A few years ago, I took part in a telephone conference call involving 29 people. It was not a business venture, but a personal matter. Lines from Ukraine, China, France, Alaska, Texas, New York and Solon, Ohio, buzzed to Israel to wish my mother a happy 60th birthday.

What made this call so special was that it symbolized the profound blessings of a large family. All of the callers were my mother's children and their spouses: seventeen sons and daughters and twelve sons- and daughters-in-law (b'li ayin harah). Everyone had the opportunity to extend words of good wishes.

After this twenty-five-minute congratulatory roll call, one of my sisters asked, "What is the secret of your success? How did you manage to not only survive raising such a large family, but also raise such stable, happy, accomplished and self-confident kids like us?" My mother chuckled at the "self-confident" part, and in her unassuming and practical manner insisted that it was no great feat. "You just take one day at a time," she insisted, "and one child at a time, and do what needs to be done..." We all demanded a better explanation. How was it that she didn't worry about finances, living space, and simply providing the basic needs like clothing and food? At this point my father entered the conversation. "You're forgetting the full picture," he said, sharing a synopsis of his life story.

When he was twelve years old, he was fleeing from Hitler in Romania and ended up in Communist Russia. There he suffered constant persecution for his religious beliefs while at the same time was denied an exit visa and permission to leave the country.

At age nineteen, he finally tried to cross the border to Poland. He was double-crossed as his "guide" delivered him straight to the soviet police. He was sentenced to 25 years hard labor in a Siberian prison camp. When Stalin mercifully died seven years later, my father were set free together with all political prisoners .

He never dreamed that he would survive these events, but he did. He also never dreamed that he would find a Jewish woman who shared his dedication to Yiddishkeit and was prepared for the self sacrifice necessary to raise a Torah-observant family in Communist Russia. But he found my mother. In 1967, long before the Iron Curtain fell, my family, myself included, received permission to leave the USSR. We traveled to and settled in Israel.

"After all these miracles," my father concluded, "I should worry about a few pieces of bread? If G‑d gave me the strength to survive all the hardships, surely He could give me the strength to provide the needs of my family." We all fell silent and thought about his philosophy.

Judaism teaches that children are the most cherished Divine blessing known to mankind. Not only are they a blessing, but tradition teaches us that every additional child brings a new flow of blessings to a family. Each additional child does not decrease from the material, financial and spiritual stability of the home; on the contrary, the entire family actually benefits from the Divine blessings that each child brings.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe once said that it is unnecessary for us to take over G‑d's bookkeeping to figure out how many children He is able to care for. "He who feeds and sustains the whole world" the Rebbe said, "is able to take care of the children, as well as the parents."

Now that my wife and I have children of our own, I can truly appreciate the amazing dedication and self-sacrifice of my parents, as well as that of all those who are blessed with large families. I know that it takes an endless supply of laughter, tears and long wakeful nights to raise each child; I also know the nachas, the pride, joy and happiness that each child brings. I truly admire those that willingly set aside the best years of their life and dedicate them to raising a generation of active, giving adults. Each of these future adults will make their own unique contribution to the Jewish people as well as to all of humanity. Each child represents an infinite potential, absolutely beyond prediction. Every child has his or her own unduplicated gift to present to the world, and those who bring him or her into existence are enriching humankind.

If all this was true in all generations, how much more so in our time, when our people were so cruelly decimated in the ovens of Auschwitz.

I always tell the story of a Jewish woman, expecting her fifth child, who was working in her garden when her neighbor looked over the fence and called out: "What — another one? How many children are you planning to have?"

She had heard this question many times before. She smiled and immediately replied, "Six million!"