“Big families” seems to be a popular topic around blogosphere. Over the past couple of weeks I have collected some tidbits here and there of what you bloggers/tweeters have to say about “big families”. This post is all about you, none of these quotes are from me. If you have something more to add, feel free to leave a comment and I will add it to the post. (If you would like your name added to your quote, you can let me know and I’ll do that for you as well.)
"laughing at chassidish women with 10 children following behind them and over stuffed strollers"
"That mother with 10 kids? All her kids are in *matching* clothes! Now what happens when kid #1 outgrows his/her outfit? Does food stamps cover this???!?"
"so far I only have 2, but apparently that means I'm already "mass producing" as one friend put it!"
"we had our first 3 in under 3 years - i was called a baby machine..."
"Men who are married, have 12 kids and don't work or do the army. They already get enough of my money through taxes."
"On the one hand, I think it's too intrusive for the Rabbi or whatever to outright forbid them from having children. On the other, it seems unfair that people get to act irresponsibly and then put responsible people in the awkward position of having to fund their lifestyle or be considered immoral and unfeeling brutes"
"Ah ok so my family isn't chassidish at all, my dad is a pediatrician and I am the oldest of 11 BH. (Oh yeah my uncle is a radiologist in Queens he also has 10 kids BH--- and they did not come from such a big family, my dad was 1/6) While I'm not a huge fan of big families I really hate when people with small families judge us. It's true that the ones on food stamps shouldn't have their kids matching in fancy boro park clothing because chances are if the father's a rebbi and the kids look like that, they're not paying yeshiva tuition but somehow have $ for 'important' things like this (which is why the yeshivas are all in such financial messes). It's a ton of work to have a big family so they should be admired not scorned- but on the other hand if it's clearly hard on the mother I just don't get the point of going on like that, it's not a mitzvah to suck the life out of your wife. Oh another thing, these people who like making fun of big families are often using birth control without a proper heter so they really have no place passing judgment. It's a sensitive issue because it's weird for people to discuss others' 'family planning' but this is our religion and bearing children holds a key role. We were just talking on Shabbos- my sister who's 11 wants to become a veterinarian and it's not so simple because R' Moshe Feinstein paskined that it's assur to neuter pets... so if by animals it's this way you could imagine what it's like with humans. A better alternative should be a trend away from sitting and learning, perhaps if we were more 'torah im derech eretz' oriented we'd be able to afford larger families without government assistance and without the mother killing herself trying to work and raise a family all at once. Again there's no way of circumventing this piryah v'rivyah thing, I'd like to hear a rebuttal from someone who thinks they can"
"I like that I have a gigantic family, and love the reactions I get when I tell people that I'm one of ten children."
"A rabbi of mine was giving a lecture and told over the following anecdote. There was an irreligious Jewish woman who was very upset about the irresponsibility of her religious son-in-law who, at the time, was studying full-time, and had six kids and a wife with no way of supporting them. She wasn’t so upset about the fact that her daughter’s husband was studying full-time, but that there was no attempt at birth control. The young man complained to my rabbi that his mother-in-law was driving him crazy and was wondering if there was anything to be done to get her to stop complaining about the number of children he had. My rabbi told him to line up all six of his children for his mother-in-law next she came to visit, and ask her which one shouldn’t have been born. The man reported he never heard a word of complaint about his kids from her again."