Dorothy Parker had a parrot named Onan. When asked why, she pointed to the bottom of his cage and the bird seed that had spilled on the newspaper and replied: “Because he spills his seed upon the ground!”
I was asked about the sin of Onan and the idea of contraception in Judaism. Before I could respond, my son, Ronin, posted an excellent reply going right to the point (see comments on my previous blog). Let me expand upon his insight a little.
The origin of the Mitzvah to procreate is found in בראשית Genesis 1:28, in which G commands Adam and Havah to ‘be fruitful and multiply!” This is not a negative commandment against contraception, it is a positive commandment to have kids. The reinforcement for the Mitzvah is found in the source passage for this challenge, ברשאית Genesis 38:8 with the story of Onan and Tamar. …
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