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Is it sensible to have children if it's beyond the parents' financial means?

by Rabbi Moshe Miller


Library » Life Cycle » Birth » Reproductive Issues | Subscribe | What is RSS?



Hello, my name is Harrison and I am a traditional Jew living in xxxxxxxxx. I got married about two years ago. Currently, both my wife and I work. We make an average salary. I have lots of debt from my schooling, adding up to over 100,000. Plus a mortgage, two car payments, etc...

Anyway, we are very desirous of starting a family. Everyone keeps telling us that things will work out and we should just go for it. The problem is, mathematically it just doesn’t add up for us at the moment. Right now, with both of us working we are just breaking even. If we were to have a child, we would be in the negative column, and that is assuming that my wife would continue to work (which is something neither of us want).

Having children cements the relationship between husband and wife
Do you have any suggestions? How do we have a child without the financial resources?


Hi Harrison,
As a father of six children, may they be blessed, I can understand your worries—there are expenses involved in bringing up children, specially when one makes the decision to pay for private Jewish education.
Nevertheless, I would strongly recommend you to start a family as soon as possible... and let G-d worry about providing for you. You fulfill His commandments (and the first commandment in the Torah is “be fruitful and multiply”) and He will surely fulfill your needs.
My recommendation also has a sound logical basis:
1) Having children cements the relationship between husband and wife. The Torah tells us: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife and they shall become one flesh.”1 The classic commentator Rashi explains that they “become one flesh” in their children.
2) One never knows when one will be blessed with children. I have had dealings with many a sad case where parents in their late thirties have difficulties conceiving.
3) There is a folk saying in Israel: “Every child opens a new source of income for its parents.”
I hope you will share good news very soon.


  • 1. Genesis 2:24.


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Is it sensible to have children if it’s beyond the parents’ financial means?

Posted by: Michael Deem, Oakland, MD on Dec 29, 2005

My wife and I are in a similar predicament. We married in 2003, had a baby boy in 2004, a baby girl in 2005, and another boy due in 2006. To this day all my fears previously about being able to care for the children financially has been resolved by G-d through earnings and gifts that were never expected. Every time it seems as though we're not going to make it, even down to the last diaper, we use the last diaper and instantly a resolution (diapers are donated, an extra job appears, etc.) G-d makes this happen, often times without us seeking the source of G-ds' gifts.

Thanks be to G-d!

Another saying

Posted by: Daniel Berenger, Boston, MA on May 07, 2006

...from the schtetl:
G-d will provide...if only He would provide until he does provide.
I'm sure the rabbis back then hated this saying, but it reflects generations of G-d's people's casting a clear eye on what was actually happening to them, and a G-d who seemed to be enjoying a joke at their expense.


Intimacy » Reproductive Issues
Life Cycle » Marriage » Family Life
Daily Life » Family Life

Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Acronym for Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (1040-1105). Legendary French scholar who authored the fundemental and widely accepted "Rashi commentary" on the entire Bible and Talmud.
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.