For the week ending 29 December 2007 / 20 Tevet 5768
Needed More Children
One of the major points of conflict between the religious and secular publics in Israel is the ideal size of a family. While religious Jews see in every child a blessing from Heaven, to the secularists it is viewed as an economic burden.
This is the background for the ongoing battle over how much the government should spend on child allowances.
It was Pharaoh, we learn in this week's Torah portion, who resorted to the most repressive measures to ensure that the Hebrew population in his land would not increase. His effort was an exercise in futility because Heaven decreed that His chosen people would grow despite everything.
In light of Israel's demographic problem as a result of its Arab population, it would seem to make sense for the government to promote an increase in the size of Jewish families by providing financial incentives. More Jews born in Israel is what will preserve Israel as a Jewish state forever.