Reading Rambam's Mishneh Torah, Human Dispositions 5:11, we stumble upon the following opinion:

The way of sensible people: A man should first select a permanent vocation out of which to derive a livelihood, then buy a home, and after that take unto himself a wife;

This opinion comes from Sotah 44a:6:

The Sages taught (Tosefta 7:20-21): The Torah states: “What man is there that has built” (Deuteronomy 20:5), and then “that has planted” (Deuteronomy 20:6), and finally “that has betrothed” (Deuteronomy 20:7). The Torah has taught a person the desired mode of behavior: A person should build a house, then plant a vineyard, and afterward marry a woman.

Furthermore, in the same paragraph, Rambam calls those who do otherwise fools:

But fools reverse it by taking a wife first, and after that, if he be able, purchase a home, and after that, in his declining years, he will turn about looking for a vocation, or be supported on charity.

From a practical standpoint this seems a very sound opinion, however, the Lubavitcher Rebbe in his talk on family planning expresses a contradictory view on the subject:

The Rebbe states that a man should not delay the mitzva "to be fruitful and multiply" and must not wait until he has enough parnasa to get married and bring children into this world as every child comes with its own parnasa and Hashem provides sustenance for every child.

Therefore, according to the Rebbe, a man must not wait till he has a house and "vineyard" to get married, but must get married as soon as possible regardless of whether he is financially able to have children and support them.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the Rebbe's opinion seems to contradict Rambam. If so, then who is right? Should we wait till we have a house built and a "vineyard planted" to get married as Rambam and Gemara suggest or follow the Rebbe's view?

4 Answers 4


Quoting from the Sefer "שולחן מנחם" a compilation of tshuvos of the Rebbe organised according to שולחן ערוך.

The Rebbe quotes the Rambam and the Maharasha on Sota 44a with notes from hagahos yaavetz that this halocha teaches us the Derech eretz- the best way. But if one is not able to follow it, he should certainly get married anyways - see there. enter image description here

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The Rebbe writes in his letter a point that he mentioned many, many times. It would be lovely if we were able to keep this Halocha but in this modern world, to not marry until one is financially stable would, and has, caused much damage to the Jewish nation. It's clear in Shulchan Aruch- get married young!


To be precise- in the video the Rebbe was addressing the issues of those people who don't want to have "more" children and raise a large family because they won't be able to afford them. The Rebbe answers that Hashem will send the parnassa with them.

The Rebbe emphasizes a few times that the issue is "expanding" the family (5:12), having "more children" (3:43), and people complaining about "so many children" (4:10) and the "bother of more children" (6:31). He emphasizes this a few other times.

I didn't catch anything in the video about waiting to get married before working or vice versa.

It definitely sounded like the Rebbe's assumption was that you had some means of making a parnassah- though not clear whether before or after marriage- and the only question was would that means still be sufficient if the family size grew.

Thus he was saying- don't limit one's family size based on calculations about potential for parnassah. But whether you should have the means for parnassa before marriage isn't discussed at all over here. So I don't see a direct contradiction between the Rebbe and the Rambam.

  • Now I see, thank you, makes sense May 12, 2020 at 14:21
  • These quotes are especially interesting when you consider the Rebbe was childless. It's well known that people with kids complaining about the noise/bother/mess/etc. can unintentionally cause much pain to people with fertility struggles.
    – Double AA
    Aug 13, 2020 at 12:40

I didn't listen to the lecture, but if your quote is correct that The Rebbe states that a man should not delay the mitzva "to be fruitful and multiply" and must not wait until he has enough parnasa to get married and bring children into this world then that is the answer.

Neither the Rambam nor the Rebbe expect of you to be able to support a wife and kids before you get married.

It seems that both agree that once you can afford the rent, you're fit to get married.

  • The Rebbe did not say anything about rent. Rambam clearly says one must have a source of income and house built before getting married. The Rebbe implies one must fulfill the mitzva "to be fruitful and multiply" even if he is broke as Hashem will provide parnassah with the child. The video is only 7 minutes, btw, so you may want to watch it to get a better understanding of the Rebbe's view. May 5, 2019 at 16:47
  • Rambam's view clearly implies one should be financially prepared for getting married and having children which clearly contradicts the Rebbe's view. May 5, 2019 at 16:52
  • "Rambam clearly says one must have a source of income and house built before getting married." The Rambam does not use the lashon of "must". He states that a sensible person (baal daas) does it in this order and a fool does it in that order. There is no obligation implied
    – Benjamin G
    Feb 22, 2021 at 22:46

you can look for answers amongst all the sages, but in reality women are better at Raising Children AND making money. So make yourself a worthy husband and find your Aishet Chayil.

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