- Rashi (Chapter 7 verse 7) notes that marital relations were forbidden during
the Flood, because they would have been inappropriate as the world was drenched
in sorrow. Is it necessary, or appropriate, for individuals to suspend their
personal lives and aspirations when the broader community faces serious crisis?
Many people refused to have children during the Shoah while others insisted
on doing so as an affirmation of life. What would you do?
Nedarim 64b - R’ Yehoshua ben Levi said, Any person without children is considered as dead, for it is stated: “Give me children; and if not, I am dead” (Genesis 30:1).
Shemot 1:12 - But the more they afflicted them the more they multiplied and grew. And they were mortified on account of the children of Yisrael.
Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Ta’aniot Chapter 3, section 8 - We also minimize betrothals and marriages, unless one has not fulfilled the mitzvah of being fruitful and multiplying. Whoever has fulfilled this mitzvah is forbidden to engage in sexual relations in a year of famine.
- Noah decrees that his grandson, Canaan, is to be a servant to his brothers.
Does that suggest that, for all eternity, Canaan's descendants are destined
to slavery? Can such a "decree" be undone? Can it be that our fate
is predetermined by the actions of our ancestors?
Shemot 20: 5 - Thou shalt not bow down unto them, nor serve them; for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me.
Rashi 20:5 - of those who hate Me - As the Targum [Onkelos paraphrases: when the sons continue to sin following their fathers, i.e.], when they cling to their fathers’ deeds.
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