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I have recently spoken with a local rabbi, who happened to be sent from Chabad-Lubavitch, and he told me that one of the requirements of my life post-conversion would be to marry and have children. If one converted to Orthodox Judaism, would he or she actually have to marry and have children? If so, is this a requirement across all branches of Orthodoxy (Haredi, Hasidic and Modern Orthodox), or only certain branches?

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya! We try not to ask personal questions, as one really should ask his or her own Rabbi such questions that apply to them, and so I have taken the liberty to edit your post accordingly. Maybe you would be interested in our tour to get a brief overview about the community? Hope to see you around! – DonielF Jul 26 '17 at 6:23
  • Conversion generates a lot of duties, one of the duties for a male is to procreate, the way is marriage. – kouty Jul 26 '17 at 7:37
  • @Words_of_Wisdom Yes, a man is required by Jewish law to marry and have children in his lifetime. While there isn't technically any deadline (except 120), you will find that the pool of women who want to marry you will grow smaller and smaller – SAH Jul 26 '17 at 12:18
  • I would think that there are several factors that may influence the ruling. I would think that the biggest factors would be health and age of you and your spouse. I'm not certain, but, I would think that if both parents weren't physically able to care for a child properly, and this would lead to a neglected child, a rav would probably advise against having children. Similarly, if it were highly likely that a genetic disease would be passed to the child, perhaps, a rav would also advise against having children. Marriage, itself, without children, has its own rulings. – DanF Jul 26 '17 at 15:18
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    When you say requirement, do you mean required by God (a mitzvah), required by rabbis as a precondition for conversion, or something else? That is, are you asking about the process involving people, or about what God demands of you according to different types of Orthodox Judaism, or something else? – Monica Cellio Jul 26 '17 at 15:24
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This answer is intended to paint the basic obligations in very broad strokes. The details are beyond the scope of this discussion, and always ask your rabbi for more details as they would apply in your particular scenario. (Full disclosure: I'm not even close to marriageable age, so all of this is from what I've learned, not from what I've practiced.)


Just after creating Adam and Eve, G-d tells Adam to "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28). Our Sages interpret this as a positive commandment to bear children (Maimonides, Ishus 15:1). Now, in order to bear children one must first get married, which Maimonides classifies as a commandment (Ibid. 1:1) based on Deuteronomy 24:1: "When a man will take a wife and marry her..."

Technically speaking, only a man is obligated in procreation (Ibid. 15:2), and he has not fulfilled his obligation until he has one son and one daughter, both of whom are capable of bearing children themselves (Ibid. 15:4).

The reason for these commandments are so that the world will not remain empty (Gittin 41b). To quote the verse in Isaiah (45:18), "He did not create [the world] for waste; He formed it to be settled."

It's noteworthy that this instruction to bear children is the first thing G-d ever says to Adam, and that His next communication with him is regarding a mate (Genesis 2:18 - see in particular v. 24 there).

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    Doesn't the Rambam also say something to the effect that a person who rejects even one of the mitzvot should not be accepted as a convert? (If so, that might be worth adding to your answer.) – Monica Cellio Jul 26 '17 at 15:23
  • @MonicaCellio I'm not familiar enough with Hilchos Geirus to know if and where he says that. If you have the source offhand, feel free to edit it in. – DonielF Jul 26 '17 at 15:46
  • I don't; it's something I vaguely recall hearing somebody say once, and thought you might know more. Oh well. – Monica Cellio Jul 26 '17 at 15:48
  • @MonicaCellio Probably related to Shabbos 31a - the convert who wanted to convert on condition that he only accept the Written Law. Shamai rejected him, and Hillel made him realize on his own that you can't have one without the other, but both agreed that both must be accepted together in their entirety. – DonielF Jul 26 '17 at 16:17
  • Since it isn't technically a mitvazh for a woman, it should not be an issue for the validity of the conversion – user12751 Jul 28 '17 at 2:44

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