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    Being born without your consent – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. An Indian man is planning to sue his parents because they brought him into the world without his consent. What would Judaism say?

    A. The Mishnah in Pir’kei Avot 4:29 already recognised that we are brought into the world without being consulted.

    The problem is that there is no way a person can be consulted before birth or indeed for some time after birth until the baby has become a conscious individual able to make rational decisions.

    The thinking is therefore done for us, not just by the parents but by God. He decides that the world needs to be populated and considers that every human being has the potential to enhance civilisation.

    It doesn’t always work, and some people become a non-productive bundle of sadness.

    The Talmud in Eruvin 13b, recording a dispute between Bet Shammai and Bet Hillel, says that it might have been better if we had not been born. In that case, say the sages, since we are born it’s a fact of life that we are here and we have to look to our deeds and make the best of life by doing mitzvot.

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