web analytics
March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Home » Judaism » Parsha »

Is It Sinful To Have Children?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

This week’s parshah, Parshas Tazria, begins with the halachos of having a baby. When a woman gives birth to a boy or girl after a certain period of time, she must bring two korbanos –a one-year-old sheep as a korban olah and a young dove or a turtledove as a korban chatas. If she cannot afford to bring a sheep, she may bring two turtledoves or two young doves – one for each of the two korbanos.

The Gemara (Niddah 31b) states that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was asked why a woman who gives birth must bring a korban. He answered that while a woman is in labor, she swears that she will not return to be with her husband. Rashi explains that since made an oath that she did not intend to keep she must bring a korban.

The Gemara quotes Rav Yosef, who challenges Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. “How can she bring a korban chatas for such an oath,” he asks, “which was taken deliberately?” A korban chatas is only brought for aveiros performed accidentally. Additionally, the korban that one must bring for taking a false oath is a sheep, yet the pasuk says that a woman who delivers a baby must bring a bird for a korban chatas. This indicates that the korban chatas is not for swearing falsely. With these questions, the Gemara leaves the matter somewhat unresolved and moves to another topic.

The Ramban, in this week’s parshah, and the Chinuch (mitzvah 168) cite Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s reason as the basis for why a postpartum woman must bring a korban. The Minchas Chinuch says that the abovementioned Gemara seems to have disproved Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai’s explanation. Why, then, would these Rishonim cite this reason?

The Maharsha, on the Gemara in Niddah (ibid.), asks why the Gemara did not also challenge Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai with the following: Since a husband may annul his wife’s oaths, surely he annulled the oath his wife made while giving birth. The Maharsha explains that it was obvious to the Gemara that the husband would not have annulled such an oath on the day it was made, which is the only time that it may be annulled. Thus, the Gemara did not bother to ask this question. The Maharsha then says that based on this, the Gemara also knew the answers to the two questions (see above) that Rav Yosef asked on Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s explanation.

In answering the first question, the Maharsha suggests that since a woman knows that her husband has the ability to annul her oaths, her sworn oath is considered unintentional and she can bring a korban chatas.

As to the second question, the Maharsha proposes that if one cannot afford a sheep, he only needs to bring a bird as a korban – even after taking a false oath. Since the halacha treats a married woman’s property as being under the jurisdiction of her husband, she is considered to be unable to afford a sheep. She therefore only needs to bring a bird.

(As an aside, one must differentiate between the korban chatas and the korban olah that a woman must bring, for the pasuk says – regarding the korban olah – that she should bring a sheep, but if she cannot afford one she can bring a bird. Apparently, in the Maharsha’s opinion regarding the korban olah, we consider the woman capable of affording a sheep. Yet concerning the korban chatas, we do not. Perhaps pertaining to the korban chatas, which serves as an atonement for an aveirah that only she performed, we do not consider the combined finances of the couple –only hers. Regarding the korban olah, in contrast, perhaps we look at the couple’s combined finances.)

Based on the Maharsha’s explanation, we can understand why the Rishonim cite Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s solution as to why a postpartum woman must bring a korban.

The Gemara (Nedarim 4b) says that the korban chatas that a woman brings after she gives birth is not brought for atonement purposes. The Ran (4a) explains that this conforms with Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s opinion as well. This is because even Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai agrees that the main reason why she brings this korban is not for atonement purposes. He proves this from the fact that a woman who is absolutely certain that she did not recite an oath must still bring the korban.

Additionally, the Gemara (Kerisus 26a) says that even Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai agrees that the korban chatas that a postpartum woman brings is not brought for reasons of atonement but rather to allow her to eat kadshim. Rashi explains that the pain she experienced during labor atoned for her sins. Accordingly, she is no longer required to bring a korban chatas.

Based on this, we can understand that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai’s given reason for the korban chatas was only meant to serve as a partial explanation. It is therefore accepted – even if the Gemara questioned it.

About the Author: For questions or comments, e-mail RabbiRFuchs@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Is It Sinful To Have Children?”

  1. Gray Dee says:

    Be fruitful and MULTIPLY Genesis 1:28

  2. You obviously didn’t read the article.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
More than 40 were killed in the bombing of a Yemeni refugee camp by the Saudi-led strike force.
Attack on Yemeni Refugees Makes Israel Look Like the Girl Scouts
Latest Judaism Stories
Bodenheim-032715

Our ability to teach is only successful if done by example.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

Outside of the High Holidays, Pesach is probably the most celebrated biblical holiday for the majority of Jews.

Business-Halacha-logo

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

The-Shmuz

So what type of praise is it that Aaron followed orders?

Her Children, Her Whim
‘Kesubas Bnin Dichrin’
(Kesubos 52b)

Question: Must one spend great sums of money and invest much effort in making one’s home kosher for Passover? Not all of us have such unlimited funds.

Name Withheld
(Via E-Mail)

Yachatz is not mentioned in the Gemara. What is the foundation for yachatz?

First, the punishment for eating chametz on Pesach is karet, premature death at the Hand of God.

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

How was I going to get to Manhattan? No cabs were going, we didn’t have a car, and many people who did have cars had no gas.

Did you ever notice that immediately upon being granted our freedom from Egypt, the Jewish people accepted upon themselves the yoke of a new master – Hashem?

Why does Torah make the priests go through a long and seemingly bizarre induction ceremony?

Often people in important positions separate from everyday people & tasks-NOT the Kohen Gadol

You smuggled tefillin into the camp? How can they help? Every day men risked their lives to use them

Rambam: Eating blood’s forbidden because connected to idolatry;Ramban: We’re affected by what we eat

Rambam warns that a festival meal without taking care of the needy isn’t fulfilling simchat yom tov

More Articles from Rabbi Raphael Fuchs
Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

Why is it necessary to invite people to eat from the korban Pesach?

Taste-of-Lomdus-logo

The Ran asks why the Gemara concludes that since we are unsure which two of the four we must recline for, that we must recline for all four.

The Chasam Sofer answers that one of only prohibited from wearing a garment that contains shatnez if he does so while wearing the garment for pleasure purposes.

The Aruch Laner asks: How can Rashi say that the third Beis Hamikdash will descend as fire from heaven when every Jew prays several times a day for the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash?

The Ohr Hachayim rules that one may not manipulate the system; rather he must state his opinion as he see the ruling in the case; not as he would like the outcome of the verdict to become.

He suggests that the general admonition only dictates that a father may not actively enable his son to perform an aveirah.

Rather than submit to this fate and suffer torture and humiliation, Shaul decided to fall on his sword.

And if a person can take steps to perform the mitzvah, he should do so (even if he won’t be held accountable for not performing it due to circumstances beyond his control).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/is-it-sinful-to-have-children/2014/03/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: