Section: Taryag Mitzvos   Category: Insight
Piru UíRivu: A House Full of Children, When Is Enough, Enough?
Rebbi Yehoshua says in the Braisa  (Yevamos 62b) that even if you have many children and you are old you should still have more.  He quotes the pasuk in Koheles (11:6) “BaBoker Zira ES Zaracha V’LaErev Al Tanach Yadecha”; in the morning plant your seed and in the evening do not rest…”  Meaning when you are young you should have children and you shouldn’t stop when you get older.  The gemara says that the halacha is like Rebbi Yehoshua.  

If so asks the Ramban in Milchamos Hashem, why do the Tana’im and Amora’im argue about who is considered children for the mitzva.  Either way, one may not stop having children.  He answers that Min HaTorah Mitzva of Piru U’Rivu is to have one son and one daughter.  Once you have children you are Patur Min HaTorah.  However there is a Chiyuv MiDiRabanan to keep having more children like the Braisa of Rebbi Yehoshua.

The Ramban says that there are practical differences if you were already Mikayem Piru U’Rivu Min HaTorah or not.  One example is Bais Din forcing someone to get married and having children.  If you were not yet Mikayem your mitzva Min HaTorah, Bais Din can force you to get married.  If you already have children and were Mikayem the Mitzva Min HaTorah and only need to be Mikayem the mitzva DiRabanan, Bais Din cannot force you to get married.

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