Rivka’s Story: 18 Children is Not a Crowd

Rivka’s Story: 18 Children is Not a Crowd

You might have noticed that I post a whole lot of articles about super-large families. And you might have wondered why…

I think that what I so love about these moms of super-large families (like Rivka, the mother of 18 in the article below) is that they tend to be so gung-ho about their super-large-family way of life.

I, in contrast, find myself focusing all too often on the downsides of having a houseful of kids.

On the one hand, I really do love the little bit of one-on-one time I manage to spend with my kids. But when all my children are around, if I don’t actively force myself to focus on the nachas and the fun and the unparalleled blessing of my own bundle of Weisbergs, my default mode all too often is irritation at all the noise and the crowding and the mess. Instead of feeling like “I love it here!” my gut reaction is “Get me out of here!”

And that’s why I so love these articles about moms with super-large families. I read about moms like Rivka below, and their hard-won wisdom and gung-ho-ness is infectious. Even at the peak of daily Weisberg mayhem, I am reminded how Rivka said with a smile on her face, “Our house is a house filled with mess and noise. If you’re looking for a quiet corner – don’t look for it here. We have a house filled with life. My mother always used to tell me that cemeteries are quiet and clean, houses with children aren’t.” And her insightful words make me feel so differently about my life as a mom of a big family. They make me feel so INCREDIBLY privileged and blessed to be an Eema to my own house-full of kidlings.

I also love reading about these moms because after reading about these super-large-family homes, my home suddenly feels so spacious and serene and intimately cozy….

Enjoy! (thanks to Hadas Melamed for sending this my way!)

Mazal Tov! 18 is Not a Crowd by Liat Rotem Melamed (YNet)

When she was young, Rivkah, a Jerusalem resident belonging to the Belz Hasidic movement, never dreamed that at the age of 44 she would be leaving the maternity ward with her 18th child.
It’s true that she herself comes from a large family – she has 15 brothers and sisters, but her husband comes from a much smaller family that includes ‘only’ five kids.
“We didn’t make a conscious decision to have 18 children,” she says with a smile. “They came one by one – thank God.”

Incidentally, the new addition to the family was born an uncle. His oldest brother already has two children, which makes Rivkah a proud grandmother. Another point for pride in her family – her 18 children are divided equally between the two sexes: Nine girls and nine boys…

Click to read more of this article at:


  1. We have a cousin with 14, also equally divided by gender (and hair color–red and brown!). His father pointed out that the higher the sample size, the closer you get to the average. . .

  2. Unbelievable! There are plenty of Israelis who will read this article and think that we chareidim are completely nuts for having so many children… but this woman’s simchas hachayim really shines through and that is the biggest kiddush Hashem.
    May she be zochah to raise them all to Torah, chuppa and maasim tovim.

  3. Ayalah Haas

    What a simcha for the family, and for our whole Klal. Thank you for posting this, Jenny.

    May HaShem guide these family members, and ALL of us Yidden, higher and higher to our full potential(s).

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