|Elul Tools-The Torah Connection-Rachel’s Daughters|
|Written by Rabbi Yaakov Shlomo Weinberg|
“All her life Rochel desired and longed to give birth to the shvotim. In actuality, however, she only gave birth to two. However, the longing and desire is of more importance than the actual birthing. That is why she is called the ‘akeres habayis’ (the mainstay of the house).”
The Choice of a Lifestyle
The choice of a lifestyle is based on one’s philosophy of life. To get a handle on this we will delineate only regarding the basic issue involved, though there may be many variables and other factors in play, personal or otherwise.
If one is a ma’amin (he or she believes in Hashem), then life has meaning, one’s doings and actions have meaning and every second of one’s life has a potential for eternity. “Rotzoh Hakadosh Boruch Hu lezakos es Yisroel, lefichach hirbah lahem Torah u’mitzvos.”
(Hashem “desired” to give merit to Yisroel, He therefore gave them much Torah and many mitzvos.) These achieve for the person an eternal closeness, as it were, to Hashem. Eternal means forever, with no end, “oif eibig.” Therefore, the biggest kindness one can bestow on others is to have children who will likewise be given the same opportunity. They in turn will have children, etc.
Each baby, G-d willing, will grow up to be a person. Each person is a world. They will keep the mitzvos, will learn Torah, they will live forever. They will affect others. They will show kindness and appreciation to others, they will have their own children. The generations continue. I have a cousin and husband who have a picture on a living room shelf from one of their grandchildren’s wedding that included all their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. They all together took up the whole picture. It’s a beautiful sight. All from two people. And that was ten years ago. These are theirs for eternity.
It’s not just the having of the children but also the cleaning of runny noses and diapering, of cooking and baking, of crying with them, laughing with them, and beseeching G-d to grant one the wisdom to relate to and guide each one according to their needs. A life is a life. Women are not just the givers of life at birth. They are also the molders of what that life will become from childhood and on. That is why “all the honor of a king’s daughter is inside.”
One could be a lawyer, accountant or Indian chief instead, achieve fame and a fancy bank account. But after 120 years, these things are all in the past. They are dead. Children are in the future. They are life.
If one, on the other hand, is not a ma’amin, then life itself is a dead issue. Life is an accident and can, therefore, have no meaning, and when it’s over, it’s over. One can indulge their life in self gratification of one’s ego and desires. But then, what!!! “But yesterday the word of Caesar might have stood against the world … now lies he here.”
1 Rav Tzadok, Resisei Lyloh 60b.
2 Makos 23b
3 Psalms 45:14
4 There was a recent article in the Haredi newspapers about a woman who passed on at age ninety-nine. At the time she had 1400 descendants. Now that’s leaving an eternal mark. The lady still “lives.”