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The Divine Presence does not reside upon less than 22,000 Jews. (1)
Aba Chanan in the name of Rebbi Eliezer: One who does not involve himself in the Mitzvah of Peru u'Revu is Chayav Misah.
Acherim: One who does not involve himself with the Mitzvah of Peru u'Revu causes the Divine Presence to be removed from Klal Yisrael.
A man who is married for ten years and does not yet have children should divorce his wife and give her a Kesuvah. (2)
If a person divorces his wife after ten childless years, she may remarry and stay with her new husband for up to 10 more childless years.
If a childless wife miscarries sometime during the first ten years of marriage, her husband does not have to divorce her.
If either the man or the woman was sick or imprisoned, that time does not count toward the ten childless years.
Rebbi Yitzchak: The Avos were infertile because Hashem desires the prayers of Tzadikim.
The prayers of Tzadikim are analogous to a pitchfork. (3)
During the days of David ha'Melech, the average length of life was shortened to seventy years.
The Mitzvah of Peru u'Revu does not apply to women.
If a woman was divorced twice because of her failure to have children, the Tana'im disagree about whether she may marry a man who does not yet have children. (4)
There is a dispute between Rebbi and Raban Shimon ben Gamliel about whether a woman who was widowed twice may marry again. (5)
If a person who received lashes twice transgresses a third time, he is locked up and fed barley until his stomach ruptures.
A BIT MORE
1. Rebbi Eliezer: If there are 22,000 Jews less one, and one of them does not involve himself with the Mitzvah of Peru u'Revu, he is the cause of the removal of the Divine Presence from the Jewish people.
2. This is derived from Avraham Avinu, who married Hagar ten years after moving to Eretz Yisrael and he still did not have children.
3. Just as a pitchfork turns over the grain, the prayers of Tzadikim turn the Midos of Hashem from anger into mercy.
4. There is a dispute between Rebbi and Raban Shimon ben Gamliel regarding a case two sons from the same mother or from two sisters who die from Bris Milah, whether the third child may have a Bris Milah, or whether we wait until three children die and the fourth child may not have a Bris Milah.
5. Rebbi: She may not marry again. Raban Shimon ben Gamliel: If she is widowed three times, she may not marry again.
TEN YEARS WITHOUT CHILDREN
The Mishnah says that a man who is married for ten years and does not yet have children should divorce his wife and give her a Kesuvah. Some say that this applies only to someone who lives in Eretz Yisrael, but not to someone who lives in Chutz la'Aretz. The Rosh says that it applies also in Chutz la'Aretz, because most people who live in Chutz la'Aretz merit to have children. Therefore, it is not logical to suspect that the rare person who does not merit to have children is being punished for living in Chutz la'Aretz. The reason why the years Avraham Avinu lived in Chutz la'Aretz did not count towards the ten years is because his failure to have children immediately may have been a punishment for delaying his arrival in Eretz Yisrael immediately upon the commandment of Hashem. Moreover, even after he entered Eretz Yisrael, he returned to Chutz la'Aretz, as is evident from the fact that he was 70 years old at the time of the Bris Bein ha'Besarim, which took place in Chutz la'Aretz, yet the verse says that he was 75 when he left Charan.
FORCING A PERSON TO HAVE CHILDREN
Nowadays, the Minhag is that Beis Din does not force someone of age to get married. If someone who has not yet fulfilled Peru u'Revu wishes to marry a girl who is infertile because he desires her or because she is rich, even though according to the Din we should protest, the Minhag is not to force him. Also, a man who is married for ten years and does not yet have children is not forced to divorce his wife even though he has not yet fulfilled Peru u'Revu. (Shulchan Aruch EH 1:3)
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