Our Rabbinic Resources
We rely on Rabbis and other clergy to be our voice within the Jewish community to help raise awareness to infertility and teach how to help and cope with it.
Guides and Lessons
Rabbinic Trainings Seminar: Infertility and the Role of the Rabbi
This seminar demystifies the experience of infertility, explores the emotional and spiritual issues surrounding it, and provides tools for clergy (cantors welcome!) to help those experiencing infertility and fertility challenges.
Feedback from participants:
“Having experienced infertility issues from several sides – patient, doctor and rabbi – I know the toll it can take on dreams, relationships and general well-being. This training was very helpful to help me frame infertility in a Jewish spiritual context and to inspire me to continue to be involved in this work. Kol ha-kavod to Idit and Mimi for an excellent training.” Rabbi SaraLeya Schley
“I am so grateful for the Hasidah Rabbinic Training! I’ve known many people who have struggled with infertility, and this training was an important opportunity to frame the issues of infertility in a Jewish context, raise awareness about infertility in the Jewish community, and learn best ways to support individuals through their difficult journeys. Thank you, Idit and Mimi!” Rabbi Nicki Greninger
Please email us if you would like to bring a Rabbinic workshop to your community or order brochures to be handed out with any other lecture, sermon or lesson to your congregation.
From the Torah
Genesis and Infertility
The early chapters of the Torah are full of references to fertility and infertility. Genesis introduces the first mitzvah to pru urvu – be fruitful and multiply. Noah’s haftarah begins with Isaiah’s declaration to “Shout O barren one” (Isaiah 54:1) before instructing her to prepare for her children because she will no longer be barren. Abraham and Sarah are introduced and their lack of childbearing stands against a covenant about offspring (Gen 15.5, Gen 17.5). The very next parasha introduces the painful collective punishment of childlessness(Gen 20.18). This is soon followed Isaac and Rebecca’s struggle with infertility (Gen 25.21). Isaac, who was silent since the Akedah, beseeches God for children. And the struggles and pleas continue for generations.
From the origins of the world to the beginning of the Jewish people, fertility is at the center because it’s the only way we exist. From theology to biology to psychology, fertility touches the most essential aspects of our humanity and our being. Our creation with a yetzah harah and yetzer hatov teach us that our innate inclinations move us towards having children. From the first connections between God and humans, we learn our ability to transcend our temporal nature is through our children.
Appreciating God’s role in our fertility, recognizing our lack of control, seeing the painful effects infertility can have on relationships – these are all themes readily accessible in the early texts of the Torah. As you prepare your drashot, sermons, newsletters or Torah introductions, please take a moment to highlight some of these themes. Remind your community that infertility and its effects are ever present in our lives and that addressing its effects are important. Share a word of comfort that lets people know they are not alone, that there is meaning and hope amid fertility struggles and that help is available.