There1 is a commandment to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and conquer it.” This commandment should be fulfilled in a spirit in which G‑d’s blessings of sons and daughters are received “with joy and a gladsome heart” and without the intervention of calculations — with a joy arising from a perfect trust that G‑d will bestow His blessing in the best way possible, both for the baby and for the father and mother.

On this subject we may learn a lesson from “the righteous women... in whose merit the Children of Israel were redeemed from Egypt.”2 These women bore and raised sons and daughters without taking Pharaoh’s decree into consideration. In response, G‑d Himself helped them by providing sustenance for their children. Thus the Gemara relates that the Holy One, blessed be He, “would provide each one with two circular servings, one of olive oil and one of honey, in the spirit of the verse,3 ‘He fed him honey from the crag, and oil from the flinty rock.’ ” In this manner they raised the sons and daughters of whom it is written,4 “I increased you like the plants of the field, and you multiplied and grew....” And [soon after], “when the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed Himself at [the Splitting of] the Sea, it was these children,” born in the Egyptian exile, “who were the first to recognize Him.”

It goes without saying that the same thinking should apply today. One should not take into consideration the decrees of “Mitzrayim” — the decrees of meitzarim u’gvulim, the restraints of a bounded and constricted mindset.5 For example: being concerned about how future children will be supported, about whether one’s apartment will be spacious enough, and so on, and on the strength of such estimates deciding between “every son that is born,”6 or (May Heaven save us!7 ) “shall be cast into the Nile,”8 or from the outset refraining from the matter. Rather, the Divine command to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and conquer it” should be observed without any such calculations, but with a certain trust that G‑d will provide the vessels that are required to enable one to receive His blessings.

Now, it is true that when our forefathers were in Egypt, G‑d nourished the newborn children miraculously, as described above, whereas nowadays one does not witness manifest miracles in the area of one’s income and the like. Nevertheless, it is utterly certain that the birth of each additional infant elicits an increased financial blessing that is garbed in the veils of the natural order. (As people say, “With every baby comes his loaf.”) Moreover, through the arrival of this additional infant, supplementary blessings are elicited for the livelihood of the entire household. And all this comes over and above the great pleasure and delight that are aroused by the presence of an additional child in the home.

On a broader scale: When Jews conduct themselves in this way, we will be privileged to a downward current of G‑d’s blessings to a degree that breaks through barriers — until ultimately we will be privileged to see the barriers of exile breached. For “the son of David9 will come,” the Gemara teaches,10 “when the Heavenly Treasury11 is emptied of all its souls.”12