3

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)

8
  • 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

3

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).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .