Physiologically, the process of procreation is all "out of our control", whether on the side of men or women.

For example, women don't have a choice of deciding whether to get pregnant or not (think about rape or adultery) they don't have a kind of a built-in curtain they can voluntary open or close and men also little control over ejaculation, it is not voluntary as spit for example.

I would expect from the Creator, that the Man would be different from animals on this subject, and just as we have control over our muscles - how we move, or our eyes - what we see, we should have full control over how we reproduce. I would still leave G-d the power of fertilization, though.

That would also simplify a lot of things in life. Just imagine - no pregnancy hassle.

What is the reason (according to Judaism) that the human reproductive systems are non-voluntary?

  • sefaria.org/Taanit.2a.12?lang=bi – Joel K May 16 '19 at 12:49
  • @JoelK A good direction, but it says שליח. I would assume that the fertilization would be G-'ds decision, but insemination? there are still ג' שותפים באדם. – Al Berko May 16 '19 at 12:54
  • In commentaries on Tanakh, it's brought down that all four Imot were infertile so as to encourage tefillah, as was the case with Channah. Perhaps the fear of unintended pregnancy is also there precisely to encourage Yiriat Shamayim and/or tefillah – Josh K May 16 '19 at 23:10
  • You mean Teffilah not to get pregnant? I thank G-d I'm not a woman but I see what my wife is through about [unwanted] pregnancies and it drives me crazy. How about G-d's desire of Shlom Bays, thousands of families are destroyed because of this system. – Al Berko May 17 '19 at 7:42
  • I sympathize with what your wife goes through. However the Steipler notes in a letter [“Iggros Kodesh”, 3A] , that the entire portion/dose of agony and suffering, and the entire portion/dose of pleasure of life, is all decreed from heaven on Rosh Hashanah. It is impossible to avoid this. If a person avoids any burden which may cause him suffering, [then] a different suffering will arise instead, and his portion/dose of suffering will not diminish and will not increase, since Hashem has many “messengers” that can cause suffering [the Steipler then lists a long list of these "messengers"]. – IsraelReader May 17 '19 at 13:28

The Creator wanted man to procreate and populate the world, as the verse says (Yeshaya 45:18) לא תהו בראה – לשבת יצרה, He did not create it [the world] for a waste, He formed it to be inhabited. [This verse refers to Hashem's desire that the world be inhabited by humans (no special reference to Yehudim)].

To this end, He created a powerful drive, which urges man to mate. He also built in a reward of pleasure, for those involving themselves in this endeavor.

If man were left to his own devices, enabling him on one hand, to selectively enjoy the pleasure, and on the other hand, to ignore the procreation aspect, then mankind would not procreate at a desirable rate, as is evidenced by how modern man's intervention in the reproductive process, has led to to negative population growth. This surely runs counter to "Lasheves Yetzara".

  • What is a "desireable rate" of population growth, particularly given our general understanding that B'nai Noach are not commanded in Peru Urvu? – Josh K May 16 '19 at 23:33
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    @JoshK The idea, that B'nai Noach are not commanded in Peru Urvu, is not agreed upon by all. Some of the sources that obligate them : She'iltos R' Achai Gaon (165), Rashi (Yeamos 62a, B'nai) Tosfos (Chagigah 2b, Lo Tohu), Radvaz (Metzudas David 122). - However there's another source, which seems to refer to all humans, לא תהו בראה – לשבת יצרה, He did not create it [the world] for a waste, He formed it to be inhabited (Yeshaya 45:18). Negative population growth surely does not fulfill "Lasheves Yetzara". - There's also the issue of wasting seed, which some authorities hold apply to a Ben N. – IsraelReader May 17 '19 at 0:34
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    "This surely runs counter to 'Lasheves Yetzara." No, it doesn't surely. 7 billion people is hardly Tohu. Curbing population growth to sustainable levels is its own form of Lashevet Yetzarah. – Double AA May 17 '19 at 2:00
  • @DoubleAA לשבת יצרה, He formed it to be inhabited. - The vast majority of the world is under-inhabited. - Billions of people are crowded into the primary urban centers, while leaving immense areas only sparsely populated, as I've observed while flying over the USA, Europe, Russia, and China. luminocity3d.org/WorldPopDen/#3/12.00/10.00 - To think that Hashem can't sustain a world with more human beings, borders on the ludicrous. – IsraelReader May 17 '19 at 3:51
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    @Israel No one claimed God isn't capable of anything. Straw man. What is clear is crowded urban centers rely on the resources in those "underinhabited" locations you allege exist. The planet can't sustain too much more population naturally without big scientific advances, so planning ahead is indeed quite prudent – Double AA May 17 '19 at 11:17

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