Q&A: What does the Torah Say About Adoption?

Q: What does the Torah say about adoption of children?

A: According to the simple meaning, there is no mitzvah greater than raising an orphan in one’s home. The founder of Chassidut, the Ba’al Shem Tov, who himself was orphaned at a young age, fulfilled this mitzvah a number of times. He raised orphans in his home and provided for all their needs, eventually marrying them off with honor. T hose who raise orphans in their home, it is as if they themselves brought their souls down to this world. (Rabbi Shlomo Kluger wrote in Chochmat Shlomo on the Shulchan Aruch, Even Ha’ezer 1, that by raising an orphan, one fulfills the mitzvah to bring children into the world).

The importance of this mitzvah notwithstanding, adoptive parents and siblings must be careful to abide by all the laws of modesty and prohibition of seclusion with a child of the opposite gender pertaining to adopted children. These  prohibitions apply both to the adoptive parents and the adoptive siblings, as the Lubavitcher Rebbe emphasized many times in his letters.

Photo by Liv Bruce on Unsplash

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