Proper Attitude, Medical Tests and Techniques
To Enable the Couple to Conceive


Do Not Give Up Hope of Having Children

.. I am astonished that you begin your letter by stating that your last spark of hope [of having children] has been extinguished. How can a human being possibly know such things?

It would seem that the entire basis [for this statement] is your age. But this is not proof at all, for, as related by our Sages, of blessed memory, and we also see this to be so, women older than yourself have had sons and daughters.

Additionally, one who looks at G‑d’s world sees that since — to quote the verse — “Your works are so manifold” and “Your works are so great,” it is impossible for one human being to grasp and comprehend all things. In fact, a person is incapable of apprehending even a very significant portion or even the majority of matters that concern the individual himself.

[Because it is impossible to know everything,] people seek to master and achieve dissimilar and distinct mastery in different fields of human endeavor and knowledge, [each one becoming an expert in his limited field]. No honest individual would offer a categorical opinion except in his area of expertise, and he would rely on experts in other fields for opinions in those areas that are not his area of expertise.

Regarding the matter at hand: The Torah does indeed give consideration to the opinion of doctors, and various rulings in Jewish law are dependent on their opinions. [Moreover,] the Torah instructs us to follow the instructions of doctors in terms of actual deed.

Nevertheless, we must clearly know in our hearts that G‑d is the ultimate Healer of all flesh; it is He who conducts the world as a whole and the private worlds of each and every one of us down to its smallest details — and most assuredly regarding the crucial matters [in our lives].

It would seem from your letter that the stated opinion [about your inability to have children] did not emanate from a medical specialist [in this field]. However, even if this were so, the number of errors doctors make in such situations, [when they proclaim the impossibility of having children,] is too numerous to count.

It depends entirely on man’s steadfast bitachon in G‑d and on binding himself with the Creator of the universe.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. X, p. 21)

Advice of a Specialist About New Reproductive Techniques

In reply to your letter of the 22nd of Iyar in which you again write that you and your wife have yet to be blessed with children:

Since many new techniques and methods of treatment have been discovered in the last few years, it would be beneficial that you once again turn to a reproductive specialist and inquire of him in particular about the latest methods of treatment. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVII, p. 135)

Spiritual and Physical Assistance for Having Children

In general, there is no reason for fear; surely G‑d will provide His blessing to you for viable and healthy children. As to what you should do via natural means:

It is my opinion that you should visit the fertility expert Professor Sondek. Tell him all that you have tried until now and follow his advice. May G‑d grant that the doctor succeed in being His emissary in providing you with the proper advice and instructions so that you will soon be able to convey to me glad tidings that G‑d has fulfilled your request for the good.

It would also be appropriate for you to ascertain whether your shidduch with your wife wounded the pride of any Jewish young man or woman. If it did, then you should ask for his or her forgiveness.

Also check that the mezuzos in your home are all kosher according to Jewish law. Additionally, your wife tichye should give several coins to tzedakah prior to lighting candles every erev Shabbos and every erev Yom Tov.

You should scrupulously observe the three well-known daily lessons that apply to all, those of Chumash, Tehillim and Tanya, as established by my father-in-law, the Rebbe. Understandably, all the above is to be bli neder.

May you be blessed with healthy and viable children. I await glad tidings.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VI, p. 266)

Utilizing Both Natural and Spiritual Means
To Achieve the Blessing of Children

In reply to your letter of the 12th of Tammuz in which you write that you have already been married for several years and you have yet to be blessed with children:

I am surprised that you did not write whether you consulted with specialists, as a person is to do whatever he or she can do using natural means. In any event, [if you have not yet done so,] do so now.

Additionally — and this of greatest import:

The impediment to G‑d’s blessing for healthy and viable children is often the result of a lack of meticulous observance of the laws and regulations of taharas hamishpachah, family purity, (niddah, hefsek taharah, immersion in a kosher mikveh, etc.), stemming from a lack of thorough knowledge of all the details of these laws.

Inquire therefore of a practicing Rav about all the detailed laws — with the clear understanding that you are to fully observe them from this point on.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXIV, p. 168)

Artificial Insemination1

The Rebbe’s secretary, Rabbi Leibel Groner, wrote to us that although for many years the Rebbe’s attitude towards artificial insemination was negative,2 “however, some time before the 27th of Adar, 5752, a couple turned to the Rebbe with the following:

“The insemination would be done in Jerusalem under the supervision of several G‑d-fearing rabbis. The main issue of the supervision was to ensure that they would not mix anything in any way questionable into the husband’s semen. They received the Rebbe’s agreement and holy blessing.

“When the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, visited the Rebbe in Cheshvan of 5752, to the best of my recollection the Rebbe’s response about a supervising organization in this matter was that if Rabbi Eliyahu would personally take responsibility, he could be relied upon.”

(Mind Over Matter, p. 343)

Shortening the Cycle to Enable Conception

.. You write about the woman whose doctor states that the “counting of pure days” [before she can go to the mikveh] interferes with the limited number of days in which she can conceive. You ask for my advice in this matter; however, you do not adequately describe the intent of your question:

To offer a leniency that is in opposition to Jewish law, G‑d forbid, is clearly out of the question, particularly since recently many medical expertsin this field reject the validity of the tests upon which doctors base their opinions regarding the most suitable days for the woman to conceive. It is entirely unclear who is in the majority — those who doubt the validity of these tests, or those who maintain its validity.

Moreover, all these types of tests [to determine the woman’s most fertile days] have only recently been developed, from which we may imply that even those who believe in the validity of these tests cannot be absolutely sure of their authenticity, [since there has not yet been adequate time to collect and correlate valid statistical data].

Clearly, there is yet another manner [of alleviating the situation of the woman about whom you write]: that her doctor give her medications or injections that shorten the duration of her menses, thereby having it conclude earlier and thus allowing sufficient time for the “counting of her pure days,” [going to mikveh, and conceiving].

On the other hand, this method is also dubious, since the ultimate effects of this method are not yet entirely clear; it is therefore highly doubtful — doubts that border on negating this method — whether the resultant effect of this manner of treatment is the same on each individual treated in this manner.

Consequently, it is impossible to know what effect this would have on the fetus, for even any small [negative] change in the mother can have many [troublesome] consequences for the fetus.

Therefore, should the doctor decide to use the latter form of treatment, it would be highly beneficial that he not give her potent injections, rather to try to change her cycle and that which is dependent on the cycle little by little.

Most important is that she observe the laws and regulations of family purity in their entirety including all those matters that are associated with it, in particular as it relates to a woman, i.e., matters of tznius, which include properly covering her hair.

This will enable her to be a fit vessel for G‑d’s blessings, for as the holy Zohar states (III, p. 126a): “A woman is to cover [her hair]. If she does so she is rewarded with the fulfillment of the verse:3 ‘[Your wife will be like a fruitful vine...] your children will be like olive shoots,’ andshe is blessed with ... children and grandchildren.” ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIV, p. 470)


.. You write about your wife — that doctors say the reason for her inability to conceive is a result of her keeping the laws and regulations of family purity, which I take to mean that her most fertile time is prior to the conclusion of her count [of the impure days,] the hefsek taharah, etc., [i.e., the “counting of pure days”]:

There are very many doctors who completely deny these conjectures and even deny the very foundations upon which these assumptions are made, for it is only a relatively short time that [some] doctors have been relying on their validity.

Moreover, in the great majority of instances, [even these doctors state that] the difference is merely a matter of a day or two. [This being so,] there are a number of treatments that [are able to] shorten the time of her menses, thereby rectifying the situation — even according to their opinion — at least for a period of time.

Although one should be cautious about using methods that interfere with the natural cycle, when this is only done a few times, there is nothing to worry about if a specialist in this field does it.

In any event, I surely need not make you aware that there is no room to offer a leniency even when it is [“merely”] in opposition to Rabbinic law [and not Scriptural law] in the above situation where the doctors requested it.

I am surprised that you do not mention whether you asked the doctor about yourself, [i.e., if the inability to conceive is not due to your wife but possibly because of a problem that you might have]. Surely you will broach this matter at the next possible opportunity.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XV, p. 388)

RH Factor

.. 4 However I must bring to your attention that quite often — though there are those who term this an incompatibility in the blood — this has no effect on the children who are born.

.. In your case, since you write that your wife has been having health problems, etc., this may be the reason for the complications you write about and not because of the incompatibilities of the blood. Thus, when your wife’s health improves, there is room to say that all the fears [about the pregnancy] will disappear as well.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVIII, p. 458)

A Healthy and Viable Male Child

I received your letter and pidyon nefesh (petitionary prayer) and — as per your request — I read it at the tziyun (the sacred resting place) of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, of blessed memory, for the fulfillment of your request for healthy and viable children.

.. It interests me to know what the doctors advise in this matter. In my opinion, both you and your wife should inquire of yourdoctors and follow their instructions.

I would also suggest that you enhance your performance of the mitzvah of hachnosas orchim, hospitality to guests.

This is in keeping with the response of the Maggid of Mezritchto the Alter Rebbe, the Baal HaTanya vehaShulchan Aruch, when he asked to be blessed with a male child. The Maggid of Mezritchreplied that one merits a son (“Bameh yizakeh naar”) through the mitzvah of hachnosas orchim, hospitality to guests (“es orchoi”).

May it be G‑d’s will that through the study and performance of Torah and mitzvos in general, and particularly through your efforts in the mitzvah of hachnosas orchim, as well as by using natural means — by listening to the instructions of a fertility specialist — you will merit a healthy and viable male child. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. V, p. 23)

Acquiring Rabbinical Permission to Conceive
When There Have Been Past Difficulties

.. Discuss your [health] situation with a Rav who issues Rabbinical decisions on a regular basis and [relate] what the doctors have told you:

If he rules that according to Jewish law you are permitted to become pregnant, you should then make an effort to do so. May G‑d grant you success.

(Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXXII, p. 2305 )


Medical Tests and Techniques
To Enable the Woman to Conceive


The Doctor Says That the Wife Is Barren

In reply to your letter in which you write about your wife having gone to a doctor — it seems that this was some time ago — and based on this visit the doctor said that your wife is (seemingly) incapable of bearing children. You do not, however, write all the details:

Since many new forms of treatment have recently been developed, particularly in the last few years, it would be beneficial for you to turn once again to a specialist in this field and inquire of him about the latest developments in this area that could possibly apply to your situation.

Since we are always in need of the blessings from G‑d, the Giver of the Torah and Commander of its commandments, it is self-understood that one’s conduct is to be consonant with the directives of our Torah, the Torah of Life, and the performance of its commandments concerning which it is stated,6 “You shall live by them.”

This is particularly so with regard to the meticulous observance of the laws and regulations of taharas hamishpachah, family purity, (niddah, hefsek taharah, immersion in a kosher mikveh, etc.). You should also see if there was a lack of thorough knowledge in all the details of these laws, something that may lead to improper performance of these laws. {Such inquiries are to be made of a practicing Rav.}

All the above is the manner through which one receives G‑d’s blessings, especially in your situation. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXIII, p. 24)

Blockage of One of the Fallopian Tubes

In reply to your letter of ... in which you express the doctor’s opinion that one of your wife’s fallopian tubes is seemingly blocked:

Surely the specialist explained to you that there are two fallopian tubes and even when one of them is blocked, your wife can still successfully conceive and have children.

What’s more, there are procedures that do not even require surgery that are able to unblock a blocked tube.

It would therefore be advisable that you consult with the specialist again regarding the above (i.e., the procedure without surgery). May G‑d will it that you meet with success.

Understandably, the two of you should increase your good daily conduct so that it be in consonance with the directives of our Torah, the Torah of Life, particularly the meticulous observance of the laws and regulations of taharas hamishpachah, family purity, (niddah, hefsek taharah, immersion in a mikveh that is assuredly kosher, etc.).

It would also be most appropriate for you to check your tefillin as well as the mezuzos in your home to ensure that they are kosher according to Jewish law.

Your wife tichye should observe the fine custom of upstanding Jewish women of giving tzedakah before lighting the candles every erev Shabbos and erev Yom Tov.

When you inform me of your and your wife’s Jewish names (as well as the Jewish names of your respective mothers), I will mention you for a blessing at the tziyun (the sacred resting place) of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, of blessed memory. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVIII, p. 466)

Blocked Fallopian Tubes

In reply to your letter in which you write that your wife tichye [(who has been unable to conceive),] visited the doctor and followed his instructions and also went to the hot springs of Tiberius. You ask my opinion whether to wait a while before she goes to Hadassah [Hospital for further tests]:

In my opinion, now that she has returned from the hot springs of Tiberius, she should visit the doctor again. If he tells her that the tubes are open, then you should wait several months [and see if she conceives in the interim].

Surely G‑d will fulfill your heartfelt requests for the good that in the near future you be blessed with healthy and viable children.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. V, p. 185)

Electrical Current to Heal the Womb
And Enable Conception

.. As to what you write at the conclusion of your letter about the use of electrical current:7 You do not specify exactly what you mean, and “electrical current” includes many types of treatments.

If you are referring to radiating the area — it is better to avoid this. If you are only referring to stunning the area by running an electrical current through it — understandably, this has to be approached with caution. However, if this need be done only a few times, there is room to consider this procedure if it is performed by an expert.

Regarding the matter in general, and to definitively ascertain the general course of treatment, you should ask the opinion of a specialist at least once more, and the specialist should establish the diagnosis and the general procedure for bringing about healing. If such a specialist is not found in your city, he can surely be found in a larger city. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIV, p. 295)

Concern Over Having Yet to Conceive

In reply to your letter of the 14th of Cheshvan in which you describe the [unhappy] mood of your wife tichye [because she has yet to conceive,] for which reason she wants to be examined by a doctor — and you do not approve of her hastiness in this matter:

Although I agree with your opinion that there is no reason to be alarmed that your wife has yet to conceive, still, since your wife is affected by this, you should explain to her your reasons [for your current lack of concern].

If your explanation will be received satisfactorily and contentedly, then well and good. If, however, for whatever reason, she will still be troubled,you should comply with her wishes of being seen by a doctor, in accordance with her desire.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIV, p. 100)

When Doctors Say That an Insufficiently
Developed Uterus Hinders Childbearing

In reply to your letter of the 16th of Iyar in which you write that the doctor told your wife tichye that she cannot conceive because her uterus is not properly developed:

Do not become alarmed by this statement; there are hundreds and even thousands of situations where doctors think that the uterus is not properly developed and nevertheless [these women] give birth to healthy and viable children.

In light of the above, if the doctors prescribe pills and the like — but not potent ones — your wife should take them. She should not, however, utilize harsh measures such as undergoing surgery and the like.

G‑d should help that in the proper time, and I hope that it is in the not-too-distant future, you and your wife be blessed with a healthy and viable child.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VI, p. 59)

Pushing Aside Thoughts and Worries
About Difficulty of Conceiving

.. You write about your wife tichye’s thoughts and worries about her inability to conceive:

It is known that the less one dwells on this matter, the better it is [for the individual, not only for their psychological health as a whole, but also regarding their ability to conceive].

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIV, p. 11)


Medical Tests and Techniques
To Enable the Male to Father a Child


Treating Impotency

.. You should inquire of specialists if there is a remedy for this for ..., as in the past few years there are many new medical procedures that are well-tested and have proven effective in treating this matter [of impotency].

As is self-understood, any and all effort and toil is worthwhile in order to remedy the situation. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVI, p. 324)

Overcoming Impotence

Our Sages, of blessed memory, speak — in the Torah of Truth — in wondrous terms about the greatness of marriage and its permanence.

With regard to all matters that depend on the subconscious, it often happens that quite unconsciously and sometimes without even any noticeable actions [on the part of the individual], changes occur, and as a matter of course, the “blocks,” etc., disappear.

You should therefore continue the course of action that has demonstrated benefit and success (at least [continue this course of action] for a period of time): which is to say, [continue with] visitations to the psychologist, etc., and [continue] visiting the Holy Land during vacation periods.

Moreover — and this is of great import — minimize worrying about the above, and be as inattentive and heedless as you possibly can (lehasiach daas) to this entire problem.

May G‑d bless you with success and may you be able to convey glad tidings [with regard to the above].

(From a handwritten response of the Rebbe)8

Impotence

I received your letter ... in which you write about a woman whose husband is impotent. You ask my opinion whether she needs to divorce him, etc.:

Before anything else, one must find out from specialists in this area whether this woman’s husband can be treated, since in the last few years, many new forms of treatment have been developed in this area — among them tried and proven cures. Possibly they can be beneficial for this individual as well.

Understandably, any and all efforts and attempts [to successfully treat this problem] are worthwhile. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVI, p. 324)

Testing for Fertility

.. With regard to your question about [the best possible manner, from a halachic standpoint,] of obtaining a semen specimen in order to test it [for sperm count, etc.]:

This is done by taking the semen from the cervix as soon as possible after coitus and then delivering it as quickly as possible to the testing laboratory. We rely on this leniency in accordance with the ruling of the Tzemach Tzedek9 who permits the use of a moch in cases of ... [danger to the woman if she will conceive]. ...

Surely you will first inquire of the doctor as to the best method of preserving the semen so that it be fit for testing.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. III, p. 401)

“For the Sake of Having Children
One Must Have MesirusNefesh”

I received your telegram in which you ask for a reply to your question; it would seem that you are referring to your question as to whether it is permitted to take [a sample of] the semen after coitus in order to ascertain effective manners of treatment in order to be able to bear children:

In general it is not my calling to answer halachic questions, particularly such as the one you ask. However, I am making an exception in this matter, in light of the directive of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, who when asked a similar question regarding testing the semen according to the request of a doctor, replied: “For the sake of having children, one must have mesirus nefesh, total self-sacrifice.”

However one may interpret these words, one thing is clear, that the ruling is that the semen be tested.

.. I therefore sent you a telegram agreeing with that which you proposed in your letter — to obtain it from the cervix after coitus for testing.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XV, p. 89)

Successful Testing

.. Understandably, from a halachic standpoint the best way [of obtaining sperm for the purpose of testing the sperm count, etc.,] is to take the semen from the cervix after coitus — however, this must be done soon after coitus. Surely the doctor will instruct you how to do this.

This type of testing, [i.e., obtaining the semen after coitus] has already been performed, and the tests were successful. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. III, p. 364)

Try Other Methods
Only If the First Method Does Not Succeed

.. With regard to that which you have written about yourself and your wife sheyichyu [and your inability until now to have children] — that your wife was tested by a specialist who found everything to be in order; he now insists that you be tested [by providing a sperm sample,] and you do not desire to do so because of the law [of improper emission,] etc.:

We have heard about this matter from my father-in-law, the Rebbe, who said that concerning matters such as these, [i.e., for the sake of having children,] one must have mesirus nefesh, total self-sacrifice. Thus, you are to allow yourself to be tested.

However, since this test can be performed in a number of ways, you should first have this test done by obtaining the semen from the cervix after coitus, which is less problematic according to Jewish law. Only if the specialist clearly states that this manner will not suffice should you do it another way.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VI, p. 180)

When There Is a Clear Directive From the Specialist

.. From what I hear, Dr. Shapiro sheyichye is an expert in this field. If he requires the test to be done in a direct manner after having already previously tested by obtaining the semen from the cervix after coitus and [he] nevertheless states that this [form of test] is imperative in order to establish a course of treatment, [then you should do so].

For there is a practical directive regarding this matter from my father-in-law, the Rebbe, who said that concerning matters such as these, “One should have mesirus nefesh to do so.”

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIII, p. 293)

Testing for Male Fertility

In reply to your letter of the 2nd of Kislev in which you write that the doctor desires to perform a certain test and that there are those who say that [taking the test] is prohibited according to Jewish law:

When you speak to a specialist in this area, you will come to know that this is not a mere test to ascertain the situation but is a test that determines the manner of treatment.

This is why there are distinguished halachic decisors who permit undergoing these tests in special situations. However, since there are many ways of going about this testing, one is to begin in a manner that is most readily permissible according to Jewish law.

Ask the doctor to explain to a practicing Rav in your locale the manners of testing, and the Rav will suggest to you which one of them you should use first.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIV, p. 178)

Examination of the Testes

.. You write that the doctors examined only one testis:

The opinion of a specialist here is that if the second testis is larger and softer than the one that was tested, it would be advantageous to examine it as well. If it is similar to the first, then it is not worthwhile to examine it.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVIII, p. 423)


Auspicious Deeds That Can Assist
In Being Blessed With Children


After Improving Mitzvah Performance and Family Purity, Inquire Again of a Fertility Specialist

In reply to your letter from the day on which “it was good” was stated twice [in the Torah, the third day of Creation, i.e., Tuesday,] in which you write that you have already been married for many years and you have yet to be blessed with children:

I will mention you and your wife in prayer at a propitious time at the holy resting place of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, of blessed memory.

Quite often the impediment to G‑d’s blessing for healthy and viable children is the result of a lack of meticulous observance of the laws and regulations of taharas hamishpachah, family purity (niddah, hefsek taharah, immersion in a kosher mikveh, etc.), stemming from a lack of thorough knowledge of all the details of these laws.

Inquire therefore of a practicing Rav about all the detailed laws — with the clear understanding that you are to fully observe them from here on out.

It is self-understood that the above is to be part of your overall conduct on a daily basis in keeping with the directives of our Torah, the Torah of Life, and the performance of its commandments, concerning which the verse states,10 “You shall live by them.” Moreover, you are to increase your observance of them with the passage of time.

After you have strengthened yourself in the above, ask the opinion of a specialist again and follow his instructions.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXIV, p. 208)

Taharas HaMishpachah Is the Special Vessel
For Receiving the Blessing of Children

.. Conducting oneself on an ongoing basis in accordance to G‑d’s will is the general conduit and vessel for receiving G‑d’s blessings — in addition to the fact that the commandments must be performed in any case, since they are G‑d’s will.

In addition, each and every particular mitzvah is connected with a particular segulah and blessing, and as known, the blessing for healthy and viable children is connected with the observance of the laws and regulations of taharas hamishpachah.

It therefore would be appropriate for the two of you to be extremely meticulous in this matter, particularly since with the passage of time some pertinent details may have been forgotten. It is thus worthwhile for the two of you to review the laws again.

May G‑d fulfill your heart’s desires for the good, and may you convey glad tidings.

(Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXII, p. 299)

Meticulous Observance of Family Purity
Enhances Chances for Children

In reply to your letter of the 18th of Sivan [in which you write about your not having been blessed yet with children]:

The impediment to G‑d’s blessing for healthy and viable children may sometimes be the result of a lack of meticulous observance of the laws and regulations of taharas hamishpachah, family purity (niddah, hefsek taharah, immersion in a kosher mikveh, etc.).

Since a lack of knowledge leads to a lack of observance, inquire therefore of a practicing Rav about all the detailed laws — with the clear understanding that you are to fully observe them from here on out.

All the above is to be done within the context of your daily life being conducted in accordance with the directives of our Torah of Life and the performance of its commandments, concerning which it is stated,11 “You shall live by them.” In addition to the main aspect — that these are G‑d’s commands — these are also the vehicles through which one receives the blessings that a person needs.

And with regard to Torah and mitzvos, as good as the situation may be, there is always room for improvement, since Torah and mitzvos are connected with G‑d, Who is without limit.

(From a letter of the Rebbe, dated 25Sivan, 5732)

The Vital Importance of Observing Family Purity
For the Sake of Having Children

I received your letter about your son who is already married for many years and he and his wife do not yet have children:

First of all, you should ascertain with certainty whether your daughter-in-law conducts herself in the manner of Jewish women with regard to observing family purity. When one observes family purity in the proper manner, G‑d blesses the person with healthy children — healthy both physically and spiritually.

It is possible that if until now your daughter-in-law does not yet observe family purity, it is a kindness from G‑d that she and her husband do not yet have children, as G‑d desires to bless them with children who are healthy both physically and spiritually.

Do not ask why we see that there are those who do not — G‑d forbid — observe family purity and they nevertheless have, it would seem, healthy children. It is only because we don’t exactly know what is happening with the other person.

Parents are ashamed to relate the pain and the inner suffering and anguish they feel from the injustice they have done their children as a result of their non-observance of family purity, and they seek to conceal this in various ways.

If it were only possible to transmit the fact that most parents experience feelings of inner regret for their not keeping family purity and their children suffering the consequences, it would save much discussion about the vital importance of observing family purity.

I do not want to cause you pain, but as a mother and a wife, you should exert great effort to see to it that your son and his wife — and your other children as well — observe family purity. By doing so, one does not do G‑d a favor, rather one does a favor to oneself, by protecting one’s children and grandchildren from misfortune, Heaven forfend.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VII, p. 321)

Scrupulous Observance of Taharas HaMishpachah

.. At times the impediment to G‑d’s blessing for healthy and viable children is the result of a lack of scrupulous and meticulous observance of the laws and regulations of taharas hamishpachah, family purity (niddah, hefsek taharah, immersion in a kosher mikveh, etc.).

Since a lack of [thorough] knowledge [of these laws] leads to their imperfect performance, a practicing Rav should inform the two of you all the detailed laws — with the understanding that you are to observe them from here on out.

It would be proper to check that your tefillin, as well as the mezuzos in your home, are all kosher according to Jewish law.

(Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XII, p.17812 )

Diligent Study of Chassidus

.. There is the well-known letter of the Alter Rebbe, wherein he writes that diligent and assiduous study of Chassidus — a study that leads to love and awe [of G‑d] — is a segulah for the birth of sons and daughters.13

Although you write that you have an established study session [in Chassidus] every Thursday night, this clearly does not suffice.

In addition to the distinctcertainty that one must study Chassidus every Shabbos, it would also be appropriate for you to establish two or three more study sessions [in Chassidus] during the week as well.

If at all possible, these sessions should be organized in a manner that there will not be a passage of three days without the study of Chassidus. Understandably, all the above is in addition to the study of Tanya, as divided in the Study Guide (Moreh Shiur) according to the days of the year.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. V, p. 185)

Disseminating the Wellsprings of Chassidus

.. You can explain to her that her sacred work of disseminating Chassidus acts as a segulah for the birth of children, as is to be understood from the letters of the Alter Rebbe printed in Meah Shearim14 and in Ginzei Nistaros15 as well as in other locations.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIV, p. 340)

Various Segulos and Advice for Having Children

.. There is the known and already printed letter of the Alter Rebbe where he writes that occupying oneself in studying those matters that lead to love and awe of G‑d, i.e., the study of Chassidus, is a segulah to having children.

You should therefore set up a lesson in Chassidus with one of your neighbors at least three times a week (i.e., that three days not go by without the study of Chassidus). Understandably, one of these three days should be Shabbos; the study on weekdays can be whichever days are most convenient, [provided, as stated above, that three days do not go by without the study of Chassidus].

No doubt your wife tichye observes the good custom of Jewish daughters of giving tzedakah to the charity of R. Meir Baal HaNesprior to candle lighting erev Shabbos and erev Yom Tov. Tell her that she is to scrupulously observe [the law of] covering her hair.

I hope that the two of you will abide by the above so that you will soon be able to convey to me the glad tidings that your wife has conceived....

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VI, p. 60)

Increase Your Performance of Torah and Mitzvos,
Clarify If Offense Was Given, Check Tefillin and Mezuzos

In reply to your letter [in which you write about] your sister who has been married for many years and has yet to be blessed with children:

I wonder why you did not mention whether they have consulted with fertility experts; if they have not as yet done so, they should do so now.

This is in keeping with the directive of our Sages, of blessed memory, who in commenting on the verse,16 “and he shall be healed,” state: “From here we learn that the Torah gave the healer the ability [and power] to heal.”17

However, a Jew’s physical and spiritual welfare are inextricably bound together, as Jews are “one nation on earth,”18 and in the language of the Alter Rebbe:19 “This means that even in mundane [‘earthly’] matters they will not be separated from G‑d’s true unity [and oneness].”

Therefore, they are to increase their performance of Torah and mitzvos and strengthen their faith and trust in G‑d, the Creator and Conductor of the entire world, Who watches over them with individual Divine providence with regard to all the above.

In a case such as the above, it would also be appropriate for them to ascertain whether their shidduch with each other did not wound the pride of any Jewish young man or woman to the extent that it necessitates asking their forgiveness. [If they do have to ask forgiveness, they can do so] either in the presence of the aggrieved party or, [if this is not possible,] in the aggrieved party’s absence.

They should also check that the husband’s tefillin, as well as the mezuzos in their home, are all kosher according to Jewish law. Also, the wife should observe the custom of Jewish women of giving tzedakah prior to lighting candles every erev Shabbos and every erev Yom Tov.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XVIII, p. 32)

To Be Blessed With Children
Study “Chitas” and Increase Your Tzedakah

.. I would suggest that you be careful to observe the three daily lessons that apply equally to all. They are: the daily portion of Tehillim (as divided by the days of the month) after your morning daily prayers; Chumash, the daily section of the weekly Torah portion together with the commentary of Rashi on Sunday, from the beginning of the Torah portion till Sheni, on Monday from Sheni to Shelishi, and so on; and Tanya, as divided by the days of the year.

Diligently and assiduously study pnimiyus haTorah, Chassidus, the study of which leads to love and awe [of G‑d], the spiritual counterpart of a [physical] son and daughter and which is a segulah for the birth of children, as the Alter Rebbe writes (in the letter printed in Meah Shearim).20

Before your wife lights candles prior to Shabbos and the Festivals, she should give tzedakah to the charity of R. Meir Baal HaNes.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. V, p. 23)

Recheck Mezuzos and Tefillin

.. It pleased me to read that you and your wife have taken upon yourself an increase in your donations to tzedakah as well as an increase in other matters of good conduct — doing so in a manner of bli neder — about which I had written to you.21

Regarding that which you have written, that you checked the mezuzos and tefillin and you found them to be kosher: Have them checked again by an expertscribe — and it would be best if the scribe himself were to write to me about the condition in which he found them, for I believe that there is something to be apprehensive about; possibly it is in the housing [of the tefillin]. Ask the scribe who does the checking to personally write to me about this, as I mentioned above.

As to your concluding statement in your letter, “What is to be my reward?”

Your reward consists of increasing your efforts in drawing Jewish men and women closer to Divine service — specifically doing so in a manner of affection and love of fellow Jews. Surely, with ample effort you will find the means of accomplishing this.

It would also be most beneficial if from time to time you had guests eating at your home, as the mitzvah of hachnosas orchim, hospitality to guests, is a particular segulah to bring about the birth of children. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VIII, p. 261)

Additional Study Lesson in Chassidus
And Other Manners of Conduct

Some time ago I received your and your wife’s heartfelt request to be blessed with healthy and viable children. When I will be at the tziyun (the sacred resting place) of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, of blessed memory, I will mention you in prayer for the fulfillment of your request.

There is the known letter of the Alter Rebbe in which he writes that love and awe of G‑d are termed spiritual sons and daughters — as expounded on at length in this letter, printed at the conclusion of Siddur Meah Shearim. Consequently, you are to take upon yourself an additional measure of the study of Toras HaChassidus.

Understandably, you are to follow the instructions of the doctors, since all matters are to be accomplished as well via natural means.

Before your wife lights candles prior to Shabbos and the Festivals, she should give some coins to tzedakah, and you should recheck your tefillin and mezuzos. It would also be appropriate for you to ascertain whether in your shidduch you did not inadvertently wound the pride of any Jewish young man or woman.

May G‑d bless you with success so that you are able to convey the glad tidings that your wife has conceived.

Surely — in keeping with the directive of my father-in-law, the Rebbe — your wife will not publicize her pregnancy to her relatives until she enters her fifth month. With the word “publicize” I mean merely those stated above; however, as is understandable, she can notify you, her obstetrician, etc. ...

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VIII, p. 193)

Occupying Oneself in Jewish Education
A Segulah for Having Children

It pleased me to receive your telegram in which you inform me that your wife gave birth to a baby girl. Mazel Tov.

I am happy to see how you and your wife have been rewarded for your occupying yourselves in the field of Jewish education, drawing Jewish sons and daughters closer to their Father in Heaven, for “Teaching Torah to the child of one’s friend is considered as if one had given birth to the child.” From this it is understood that acting in this manner is a segulah for the birth of sons and daughters.

May G‑d will it that with the passage of time there will also be fulfilled by you [the saying of our Sages]: “A daughter’s being born first is a good sign that sons [will follow].”

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VII, p. 16)

Drawing G‑d’s Children Closer to Their Father in Heaven
Draws Closer G‑d’s Reciprocal Blessing of Children

In reply to your letter of the 11th of Adar Sheni in which you write that you are .... You ask that I pray for the fulfillment of your and your wife’s heartfelt request to be blessed with healthy and viable children:

As per your request, when I will be at the holy resting place of my father-in-law, the Rebbe, of blessed memory, I will mention you in prayer for the fulfillment of the above.

I surely need not make you aware of the well-known statement of our Sages, of blessed memory, that G‑d conducts Himself [and rewards the individual] in a manner of “measure for measure.”

Since by act of Divine providence you have a communal position that has a large degree of influence over the inhabitants of your city, you should use this opportunity to the greatest possible extent to draw Jewish sons and daughters closer to their Father in Heaven, since at times — for any number of reasons — they forget that they are G‑d’s children.

Your efforts in returning them and drawing closer those who are distant and remote — and certainly when you do so in all sincerity and with the requisite amount of energy, your success is assured — will result in your ability to be strongly confident, that in a manner of “measure for measure” G‑d — the Essence of Goodness — will give you nachas by providing you with healthy and viable children, and the ability to raise them as well to Torah, the marriage canopy, and good deeds.

There is also the known directive of the Torah that one is to employ natural means with regard to all matters. You and your wife should therefore visit a fertility specialist and ask his advice about what the two of you should do in a natural manner to be blessed with children.

It would be advisable to check the mezuzos in your home as well as your tefillin to assure their being kosher. Also, on Mondays and Thursdays, you and your wife should give several coins to tzedakah for an institution that educates children on the foundations of Torah and mitzvos. Your wife should do this as well prior to her lighting candles before every Shabbos and Yom Tov.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VIII, p. 282)

Receiving G‑d’s Blessing of Children;
Reviewing the Laws of Family Purity

.. Among the segulos to receive G‑d’s blessing for children is the meticulous observance of the laws and regulations of taharas hamishpachah, family purity (niddah, hefsek taharah, immersion in a kosher mikveh, etc.).

Since with the passage of time one may well forget some details of Jewish laws — in this instance, the laws of taharas hamishpachah — it would be worthwhile to review all the necessary laws.

(Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXXVII, p. 19022 )

When G‑d Observes a Change of Heart
He Causes That Heart to Rejoice With Children

In reply to your undated letter in which you describe the terrible tragedy that befell you — may such a thing never reoccur to you or to anyone else — and that you have yet to be blessed with male children:

You should clearly ascertain whether your shidduch with each other did not wound the pride of any Jewish young man or woman, by which I mean that neither of you promised his or her hand in marriage to anyone else. Also, [ascertain that] you are keeping the laws and regulations of family purity in a manner that is consonant with the directives of our Torah, the Torah of Life.

If wounding the pride of any Jewish young man or woman did occur, you are to ask their personal forgiveness; [if this is not possible,] then do so before a minyan of Jews.

If your observance of family purity was flawed, understandably the first thing you are to do is sincerely regret the past and firmly resolve that in the future you will be as scrupulous as necessary in this matter. And G‑d, Who sees man’s heart, seeing that you have truly decided to conduct yourselves in this regard in an appropriate manner and Who will forgive any past iniquities, will surely gladden your hearts by fulfilling your heartfelt requests for the good.

In any event, you should check your tefillin as well as the mezuzos in your home to assure that they are kosher according to Jewish law.

May it be G‑d’s will that you convey glad tidings with regard to the above.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIV, p. 340)

Modesty and Covering the Hair Results in the Blessing
of “Children and Grandchildren”

In reply to your letter of the 23rd of Iyar in which you ask my advice concerning your brother Mr. ... who has yet to be blessed with male children:

You should find out from them whether their shidduch with each other did not wound the pride of any Jewish young man or woman. Also find out from your brother whether his wife properly observes kisui harosh, covering her hair. There is the well-known statement of the Zohar (III, p. 126a) that the reward a woman receives for tznius (modesty), particularly kisui harosh, is that of “being blessed with spiritual and material blessings — with wealth, children and grandchildren.”

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VII, p. 259)

Teaching Torah, A Noteworthy Segulah
For Bearing Children

.. In keeping with the statement that G‑d’s form of remuneration for a good deed is “measure for measure, but many times more so,” it follows that since “Teaching Torah to the child of one’s friend is considered as if one had given birth to the child,” this [aspect of “Teaching Torah to the child of one’s friend”] is a noteworthy segulah for having children.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XV, p. 389)

Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael

With regard to conceiving a child:

Making aliyah from the Diaspora to Eretz Yisrael is a segulah for this matter.23

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XXII, p. 299)


Additional Children


Spiritual Measures for Bearing [Additional] Children

.. You state your heartfelt desire to be blessed with additional healthy and viable children:

.. Understandably, in addition to the above [advice of going to a fertility specialist,] the two of you are to enhance your performance of Torah and mitzvos, particularly with regard to observing the laws and regulations of family purity, tznius, and the like, as well as increasing your donations to tzedakah. Pray to the Giver of Torah and mitzvos that He should fulfill your heartfelt request for additional children.

It would also be advisable for your husband’s tefillin as well as the mezuzos in your home to be checked to assure that they are all kosher according to Jewish law. Also, observe the fine custom of upstanding Jewish women of giving tzedakah before lighting the candles every erev Shabbos and erev Yom Tov, for the sake of the fulfillment of your heart’s desire.

It would seem from your letter that you are the daughter of a Kohen. If your husband is not a Kohen, then in addition to the above, it would be appropriate for your husband to be knowledgeable in the content of several tractates of the Talmud — they may be of the smaller tractates, such as Tractate Kallah and the like.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIV, p. 383)


.. Regarding that which you write about your wife — that since the birth of your first child you have not yet been blessed with additional children:

On the whole one must be steadfast in one’s faith in G‑d, the Creator of the world and the Essence of Goodness, that He will fulfill your heart’s desire for healthy children.

Nevertheless, it would be proper for you to enhance your observance of the laws of family purity and modesty, though I trust that the basics are already being adhered to.

.. See to it that you have unwavering bitachon in the Giver of the Torah and its commandments that in the near future G‑d will fulfill your heart’s desires.

(From a letter of the Rebbe, dated 8 Iyar, 5718)


Male Offspring


Strengthen Your Love of a Fellow Jew, Torah and G‑d

In reply to your letter in which you convey the request of ... that he be blessed with healthy male offspring:

It would be proper for him to strengthen his degree of love of a fellow Jew, love of Torah and love of G‑d. For as is well known in the writings of Kabbalah and Chassidus, producing the spiritual (male) offspring of love is an auspicious qualification (segulah) toward producing a physical male offspring.

This, [i.e., the production of the spiritual [male] offspring of love], is accomplished by contemplating G‑d’s greatness, as the Rambam states.24 This will, in turn, elicit from Above many long and goodly years, and the production of physical male offspring.

Therefore, [i.e., in order to also strengthen his degree of love of a fellow Jew and his love of Torah,] until his wife bears him a male child, he should give — bli neder — every weekday one or two francs to tzedakah prior to morning prayers. It would be appropriate that this tzedakah be associated with feeding impoverished [Torah] students.

When a child will be born to him, he should name the child after my father-in-law, the Rebbe, that name being Yosef Yitzchak.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. VII, p. 51)

Be Hospitable to Guests and Strangers

With regard to being blessed with a son:

There is a story that I heard from my father-in-law, the Rebbe, ... with the lesson that one may merit a son through the mitzvah of hospitality, hachnosas orchim.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIX, p. 333)