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January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
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How Shrinking Families Are Destroying Our Planet

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For all their thoughtfulness, however, they haven’t quite thought through the implications of their decision. Quite simply, without children, there will be no future to either save or destroy.

* * * * *

In the Hebrew Bible the first commandment to humankind is “Be fruitful and multiply.” Some might ask why God needs to command people to do something that not only guarantees the continued survival of the human race but also comes so naturally. I sometimes wonder, however, if that long-ago command to be fruitful and multiply was actually meant for us modern people, thousands of years in the future – a kind of message in a (baby) bottle that would wash ashore in our postmodern, post-parenting era. The question is, are we willing to heed it?

About the Author: Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, an internationally known best-selling author whose first book, "Up, Up and Oy Vey!" received the Benjamin Franklin Award, has been profiled in leading publications including The New York Times, The Miami Herald and The London Guardian. He was recently voted New York’s Hippest Rabbi by PBS Channel 13. He chairs the Religious Affairs Committee at Pratt Institute. His forthcoming book is “The Case for Children: Why Parenthood Makes Your World Better.”


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4 Responses to “How Shrinking Families Are Destroying Our Planet”

  1. About forty years ago I was the only gentile in an evening conversational Hebrew class in Palo Alto, California. We were learning numbers, and our teacher, Ilana K., asked me how many children I had. I answered, שש (shesh: six). Mrs. X, the sweet little white-haired lady in the seat behind me gasped, "Oh, the pollution!"

    A few days later, a Sunday, was Israel's Independence Day. We lived just a block away from the Jewish Community Center, and after our morning (Mormon) church services, we took the kids, still in their Sunday best, to the celebrations, so that they could learn something of the culture and sample the goodies. The first person we ran into was Mrs. X. She sized up the childfren and exclaimed, "Oh, they're so beautiful! You can have all the children you want."

    With her kind permission, we had three more.

  2. Daniel Bartholomew says:

    כל הכבוד

  3. Ben Abraham says:

    Yes, there's a fertility deccline among most affluent, First World countries; but such concerns may be allayed with advanced fertility methods, adoption and immgiration, as well as robotics/artificial intelligence and cloning. The future is now!

  4. Ben Abraham says:

    Yes, there's a fertility decline among most affluent, First World countries; but such concerns may be allayed with advanced fertility methods, adoption and immgiration, as well as robotics/artificial intelligence and cloning. The future is now!

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