The Mother of Nine’s Response

The Mother of Nine’s Response

Thanks so much to Tzipora Klaver for sharing this inspirational story with me:

Rabbi L., Director of Education for Israel’s Binyamin Region, was hosting a representative from the Ministry of Education as they toured through a school in the yishuv of Beit El.

Rabbi L. was telling the representative about the shortage of classrooms in his region. To illustrate the high local birthrate, the rabbi told his guest, “Out of 50 teachers teaching in this school, approximately 30 had a baby this year!”

Rabbi L. then called in a teacher who had just returned from maternity leave.
“How many children do you have?” the representative asked her.
“Nine,” the teacher replied.
“What! How did you come back to work so quickly with nine children?” he asked incredulously.
“With every birth, I get more koach, more strength,” she stated. “I call my children my nine kochot, my nine sources of energy and vitality.’


  1. Well good for her. Some of us LOSE a lot of koach during every subsequent pregnancy

  2. We all lose kochos during pregnancy. But gradually, as our energy returns, we discover that we have MORE and deeper kochos than ever before.

    (If you don’t, it’s because something else is draining you – maybe it’s the laundry, dishes, or lack of sleep; or maybe you miss your friends or your mother.)

    • or maybe its the fact that the body is physically drained from its reserves that pregnancy takes out of a womens body…nothing to do with dishes or laundry….and not all women bounce back so quick no matter how much “deep koach” they mentally have…this is physically a difficult time and yes the more pregnancies a women endures the more depleted her body will be. Please ladies do not hold yourself up to this article…give yourself credit for what you are able to handle and realise that each one of us are limited in our abilities…just do the best you can with the energy you have.

  3. The question is “is it good for a woman with so many children to go back to work so soon?”

  4. what inspired me about this story is that no matter how draining of our time, energy, sanity, etc. children are, and they are, on a deep level every child is infinite light of his or her neshama, and when we are the vehicle to bring this light into the world and nurture it, we are nurturing our spiritual strength. Whether we feel up to going back to work or not, whether we stay at home (which is sometimes even more physically draining) or work busy careers, it is our family and our children, that is building us and strengthening us.

    The point of the story is not to feel inadequate in comparison to this ‘supermom’, but to use her perspective to appreciate each gem we are blessed with.

  5. Each child enriches us spiritually. But the emphasis should not be placed on the number of children, rather, on what we give and get from the zchut of bringing up Jewish children. While women with high-powered lives in and out of the home amaze us, everyone has to find her own model and way to fill her tafkid.

    • I agree with you 100%. It was not my intention to say that all women should have this many children. I just think we have a tendency to say “wow, she has so many children, where does she have the energy to do x, y, and z” and it is inspirational to think that there are women who see children as a source of strength rather than as a drain. I think every woman can find this idea inspirational, and koach-giving, whether she has 1, 2, or 15 children. Though I totally agree that every woman needs to find the correct role-model for her. For some women, G-d forbid, this particular woman could provide an inferiority complex and not inspiration.

  6. I’m with you, Chamutal.

  7. I have through the years, felt drained and exhausted. B”H I took many many pictures of my children throughout the years. So now when I look back I see only the radiant times and it is so wonderful to relive those moments. B”H the results are wonderful. I have 3 wonderful sons. My youngest Shayahle 12 with Down Syndrome and Autism is going into a limudi class next year at school. He talks despite the school telling me it would be impossible. No matter how many tears we shed, how many sleepless nights we have, how few moments we spend on ourselves, whether we work in a profession or stay at home. Its is worth it, when you reach my age, I am 62 you will see how blessed we all are to be mothers.

  8. I agree with all these comments!!!! There is a bit of truth to all of them. My personal memory is of working full time before having children and not having enough energy to do the ironing for me and my husband!!!!! I laugh hard at that now, and each morning when I say the bracha “Hanoten leyaef koach…” I can’t help but smile. Hashem gives me exactly the energy level I need to cope at each stage. I am amazed at how much energy I have, even when I think I have none.

    My tip: when you think you’ve achieved nothing yet feel exhausted, think back about your day and write down every single little thing you did. You will not feel exhausted, but rather amazed at your own capacity.

    May all you mums out there judge yourselves favourably always, even when being awed by others.

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