The man is obligated in the mitzvah of Pru Urivu (Having children 1 male 1 female) while the woman is not (technically it's a machlokes in the gemara, but we hold of the one that they're not chayav). Normally a person doing an obligated mitzvah gets rewarded more than a non obligated person doing it voluntarily (Kidushin 31a)

However, there's also a rule that the more difficult and painful the mitzvah is, the more reward one gets. Additionally, the man is only able to complete the mitzvah because of her (and vice versa). So even though the woman is not commanded she should get some of her husbands reward for undertaking such pain.

So who in the end gets more reward? (this is obviously a purely academic question. Not really any practical implications)

  • 3
    שאי אתה יודע מתן שכרן של מצוות
    – b a
    Mar 13, 2018 at 8:24
  • Those are two different questions: 1. a Jewish woman who gets pregnant from a gentile or artificial insemination does she fulfill PuR at all, like one who puts Teffilin? 2. User15464's right about the rule that in wedlock all Mitzvos rewards got either split between the two or they are treated as one (in the world to come).You can ask it about Torah Study - women get less rewarded for studying on their own but they get presumably rewarded for letting the husbands do so. 3. The whole question is meaningless as (credit to ba above) no known scale for Mitzvah rewards exists.
    – Al Berko
    Mar 13, 2018 at 22:42
  • 1
    The woman gets more Sechar. Source: My wife when she heard this question. ;) Mar 14, 2018 at 0:43
  • You're basically asking which has more שכר: אינה מצווה ועושה or לפום צערא אגרא. Or at least the צערא of pregnancy (which I'm sure is significant) if that in particular outweighs the normal שכר of אינה מצווה ועושה. The latter, how could we know? As @b-a stated.
    – robev
    Jul 31, 2018 at 20:36

1 Answer 1


Technically... one could ask from a more broader perspective then pru urevu, for any positive Mitzvah which the man is commanded, is the woman's role in aiding the husband of a secondary nature?

A man is commanded to procreate Mishna Yevamos 61b.
But that does not mean a woman doesn't get equal schar

Firstly, a man and his wife are on the same side as Rav Yosef Chaim sonnenfeld said in the artscroll biography about him : In spite of my infererior merit at least my wife can bring me through her account to Olam haba. (Translation from Yiddish). The source of this seems to be the plain interpretation of being one flesh as stated in Bereishis 2 and quoted many times in the Talmud as Ishto kegufo.

Secondly Our Rabbis taught in Brachos 17a: Greater is the assurance made by the Holy One, blessed be He, to women, than to men; for it says,(Yishaya 32,9) “Rise up, you women of leisure; listen to My voice....” How do women earn [equivalent] merit? By bringing their children to the Beit HaMidrash and to the synagogue, and by waiting for their husbands to return from the Bais hamedrash.
From here we see that even though women don't learn Torah they get just as much schar by making it possible for their husbands to learn, how much more so when they are going through pain to help their husbands procreate.(even though child birth pain is a punishment to Chava and future generations for eating from the fruit of knoledge (Bereishis 2) she is still helping her husband have children and should get equivalent schar).

So yes thank your wife for her input in giving birth which by no doubt is a tremendous zechus for both of you. Even if a woman is separated from her husband she gets equivalent schar for herself.

  • I see nothing here indicating that a woman gets the same שכר for procreation as her husband.
    – robev
    Jul 31, 2018 at 20:38

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