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The Torah describes the miracles and the overall bliss and abundance of life in the desert - free unlimited food, clothes, footwear, no illnesses incl. infant mortality, etc.

On the other hand, no seeming permission for contraceptives, and overall desire to grow the Jewish population further. I personally, see no reason not to take advantage of the situation to procreate to the maximum possible.

Why didn't Dor Hamidbar have, say, 20 kids per family?

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    How do you know there were no illnesses of any kind? Even assuming a woman got married at age 18 and bore children through age 45, do you know how incredibly taxing it is on the female body to give birth every 1-2 years? – Lee Aug 24 at 18:57
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    I was always bothered by this and haven't thought of any natural explanation. And it seems hard to say that nine tenths of the population was killed in the civil war Rashi mentions in this week's parsha (Eikev). – Mordechai Aug 24 at 20:03
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    @Lee, do you know how many Haredi women are overjoyed to have a baby every 1-2 years? – Mordechai Aug 24 at 20:04
  • @Mordechai, no. Do you? I know of families with 10-15 children. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a family with 20 children, and certainly not the average family (Haredi or otherwise). – Lee Aug 24 at 21:28
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    OK, 20 is an exaggeration. (I only know one family with 20 kids.) – Mordechai Aug 24 at 21:58

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