A woman came from a large family of six sisters and six brothers. One day she was looking through the family photo album when she noticed that in picture after picture, all the children were dressed in matching outfits. Later, she asked her mother why everyone – even the baby – was dressed identically. Her mother replied: “When we had just six children, I dressed you alike so that we wouldn’t lose any of you. Then when the other six came along, I started dressing you alike so that we wouldn’t pick up any that didn’t belong to us!”For many years, Jews in Israel have been warned of a “demographic doomsday” (too many Arab babies being born and not enough Jewish ones) resulting in Jews one day being a minority in their own land. But now those fears appear to be over. Young Jewish couples have heard the nation’s call to do their patriotic duty and Israel not only leads the modern world in birth rate (3.4%) but it is double the combined average of other industrialized societies (1.7%). And more importantly to Israelis, on a local level, for every 40,000 Arab babies, there are now 100,000 Jewish babies (and it’s not just traditionally large Orthodox families in Jerusalem filling hospital maternity wards, it’s also the more secular Jews residing in Tel Aviv). There is such a baby boom, that if it keeps up, the Jewish population in 2035 will be 15,000,000, double what it is now (7.5 million). And where will the second-most densely populated nation in the world put them all? Who would have ever thought, after all Israel has been though in history – talk of Jews, Jews and more Jews.
PASTOR’S PAGE (Addendum)
● I grew up in a large family in a small home. I never slept alone until after I was married. … ● There is no cure for laziness, but a large family helps. … ● My mom used to say it doesn’t matter how many kids you have, because one kid will take up 100% of your time, so more kids can’t possibly take up anymore of your time … ● I wasn’t a cliquey person, and I think that’s because I came from a large family. I got along with everybody, every persons that other people don’t like … ● In a big family, the first child is kind of like the first pancake. If it’s not perfect, that’s okay, there are a lot more coming along … ● I’ve always been a deep sleeper. I think because I come from a large family I can sleep through anything … ● Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family – in another city … ● Yes, they are all mine. Yes, I have my hand’s full, but so is my heart. Yes, I know how this happens. No, I may not be done. (T-shirt with Psalm 127) … ● The great advantage of living in a large family is that early lesson of life’s essential unfairness … ● Big families are like water-bed stores: they used to be everywhere, but now they look strange … ● The advantage of growing up with siblings is that you become very good at fractions … ● I grew up with six brothers, that’s how I learned to dance, waiting for the bathroom.