Skip to comments.Israelis Make a Lot of Babies: What's Behind Their High Fertility Rate?
Posted on 10/11/2018 7:58:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The state of Israel is bucking the trend: It has a very high fertility rate for a developed nation. What's behind it?
In addition to things like a high per capita income and high levels of literacy, one of the defining characteristics of a "developed" country is a low fertility rate.
We've often spoken of the demographic crisis facing industrialized countries. No member of the European Union has a "replacement level" fertility rate. Even with high levels of immigration, most members' populations are on a downward trajectory.
In East Asia, the outlook is even bleaker. In Japan, more adult diapers are sold every year than baby diapers.
Then there's the United States. Our fertility rate is only slightly higher than China's, even without the latter's infamous "one-child" policy. It seems that the command to be "fruitful and multiply" has been forgottenwith the notable exception of the people to whom that command was first given.
I'm speaking of course of Israel. A recent Wall Street Journal piece by pediatrician Robert C. Hamilton took notice of Israel's unusually high fertility rate: 3.1 births per woman as opposed to an average of 1.7 births in the rest of the developed world.
The obvious question is "Why?" The automatic answer is that Israel's numbers are "inflated" by Ultra-Orthodox women having seven kids each. By the way, ultra-Orthodox Jews are known as "Haredi" in Hebrew.
That's part of the story, but not all of it. As Hamilton points out, "the rise in the Israeli birthrate since the late 1990s has been driven by the non-Haredi population." While, not surprisingly, observant Orthodox women average 4.2 births, less religiously observant, and even completely secular Israeli women also have fertility rates that are well above what demographers call "replacement level."
Israelis are so good at being fruitful and multiplying that some Israeli academics are publicly fretting about the possibility of overpopulation: "crowded hospitals, classrooms, and roads; depletion of biodiversity; and mounting greenhouse emissions."
Now, while the Haredi or even the very religious alone do not account for Israel's high fertility rates, this doesn't mean that religion isn't important in this story. On the contrary, as Hamilton writes, these rates "seems to arise from cultural norms sustained by religion."
In Hamilton's words "Israel treasures" children. Its high fertility rate "reflects a consensus among Israel's communities," secular as well as religious, about what "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" means. These beliefs, in turn, "inform each citizen's personal choices, and inevitably affect the nation's demography."
Where did these beliefs come from? The obvious answer is Judaism. The Talmud says that "childhood is a garland of roses." Psalm 127 calls children "an inheritance from the Lord." And one Jewish sage taught that God gave the Law to the Israelites for the sake of their children, who were to be the guarantors that the Law would be kept.
While many Israelis may not believe these things, or even be aware of them, these beliefs have shaped how many Jews, even secular ones, view children. Having children is not a purely private act. It has communal dimensions.
This communal dimension is especially important in light of recent history, which saw approximately half of the world's Jews murdered. Only in recent years has the world's Jewish population recovered to pre-World War II levels.
One way of expressing why Israel is an outlier when it comes to fertility is that it's an outlier in an even more important sense: It is a society with a telos, a purpose: a haven for a people whose history, as one wag put it, is "paranoia confirmed by events."
The rest of developed world, including the United States, lacks a sense of purpose beyond personal gratification. Having kids is something you get around to, not something you build your adult life around.
Thus, in contrast to Israel, many of these countries look "old and fading." It could hardly be otherwise. Hamilton quotes one Jewish sage as putting it this way, "A child without parents is an orphan, but a nation without children is an orphan people."
Hott Jewish SDF chics maybe?
Well.... good for them!
Religion and nationalism, but mostly religion.
Read the first chapter of Exodus.
Hot Israeli Women that know how to handle a gun don’t know how to post pics here, but have seen pics of Israeli women at the beach in Bikini’s with Rifles.
I know two Jewish ladies in our apts, they are sweet and top shelf beauties
I guess that chicken soup will put some matzo in your balls.
Exo 1:19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them.
Exo 1:20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty.
I knew two Israeli lesbians in Japan. They showed me pics before the IDF and they had to have weighed 200 lbs. each. The IDF got rid of half of that.
“Be fruitful and multiply” is not just a suggestion.
Ours will continue to decline as more and more young men do the cost/benefit analysis.
Israeli women are hot. That’s what’s behind their fertility rate.
I am shocked that it took ‘til post #8!!!
“Then there’s the United States. Our fertility rate is only slightly higher than China’s.”
“Ours will continue to decline as more and more young men do the cost/benefit analysis.”
Not the married Christian men. The people who have sex the most often in the U.S. are people who are both married and attend church regularly. Birth rates are a little higher among people who not only get married but stayed married, as regular church members do (30% less divorce rate).
Jews are not a large % of the population as they would like.
You have to replace the older Jewish people dying....or anyone that is killed. Also why they have a virtual open-door immigration for any Jewish people anywhere in the world.
The ultra-orthodox kid culture that they are surrounded by, combined with less uncertainty for their nation since the ‘90s, IMO could contribute to it.
Jews in the US have a particularly low birth rate around 1.5, so I don’t think the religious heritage alone explains it.
The Torah’s rules regarding intercourse during the monthly cycle assure that much of the sex will be during a fertile time. So the observant are likely to bear more children.
Because they believe in the future, despite all the problems facing the State of Israel, and have not succumbed to the nihilism and self-centeredness of general Western culture at this point in time.
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