Sunday, September 20, 2009

"Be Fruitful and Multiply" lived out

Dick Eastman posted a link to a fascinating story about an Israeli woman who recently died with with over 1,400 descendants (so far). The online article is at Ynet News here.

Soem key paragraphs:

"Rachel Krishevsky passed away at the age of 99, leaving behind no less than 1,400 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren. In accordance with haredi custom, Krishevsky brought up her children to see children as a great joy. Her children subsequently adopted her outlook and produced 150 children of their own.

"These 150 children continued the commitment to be fruitful and multiply and themselves had no less than 1,000 children. From here, the lineage continued even further, and Rachel Krishevsky was blessed with a few hundred great-great-grandchildren."

Isn't that story amazing? Can't you just imagine how much money she spent on birthday and anniversary cards and gifts? And if every one of the descendants sent her cards and gifts on her birthday, it would certainly boost the Israeli economy!

A family tree showing all of her descendants would probably cover a wall in the family room. This would be a good job for The Chart Chick (but it might have to be in Hebrew?).

Think about her husband too - he had to support all of those children and probably many of his grandchildren too. What lucky people to be blessed with so many children and descendants. What lucky descendants to be blessed with Rachel and Yitzhak as ancestors.

For comparison purposes, my parents would have been 90 and 98 this year, and have 14 descendants!


Abba-Dad said...

Randy, It sure is a great story.

But you must realize a few things about "haredi custom" that made this possible. We're talking about Orthodox Jews who don't use any form of contraceptives and many families have a child every year because it is a great mitzvah. I am sure that if you look at your database you will find some families with 10+ kids. If an orthodox woman is unable to have children her husband can divorce her on those grounds alone.

I hope not to upset some people, but the reality in Israel is that most of theses families are a huge drain on the country's economy. They don't serve in the army because they get an indefinite leave of absence to go study Torah. Because they are "students" for life and are not supposed to have any income, many don't pay taxes. And since they have so many children they claim welfare and get government support and free state-of-the-art healthcare.

Orthodox Jews have become a blocking political power and will be a swing vote for whoever gives them more power in parliament. Because of them there are no public services on Saturdays, like public transportation. Restaurants that want to stay open on Saturdays will not get a Kosher license. The list goes on.

On the bright side, they are slowing down the rate at which the Jewish-Arab population ratio in Israel is detiriorating.

Simple math will show that with 10 children per generation, two people will end up with 10+100+1000=1110 descendants 4 generations later. If the start at 19, this should not be a problem.

Still, it's pretty impressive.

Janet Hovorka said...

Sure, No problem on that chart Randy. 30,000 descendants on one chart is our record so far. And we've done several charts in Hebrew. My Bachelor's degree is in Near Eastern Studies and I lived in Israel for a year. So Hebrew is an easy one. ;-)