Project Genesis

Family and Relationships

Childbearing & Fertility

A Jewish Perspective on Dealing with Infertility

Question: I am trying to get pregnant.  Do you have any advice or resources for me?

Answer: I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to reply to your e-mail. I was very  moved by your question, and wanted to take the time to think through my  response.

In Jewish terms, one of the most important things for getting pregnant is  going to the mikva at the appropriate time.  If you are not presently keeping the commandment of Jewish family purity (which includes mikva immersion), please speak to you local Rabbi’s wife and ask her how to go about it. The Talmud is full of stories of the  importance of mikva and the blessings that it can bring.

The second thing you should do is to make sure that you are getting all the  best medical advice that you can. The Talmud says that not every doctor  merits to heal every patient, and very often it is worth getting a second  opinion.

Another commandment that can be very helpful is being careful to give charity  properly—make sure that you and your husband are giving  10% of your earnings to charity.

Finally, you should pray from the  heart. The words are not as important as the intention, and the prayers of a  woman trying to get pregnant are amongst the most powerful. All of the  matriarchs had difficulty in conceiving, as did Chana (Judges 1). The Talmud  tells us that God didn’t give them children straight away because He was so  desirous of their prayers. Chana’s prayer was so powerful that it formed the  basis for all future prayer, and Chana taught us the best way to pray.

By the way, there  is also a concept that if someone prays for others, and the person needs the same thing, then your prayers are answered first. If you know anyone else who is trying to conceive, perhaps you could include them in your prayers as  well.

If you are looking for Jewish resources related to infertility, you should check out “A TIME.”  Additionally, if you need financial help with regard to the costs of infertility treatment, contact the Bonei Olam organization.

I hope that this answer helps.  May your prayers be heard and answered  soon, along with the prayers of the whole house of Israel.

Rabbi David Sedley

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