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What is the Torah's view on birth control?

What is the Torah's view on birth control?

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Like many areas of Jewish Law, the answer would be: it depends on the circumstances.

As a general rule, Torah advocates having children and having as many children as possible. Children are considered the greatest source of blessing and who doesn't want more blessing? The Torah enjoins us to be fruitful and multiply and we want to do this to the best of our ability, by having as many children as we are granted by G‑d.

Yet, having said that, there are certain situations when it will be detrimental to a woman's health or emotional wellbeing and she needs the physical break from another pregnancy. That is why we have rabbis who deal with the special circumstances of every individual. And that is why every individual should have a rabbi to whom they can turn. None of us is a carbon copy of another, and each of our situations is different. If for some reason a woman or a couple is finding it difficult to have more children this is something that needs to be discussed with a competent and caring Rabbi with whom they can be open and forthright and who can advise them objectively on the Torah's position, specifically for their situation.

It is important to note that even if the circumstances call for a rabbinical dispensation allowing birth control, not all forms of contraception are allowed. The rabbi with whom you consult will certainly advise you in this area as well.

Click here for more on the Torah perspective on Family Planning.

Chana Weisberg for Chabad.org

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
All names of persons and locations or other identifying features referenced in these questions have been omitted or changed to preserve the anonymity of the questioners.
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