Having Children Without Money

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  • This topic contains 74 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  thegra 4 years ago.
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  • #608734

    thegra
    Member

    What are your opinions about having children when you only have barely enough money to pay for them or perhaps not enough money at all. Is it better not to have kids then to bring them into a world where they will go hungry? Where do you draw the line? At one child, two? four? eight?

    Sources are always appreciated.

  • #940457

    thegra
    Member

    What if it is a choice between having two kids who can both go to yeshiva and having eight kids where you cannot afford to send any of them to yeshiva?

  • #940458

    sw33t
    Member

    oh man…. cant wait to see how this blows up..

  • #940459

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I’m pretty sure Hashem has enough money in his bank account to support all my children.

  • #940460

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Poverty and Malnutrition is a big problem in many Charedi communities especially in Israel.

  • #940461

    abra cadabra
    Participant

    It is halachicly prohibited to refrain from having children due to financial considerations.

  • #940462

    abra cadabra
    Participant

    zsdad: That is a boldfaced lie. Show me ANY widespread “malnutrition” in ANY Chareidi community.

  • #940463

    besalel
    Participant

    Children bring blessing to the home. quite the opposite of your suggestion, if you need money, have children, who will send the bracha.

  • #940464

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    zsdad: That is a boldfaced lie. Show me ANY widespread “malnutrition” in ANY Chareidi community.

    If there isnt any malnutrition why give to Kupat Hair???

    “widespread”, he said. -95

  • #940465

    abra cadabra
    Participant

    Perhaps because there isn’t malnutrition because folks give to Kupat Hair. You lied and said malnutrition exists.

  • #940466

    spectrum
    Participant

    thegra:

    you should be zoche to 8 kids,

    no yeshiva can turn you down because you have no money

    emuna and bitachon, you have the kids and Hashem will take care. I have yet to see jewish children dropping dead of starvation.

  • #940467

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Bury your hand in the sand and think that malnutrition isnt a problem

  • #940468

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    no yeshiva can turn you down because you have no money

    They can and they do

  • #940469

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    This is even worse than ????!!!

    ???? only wanted to kill the males, while you want to kill all!

    ??”? ???? ??? ???? ??? ???? ?? ?? ???

  • #940470

    playtime
    Member

    bury your ‘head’. So goes the saying.

  • #940471

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    ZD, where? There may indeed be poverty, but there are enough chessed organizations that I highly doubt there is actual malnutrition.

  • #940472

    Pesach happened because of this question!

    Amram asked this question, he said “Why should I have children if they will be thrown into the Nile?” And Miriam told him “Pharaoh is killing the boys, you are going to kill the girls too?” Amram listened to her and Moshe Rabbeinu came out of that.

    Thegra:

    I have a source: Adam and Chava had children before he started earning a living.

    And in the Midbar, our antecedents lived and had children for 40 years.

    Our job is to live and have children. Hashem gives us the parnasa.

  • #940473

    akuperma
    Participant

    Among our species, the optimal child bearing years are about 30 years before the peak earning years. If we waited until we could afford families, we would become extinct (as, by the way, appears to be happening in many secular cultures).

    Having no money is a nuisance, but one can manage. Medicaid covers most medical bills. Assuming you don’t plan on home schooling, you can usually find some school if one is still poor when the kids reach school age. The more frum the school, the easier to work a deal if you are poor. It’s been a VERY long time since the typical poor person in our community had a one room room apartment (back then, the parent’s bed typically had curtains – and no one else had a bed). Especially in “blue” states, there are plenty of welfare programs in addition to programs such as “Food stamps” and “WIC.”

    Remember that this is the first time in history where a major public health issue among the poor is obesity. Poverty today more often means having fewer luxuries than the neighbors. Note how people lived 100 years ago (tiny housing, no private cars, no air conditioning, often no central heating, no antibiotics, severe discrimination against orthodox Jews, and if you lived in Europe, frequent pogroms with the worst about to happen), and don’t whine.

    It should also be noted that the marginal cost of each children is quite low. Schools (both ours, as well as universities) pay attention to family size, Adding one more place at the table costs little. And by the time kids reach middle school, they probably are doing a fair amount of work (especially in poor families).

  • #940474

    ???? ?????? ????? ?? ???? ????

    (didn’t see popa’s post)

  • #940475

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Chessed organizations cannot raise the kinds of funds needed to feed large families

    Go to KRM yourself and try buying for 8 kids. How much is the food $500 a week? More?

    If you use $500 a week, thats $2000 a month

    If you need for 1000 families , thats $2 Million dollars A MONTH. that is alot of money to raise

    Only the government or by working can you raise that kind of funds.

  • #940476

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    🙂

  • #940477

    playtime
    Member

    “I have never stepped over any corpses in a Yeshiva lunchroom,” Rav Avigdor Miller, when asked that Yeshivos don’t feed enough.

  • #940478

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    Thegra, there is an obligation to have children. If you think paupers are exempted, YOU need to find the source. (Someone once tried to do that here, and needed to completely misrepresent a Gemara to do so.)

  • #940479

    DaasYochid
    Participant

    Ok, ZD, you’re talking US. I guess you’ve never heard of WIC and food stamps. I know plenty of poor people in the US, and none are malnourished.

  • #940480

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Israel is worse than US, but Ive been to their houses in US

    And you can tell when people are emaciated , the portions are smaller and the children are hungry. They dont broadcast it that they are hungry, but the signs are there if you look and they wont admit it of course.

  • #940481

    WIY
    Member

    Thegra

    One day you will be able to show your kids this thread and say thanks to __________ I decided to have you. Imagine owing your life to some random forum poster.

  • #940482

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    DY – you live in a very small daled amos.

    ZD never said the word widespread, he shouldn’t have to defend it. I have been told by friends living there that there IS a very real problem with hunger and malnutrition but I did not ask for numbers or community names. I just know that if it was someone else who brought it up here, it wouldn’t have been jumped on.

    Any one who thinks that there is food in everyones fridge because WIC exists is naive. WIC is for people who have children 5 and under and are low enough income. There are huge numbers of families who are not low income, by definition, but have no many left after expenses and their fridges are EMPTY. They’re children have garbage for lunch and they are HUNGRY.

    Wish it wasn’t so, I know I do.

  • #940483

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    As far as the OP is concerned, if Hashem wants you at poverty level, you will be at poverty level. You can have 3 more kids and you will find yourself with just enough added income to be just where you were with three less kids. The children are a brocha and they will bring brocha.

  • #940484

    abra cadabra
    Participant

    zsdad said quote “Malnutrition is a big problem in many Charedi communities”. That is a lie.

    And food stamps provides a lot more food than WIC. And tzedakah orgs (Tomchei Shabbos and many many more) fill any other void.

  • #940485

    yitayningwut
    Member

    It is halachicly prohibited to refrain from having children due to financial considerations.

    Um… Source?

    DaasYochid – It may be a mitzva to have children, but it is not technically more than a mitzvas asei. One does not have to turn himself into a pauper for a mitzvas asei. Why should this mitzvas asei be different? And even if you give a satisfactory reason, that should at least not obligate one who already has a son and a daughter to have more children if he cannot afford to.

  • #940486

    fkelly
    Member

    And why is it fair to the kids if they will be coming into a family with no money. Maybe ask them for their opinion.

  • #940487

    Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    And food stamps provides a lot more food than WIC. And tzedakah orgs (Tomchei Shabbos and many many more) fill any other void.

    That is true in theory only. There is a limit to what many families receive, and many families are too high income for food stamps but are under budget by hundreds or thousands a month.

  • #940488

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    And why is it fair to the kids if they will be coming into a family with no money. Maybe ask them for their opinion.

    Of course. Or why is it fair to bring them into the world at all, since we pasken that ??? ?? ???? ??? ????.

  • #940489

    DaMoshe
    Participant

    abra cadabra (Joseph), the only lie I saw was this: “It is halachicly prohibited to refrain from having children due to financial considerations.”

    I personally know people who were told by their Rav they can use birth control because of their finances. My brother told me that R’ Henoch Shachar, who is a major posek in Lakewood, told him that it’s a big problem in Lakewood that people assume it’s never allowed.

    Obviously there are conditions. Having a boy and a girl already makes it easier. But to say it’s never allowed is absolutely false.

  • #940490

    MorahRach
    Member

    WIC and food stamps do not exist so that you can have as many children as you possibly can, and let others support and feed them. That is disgusting. However, Hashem does want us to be fruitful and it’s a huge mitzvah & bracha to have children. Better take from tzedakas and other Jewish charitable organizations, go to school to get a better job etc. but to say ” yeah have as many as you can and let the American worker pay for it”, to me is condemnable. ( coming from a family of tax payers)

  • #940491

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    WIC and food stamps do not exist so that you can have as many children as you possibly can, and let others support and feed them. That is disgusting.

    Actually, I think that the fact that you are reducing children to a monetary decision is kind of disgusting.

    G-d has enough money to support my kids, and the fact He chooses to do so with your tax money is because you are too cheap to do what you should and give it voluntarily and happily.

  • #940492

    MorahRach
    Member

    Ok you live your life that way, an expect everyone to take care of your life and feed your children and pay for your food. I’m sure that’s what Hashem wants.

  • #940493

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Take care of my children? I’m sure G-d can take care of His children just fine.

    You live your life your way, and look down on people for bringing children into the world, and I’m sure you’ll very smug and proud of yourself. And you’ll probably keep voting for the people who make you pay more and more of your income to me also, while I vote against them.

    People who think like you should be on birth control; society cannot survive if ideas like that are being passed on.

  • #940494

    Bar Shattya
    Member

    ?????? ???? ????? ???? ??? ????

    And notice, my fine apikorsim, that the value that chazal warn us about is that they will bring forth torah. G-d doesn’t need you to make money for him, he’s got plenty and to spare. He needs you to serve him and to learn his torah.

    You really are quite fine apikorsim.

  • #940495

    twisted
    Member

    In my little village of 50,000 (according to US Dept 0f Stare we are settlers) there is a large majority of haredi, and a good chunk of those are kollel people. When the local kupa appeals in shuls, before the yomim tovim, they document cases they serve where there was no milk and no bread in the house at the time of checking. Hunger does not need to be constant to be a danger. Episodic want can do enough damage, and as of today the Kupa was 50k and change NIS short on their pesach target of kol dichfin.

  • #940496

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    Zdad & Morahrach,

    Did you have a CPA audit your financial position and you budget to determine whether you are eligible to have children? In conjunction with the psychological workup you most likely avoided that, according to your Shira you should have had.

  • #940497

    MorahRach
    Member

    Popa, I usually respect most of your posts but you’ve totally lost me here. When did I say don’t have kids???? Please show me! It’s with huge Mazel that we are able to procreate and make more and more beautiful children. I said dont rely on the American government to support you and pay for every aspect of your life as you continue to have children. The only reason I even said anything is because someone’s roomed WIC and food stamps. There are tzedaka and Jewosh organizations that have money specifically to help Jews feed and care for there family. Of course if you have children and are eligible you should take the benefits that are coming to you. I never said otherwise. You jumped on me for no reason. But to have in mind that you should have kids have kids have kids and it doesn’t matter that you don’t have money for food or clothing because the gov will take money from those who pay taxes to support you isn’t a correct mindset.

  • #940498

    MorahRach
    Member

    And bar sharttya, please don’t preach to us whilst you sit on your computer against the gedolai hadors words.

  • #940499

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Maybe I misunderstood your point. But I think it is a mitzva to have children, and it is not relevant how you are going to support them at all. And once you have them, if you need to take the benefits, you take them.

    And I think that is the correct mindset, and I challenge you to find me a source that one is supposed to think about he is going to support kids before having them.

    The question of whether one should work or not is a separate question and is the topic of other (most?) threads on this board.

  • #940500

    yytz
    Member

    I’m fine with people having lots of kids, even if they know they’ll rely sometimes on public assistance, as long as they plan to work a reasonable amount. Some people work but their jobs just don’t pay that much. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have as many kids as they can physically and psychologically handle. If they have no income and no plan to have an income, that’s another story.

    What really bothers me, though, is the widespread custom in Israel among charedim that the couple’s family not only pay for the wedding, but actually *buy an apartment* for the couple! I’ve heard this really drives many parents into desperation, reducing them to shnorring door to door in America, and putting them under unbearable strain. Yet there’s no halachic other good reason for this custom! Let your kids rent; it’s not the end of the world.

  • #940501

    truthsharer
    Member

    Doesn’t the Shulchan Aruch list a famine as a time when relations are forbidden? (Not sure, but I seem to remember that.)

  • #940502

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    yytz: So this has nothing to do with kids; it just has to do with working.

    truthsharer: Yes, I think the gemara says that. And what is the reason there? Is there an application here?

  • #940503

    fkelly
    Member

    I think not having money and a famine are sort of different…

  • #940504

    “Actually, I think that the fact that you are reducing children to a monetary decision is kind of disgusting.”

    +1

    truthsharer:

    Yeah, that’s when people were actually starving to death en masse. Today that doesn’t happen.

  • #940505

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    truthsharer:

    Yeah, that’s when people were actually starving to death en masse. Today that doesn’t happen.

    Actually, I think the reason there is because you shouldn’t be doing enjoyable things while people are starving, and it is not about having children.

    I’m looking for the sources. My bar ilan is down so I’m having to do some manual learning. It’s in the first perek of taanis I think.

  • #940506

    yytz
    Member

    “Actually, I think that the fact that you are reducing children to a monetary decision is kind of disgusting.”

    That’s similar to my response when I hear people say they won’t have children for environmental reasons: You think the extra few tons of CO^2 emissions and natural resources consumed is really more important than the human being you might bring into the world (with G-d’s help)? Now that’s a materialistic way of thinking.

  • #940507

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Here is the gemara, taanis 11a http://www.hebrewbooks.org/shas.aspx?mesechta=10&daf=11&format=pdf

    You can see clearly that the reason is because you should share in the community’s pain.

  • #940508

    Josh31
    Member

    Showing up at the Chupah without any skills to support your wife financially is like showing up at the start of Succos without a Sukkah or Arba Minim.

    The Torah commands men to be fruitful and multiply. The Rabbis specify that it must be with a Jewish marriage and a Kesubah in which the man pledges to financially support the wife and family. If you do not want to make the Kesubah a lie, you must prepare in advance.

  • #940509

    thegra
    Member

    “Actually, I think that the fact that you are reducing children to a monetary decision is kind of disgusting.”

    Money is essentially food and shelter when boiled down to it. So if I said “for a food and shelter decision” would that change anything?

  • #940510

    yitayningwut
    Member

    I’m still waiting for the big talmidei chachamim here to answer why this is any different than any other mitzvas asei, which one is not obligated to perform if one really cannot afford it (See OC 636 for details).

    The poskim don’t say you’re an apikoros if you forgo the mitzva of lulav and esrog because it will cause you to not be able to make rent next month. In fact, they say it’s the right thing to do.

  • #940511

    kwaiker
    Member

    You cant forgo lulav and esrog because you might not have enough money in six months to pay the rent.

    If you were asking about a fellow who wouldn’t have enough money to buy a diaper for his newborn baby to take him home from the hospital, maybe I could hear your question. But if your question is “he might not be able to afford tuition in 8 years from now”, you don’t even have standing for the question.

  • #940512

    yitayningwut
    Member

    Shtuyot. Anyone can figure out the general amount it costs to take care of a child, and anyone can figure out if in the situation they are in they will be able to afford anywhere near that in the near future. We aren’t talking about something you need a navi for.

  • #940513

    ShalomToYou
    Member

    The Mitzva to have children is one boy and one girl. Anything after that is voluntary. If you cannot afford to take care of them it’s a serious question for a competent Rav.

    And thanks to the OP for bringing this up, whenever I see someone collecting because he has 13 children to marry off I wonder if he had a right to have them in the first place.

    Before anyone screams what a horrible person I am, let me say that I give plenty of Tzedaka to these guys and I was not referring to a case of catastrophic illness etc, just a guy who has more kids than he can support. I think its very greedy for a person to have many children and throw the responsibilty on others

  • #940514

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I’m still waiting for the big talmidei chachamim here to answer

    Shkoyach for the titling.

    I hear your point. At the same time, I’ve never seen in any discussion of hishtadlus and bitachon that having kids is a factor, nor have I seen such an idea anywhere else.

  • #940515

    kwaiker
    Member

    “and anyone can figure out if in the situation they are in they will be able to afford anywhere near that in the near future”

    Shtuyot.

    You know G-d’s plan for you in 8 years from now?

  • #940516

    kwaiker
    Member

    STY: So which of the 13 children should he not have given birth to? Dovid? Chava? Sam? Rachel?

    And what should your bubbes have done before birth control? Was your great grandparents able to afford your grandparent? Perhaps you and your siblings shouldn’t be here…

  • #940517

    akuperma
    Participant

    If you are young enough to have children, then you are too young to be able to predict what you (not to mention the economy, or the world situation) will be like in 20 years — and the real spending “pinch” is when they are wanting to get go to yeshiva, seminary, college – and get married. Also remember that 20 years from now, if you realize you can afford children, you can’t go back and decide to have them.

  • #940518

    yitayningwut
    Member

    Who said anything about eight years? The first three years of a child’s life costs a lot of money too. Anyone who lives responsibly knows whether they will be in the ballpark of affording that.

    Are you financially independent? Because for some reason it seems that it’s usually the people who aren’t, who disagree.

  • #940519

    kwaiker
    Member

    Three years? So at least you take issue with the meshuganas who advocate against child rearing due to “tuition costs” (at some overpriced school, no less, due to advanced secular studies costs) in *8 years* or more into the future.

  • #940520

    thegra
    Member

    “the gra: I have a source: Adam and Chava had children before he started earning a living.

    And in the Midbar, our antecedents lived and had children for 40 years. Our job is to live and have children. Hashem gives us the parnasa.”

    Do you have a rishon or achron besides your personal interpreation of pesukim revolving around adam harishon living in gan eden and in the midbar when we received manna from shamayim?

    I will give you one:

    “It is the way of people with understanding that a person should first establish for himself a livelihood (lit., ‘labor’) which supports him, then he should acquire a house, and then he should marry a woman. [This is] as the verses state (Deut. 20:5-7): ‘Who is the man who has planted a vineyard and has not redeemed it [let him go and return to his house lest he die in battle]…,’ ‘…who has built a house and not initiated it…,’ ‘…who has betrothed a woman and not taken her…’

    “However, the fool begins by marrying a woman, and then if he is able he will buy a house and [only] afterwards at the end of his life will he seek [to learn] a craft — or he will support himself from charity. And so too it states in the ‘Curses’ (Deut. 28:15-68): ‘A woman will you betroth [and another man will lie with her]; a house will you build [and you will not dwell in it]; a vineyard will you plant [and you will not redeem it]’ (v. 30). This means to say, [G-d will curse you that] your deeds will be backwards so that your ways will not succeed. Whereas in the blessing what does it state? ‘And David was in all his ways wise (‘maskil’) and G-d was with him’ (I Samuel 18:14).”

    ??? ???? ??? ????? ?? ??? ????? ??????? ???? ????? ???”? ???? ??? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ????? ?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???? ??? ?????? ??????? ???? ??? ???”? ?? ???? ??? ???? ??? ???? ?? ???? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ????? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ???? ??? ???? ??? ??? ????? ???? ????? ?????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ???? ??? ??? ????? ????? ??’ ???

  • #940521

    thegra
    Member

    Do you think the above still applies today?

    Many say it no longer applies because the Rambam was referring to a time where: 1) A profitable craft took a very short to learn. 2) A “house” was a lot smaller and easier to attain than it is today. Therefore, to adhere to this ideal is no longer feasible (i.e one should marry and have children before he has acquired a home and a parnasa).

  • #940522

    yitayningwut
    Member

    thegra – +1

  • #940523

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Interesting rambam. I’d like to point out that he doesn’t address having children at all.

    Possible that is because the pesukim there don’t address it. But still I find it notable.

    I’ve read many accounts of the obligations of hishtadlus and bitachon–I don’t recall ever seeing a concept that it involves not having children.

  • #940524

    Josh31
    Member

    We learn the laws of Succos 30 days in advance. This gives people time to acquire the Lulav & Esrog and build the Sukkah.

    We teach our sons the language of Kosher money and computational skills from an early age so when he is ready to get married the Kesubah will not be false words.

    Comes Succos and you have not prepared, you cannot steal a Lulav, Esrog and Sukkah to do the Mitzvos.

    This thread is about what to do when the time to marry comes and you have not prepared.

  • #940525

    The Gra: It sounds to me like the Rambam is giving advice, like in Hilchos Deios, where for better or for worse we don’t follow all the advice (do you sleep 8 hours a night?)

    I don’t know how to learn halacha. Am I misunderstanding the Rambam?

  • #940526

    I’d like to point out that for actual Halacha one should ask one’s Rov, not rely on anonymous bloggers who may or may not have any idea what they’re talking about.

    Josh31:

    “Showing up at the Chupah without any skills to support your wife financially is like showing up at the start of Succos without a Sukkah or Arba Minim.”

    If my wife doesn’t mind, why should you?

  • #940527

    Josh31
    Member

    “If my wife doesn’t mind, why should you?”

    Yes, if she fully and willingly forgave her claim.

    She needs to be fully aware that the normal Torah expectation and the general practice of Jewish men for 3000 years has been to support their wives, as is mentioned specifically in the Kesubah. This awareness of normal obligations and your special request for forgiveness has to come before the engagement. Otherwise, it is a forgiveness under pressure.

    Then the future children, still need to be provided for. Hence, besides the forgiveness of her claim of support; she has to take on the obligation of supporting the children she will bear.

    If he comes to the Chupah with a several year committed Kollel or graduate school stipend; with the understanding that after the several year period he will take a job as a Rebbe or professor; then he is supporting the family. She just has to accept the lower standard of living that a Rebbe or professor will provide vs. someone in a lucrative profession.

  • #940528

    Babies are not born with silver spoons in their mouths.

  • #940529

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Josh: they are fully aware and willing for it. In fact, they are driving it in quite a large way, by refusing to date men who aren’t committing to learn for many years.

  • #940530

    thegra
    Member

    “with the understanding that after the several year period he will take a job as a Rebbe or professor”

    Do most people in kollel become a Rebbe today?

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