According to Rashi (Ber 1.20), animals needed a blessing to multiply because humans hunt and exterminate them.

Why do humans need a Bracha to multiply?

  • If you jump over the fence of the lion or hyena cage at your local zoo, you will discover that according to the natural order currently, the same reasoning you present from Rashi applies to human beings. Unless, of course, you want to make the claim that the natural order has changed since the beginning of creation. Oct 29, 2019 at 17:07

2 Answers 2


Gur Aryeh answers that unlike animals humans have free choice and may choose not to procreate. Therefore they needed an extra Bracha.

Tzeidah LDerech cites another answer that the Bracha was needed because humans go to war with each other, resulting in mass casualties.

  • Sources please thanks
    – Moshe
    Oct 29, 2019 at 14:42
  • @Moshe They are commenting on Rashi's comment cited above in the question. (They are commentaries to Rashi's commentary)
    – Jay
    Oct 29, 2019 at 18:10

Rav Hirsch on Bereishis 1:28 says that the ברכה for human beings is to enable them to perform the mission that Hashem has given them. It is not just a physical action or set of actions, but the moral and spiritual growth of the free willed human being.

There, in the unfree living creatures, as already remarked thereon, with the giving of the blessing, i.e. with granting the power and ability for reproduction and care of the young, the fulfillment of this blessing is already automatically given. Reproduction and care for the young, in that case are purely physical acts. By the urge which the all-powerful blessing gave, they are carried out with just the same necessity as all other physical developments of living organisms.

Here , in human beings, the blessing, i.e. the granting of the power and ability, is separated from the fulfillment i.e. from using this power and ability for the purposes for which Hashem had intended them. The fulfillment is directed to the human beings who are to carry it out of their own free will as duty. That which in animals is a purely physical act becomes in Man a free willed moral act. But with the fourfold mission, פרו ורבו מלאו את הארץ וכבשה, the whole free willed moral development of the human race is given. פרו is marriage, רבו is the family, מלאו is society, כבשוה is property.

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