Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The first mitzvah


The first Mitzvah in the Torah is that of bearing children, manifested in G-d’s instructions and berachot to Adam and Chavah, as well as to Noach. The Sefer haChinuch explains that one reason for this mitzvah is G-d’s desire that the world be populated.

It is generally understood that this mitzvah is fulfilled when parents biologically produce one boy and one girl (Yevamot 61b-62a, Mishneh Torah Hilchot Ishut 15:4, Shulchan Aruch Even haEzer 1:5), but some authorities suggest that adoption may also fulfill this obligation. Writing in the 19th century, Rav Shlomo Kluger (Chachmat Shlomo to Even haEzer 1:1) pointed out that we are taught, “One who raises an orphan is considered as though he had birthed the orphan.” He concluded that adoption is considered a partial, and perhaps even complete, fulfillment of this mitzvah of procreation.

חג אורים שמח,

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