in the Torah, Prophets, etc.

The post Snapple Judaism was meant to give quick little factoids on Judaism, but I’ll break my rule and give a Talmudic explanation for the commandment.

Gen 1:28 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the sky and over all the beasts that tread upon the earth.”

The Hebrew word used for “them” in the verse is missing a “vav”, which allows the word to be read in the masculine singular imperative. Why? To teach you that the man, whose way it is to subdue, is commanded to propagate, but not the woman (Yev. Yev. 65b).

Also, Judaism teaches that generally, women are not required to fullfill any of the positive commandments – none of the Thou Shall’s… – only the negative commandments (Thou shall not).


So a man IS committing a sin if he doesn’t marry and have children, but a woman isn’t if she doesn’t? I really don’t understand the thinking. Again, two people, one of each gender, are needed to make a marriage as well. Numbers of men and women are roughly 50-50, so it logically follows that if all the men need to be married then all the women do too.

I know the Nazirites were (are?) bound by all sorts of restrictions, such as to not cut their hair or drink alcohol. I was under the impression that they also stayed virgin. Of course I could be mistaken.

What is the Jewish tradition about Jesus? Is it commonly believed among Jews that he ever married or not? And how does this affect whether they respect him as a teacher?


I discussed the Hebrew word for “Them” used in the verse. However, I may have gotten it wrong. It may have been the hebrew word for subdue. Either way, same logic.


Again, the thinking is that we are supposed to live for GOd’s word, not die for it. CHildbirth carried a high risk of death so it would be wrong to require a woman to risk death in order to fullfill the commandement. Additionally, there is the reason that I set forth regrading the actual hebrew words for the commandment. As far as the Nazirites, if they were required to stay virgins, there would not be very many of them.

You logic is flawed because it assumes that since women are not “commanded” to multiply, they don’t. That is obviously not the case.


Today Jews celebrate Simcha Torah: We finsih reading the last passage of the Torah and then we read the first passages…

Then we dance with her (the Torah). We delight in her, when we study her wisdom, we open ourselves up to an eternal joy that can sustain and comfort us even in the midst of frustration or sadness.



One more Simchat Torah thought:

The Sefat Emet, a great Hasidic teacher, asked, “Why do we recite blessings both before and after we study Torah? Wouldn’t one blessing be sufficient?” The first blessing he taught is for the Torah itself. The second blessing is for our prayer, that the words of Torah might “light up” our hearts. Just thanking God for the Torah is not enough. We must pray that Torah touches us, changes, us, and lights up our hearts - even ones that are broken.


Valke, I don’t know if this is related or not. When my husband used to attend synagogue every Sabbath, I was told that the wife wasn’t required to because her job preparing the home for the Sabbath was very important.(I might have heard wrong) Is that correct?


Jesus plays no part in our religion. There is not jewish tradition about him. However, assuming that Jesus was a rabbi (and despite what many jews say on these boards, that is not an assumption that Jewish tradition embraces), it would have been unusal for him to be in his thirities and unmarried. This would not have caused jews to disrespect him as a teacher as much as his discarding the Talmud/Oral Torah would have.


That is correct. The commandment for community prayer is a positive commandment and one that a woman is not obligated to keep. It’s a complicated issue but your post is essentially correct.

A woman is still obligated for personal prayer. And COnservative Jews place the obligation for communal prayer on the women as well, as long as they voluntarily accept the obligation. ONce they do that, they can be counted in minyan (the requirement that 10 jews be present to recite certain prayers) and other aspects of communal prayer.


In 1:27 we are told that the Creater made man in His image. Man is made into two parts:male (referred to as man) and female (referred to as woman). However, both are reffered to as “man” according to what is written. This makes sense when we consider that woman was taken from the rib of man. He gave the Command to the man so that he (and woman as one) may be partners in His continuing work of creation and producing life.
When the Creator gives the command to the man, it is also given to the woman for they are one. He commanded the man to not eat from the tree in the middle of the garden. However, the decieving serpent came to the woman and asked her if she was given the command. He is trying to separate her from the man; what the Creator had joined together.
Also, the curse was for the disobediance and lack of repentance For the woman to have the pains of childbirth increased (and sometimes death). The ground was cursed because of the man and he also must work to survive and struggle among the thorns and thistles of life. These curses are a result of the disobedience to the Command and the lack of repentance. The Torah, as referred to, brings life against the curse. However, it does not eliminate the curse from this life because all things haven’t been renewed and death taken away. That will come at the end of things as Promised.

This is and anything that we may say to you will be just headknowledge. Valke, you must pray and seek clarity. Then decide.

Peace be with you.


Decide what? I’m pretty clear on what it means to me.

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