This topic is very challenging and can go in many directions, but what I want to focus on is Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation among other little things. I keep asking myself why I chose to be the one to write about this subject. What really encouraged me was reading many blogs of women and couples, as well as speaking to people. It came to a point where it simply left me with a hole in my heart and frustration. In order for you to have an idea, I want to give you a few sample blogs I found and then we`ll move on what the Torah has to say on the matter.
First Blog: “Is it possible to get pregnant even if I had my tubes tied, cut and burned? Answer from a reader: Ladies I had my tubes cut, tied and burned a little over 4 years ago, and I am happy to report I have a healthy 4 week old baby boy! I didn`t plan on any other children, that`s why I had the surgery, and no I didn’t have it reversed but I wouldn’t trade him for all the money in this world!”
Second Blog: “My husband had a vasectomy about 8 years ago, I had my tubes tied about 14 years ago. So now my husband and I are thinking about having a child together. What are my chances on being able to have kids? I know all he would have to go through is a reversal, but what about me? Is it even possible for me to have kids again?”
As you can imagine, the blogs are endless and most of them are about people regretting having performed either a vasectomy or having their tubes cut and [as if it wasn’t enough, they also] burned [their tubes]. Many of them said that they felt so empty and depressed because having babies was no longer a option. They now realize that they took away something so precious that G-d had given them; needless to say, it affected them for life. I can`t help but wonder why did they even think they have such power in their hands in the first place? As Rabbi Arush once said, “Are we in place of Hashem?”
The more research I did, the more I was convinced that people make decisions without keeping in mind that there’s a Ruler of the world and He alone decides the future. Hashem gives free will so you can make your own choices – to do mitzvot; but if He really wants He will send you a baby no matter what you do. Like in the case of the first blog, she didn’t even do a thing to try to get pregnant and now she wouldn’t trade her baby for any amount of money in the world. What she should have said is “for no surgery in the world”. Unfortunately, she was a special case. According to research, the chances of having kids after a reversal are 1 in 100. So, a reversal for those who have the extra money is not only expensive, but has no guarantee. When that doesn’t work, then artificial insemination is the next step; in which that is another complicated topic according to halacha.
One thing that really surprised me was to find out that most of the people who have these surgeries are those who are in their 20s and 30s; when their lives are just starting! The future can change from one day to another. Many did it because they just had a baby and thought they wouldn’t want any more, but when that baby became a bit older they changed their minds. Others remarried or had financial problems. If they only would have known that instead of saving money they were actually closing the gate of abundance through this act!
Rabbi Arush explains in his article “CLOSING THE GATES” that the Hebrew word for womb is RaCHeM, which has the same root letters as the Hebrew word for mercy, RaCHaMim. When a person closes the gate, the RaCHeM, through which Hashem brings a life into the world, this causes Hashem to close His gate of RaCHaMim, Divine Mercy. He also talks about using birth control without the permission of a qualified rabbi, which is also a very important subject.
Vasectomies and tube tying has become the most used way to prevent pregnancies all over the world, especially in poor countries. The more years that pass the more common it is to see this procedure. It is also the most forbidden way according to Torah.
The mitzvah of pru u'rvu - "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28), as well as Hashem’s statement of lashevet yetzara - "the world was created to be inhabited” are only two of the many major issues involved. According to the book Journal of halacha, “The Almighty created a complete world and He blessed all life to multiply. He also commanded man to do this in order to perpetuate the human species. Therefore, a person who destroys their reproductive organs shows that he wishes to end the work of the Creator and destroy His good world.”
It is stated in Leviticus 22:24, “That (reproductive organs) which stones have bruised, crushed, torn or cut, you shall not offer unto the Lord, nor shall you do thusly in your land , because their corruption is in them, there is a blemish in them.” From this verse, the sages derive at the prohibition of voluntarily causing sterilization to any male human or animal.
Now for a woman, the halacha proposes that only women can use birth control, because the sterilization of a woman is not prohibited as long as permissible forms of birth control are used. This does not include tubal ligation, unless it is a life threatening situation, G-d forbid. Even with regards to these permissible methods, we have to ask a qualified Rabbi for permission if you feel that you are having any health or emotional problems, G-d forbid. That way you are being very careful to not violate any Jewish law or emuna principle.
I really don`t mean to scare or rebuke anyone. My only wish is to teach those who really don`t know any better, to not make a mistake and later come to regret it in this world and the next. Children are very precious to Hashem and He wants to gives us the opportunity to take care of His precious souls in this world. That’s why we need to have emuna and be grateful for each child that He gives us.
And for those of you for whom this article is years too late, I will tell you this: Rabbi Nachman says (Likutei Moharan, part II, lesson 112) “If you believe you can damage, then believe you can repair!” Don`t ever persecute yourself for what you did in the past. Start anew today! Teshuvah is the first step; and the second should be to inform others not to make the same mistake. Through this, many precious children will now be saved on your account.
May we merit to have beautiful and healthy children and illuminate this world with Hashem’s blessed light through Torah and good deeds; bringing more souls into this world in order to be one step closer to the final redemption and the coming of our righteous Mashiach. Amen.