(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Bais Medrash (c) Torah.Org

Date: Tue, 29 Dec 1998 12:33:35 -0500
From: rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu (Russell Hendel)
Subject: Re: Shalom Zahar

A brief answer to Erik Shapiro: He deals with a theory that prior to
expulsion from gan eden women were obligated to reproduce but after
expulsion they were not obligated. The reason for the difference is that
now they suffer when they reproduce.

But there are many commandments that involve suffering (e.g. Circumcision).

This can be answered by noting two classes of Mitzvoth. Certain mitvoth
like Succah require MENTAL CALMNESS to observe them...you have to LIVE in
the Succah...so if there is torrential rain even though you sit in the
succah you are not living there since living intrinsically requires mental
calmness (perhaps there is a better term). By contrast, wearing tefillin
does not require mental calmness..even in a hurricane you are obligated to
wear tefillin.

The commandment to reproduce has 2 components: PRU (quantitatively
multiply) and RVU (qualitatitively mutliply). Perhaps the idea of this
commentary is that RVU (transferring the quality of life) requires MENTAL
CALMNESS---hence the law that e.g. if you have 5 boys and girls and cannot
afford more children you are not obligated to further reproduce since you
cannot transfer the quality of life.

Russell Jay Hendel; phD ASA
Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu