Throughout Tanakh, we find that biblical heroes have specifically prayed to God for having children (such as Yitzhak and Hannah), and it seems like having children is generally considered a valid, desirable "good thing" by the Torah.[citation not needed]

Yet, unless I missed it, there doesn't seem to be any specific reference to such a request in the liturgy established by the Sages - no prayer for having children, raising children, or anything of the sort. Does anyone address why this is, or interpret any particular prayer as referring to such a request?

Note that I am specifically asking about rabbinically established prayers; anything composed after the 6th century does not count.

(As a sidepoint, there is a talmudic passage, Moed Kattan 28a, where Rava states that "children, lifespan, and sustenance depend upon mazal/fate [as opposed to a person's worthiness]". Especially in context, it is not obvious to me whether this would be an argument for or against praying for such things, but R. Bahyei to Devarim 31:14 at least understands this passage as emphasizing the importance of praying for children along with praying for one's health and livelihood, which strengthens my question)

  • Birkas Hatorah says may our offspring learn Torah...
    – Shalom
    Commented May 9 at 16:40
  • 2
    Possible duplicate judaism.stackexchange.com/q/16761/759
    – Double AA
    Commented May 9 at 16:54
  • @DoubleAA I think that question is about praying for children's success, while this one is about having children Commented May 9 at 17:19
  • @Shalom that's true but it's not a request for children, it's just a reference to them Commented May 9 at 17:24
  • How old is כשם שנכנס לברית כן יכנס לתורה לחופה ולמעשים טובים?
    – Heshy
    Commented May 9 at 18:54

1 Answer 1


Maybe it's because it doesn't apply equally to everyone. Avraham aside, most 100-year-olds are not going to daven to have more children. The established prayers are typically fixed for everyone.

Maybe there would be something in a piyut or other non-fixed prayer (which is basically where these kinds of prayers are now, just the ones we're familiar with are written more recently than you're looking for).

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