By Daniel Schiff
Abortion in Judaism provides a whole Jewish felony background of abortion from the earliest proper biblical references in the course of the finish of the 20 th century. For the 1st time, nearly each Jewish textual content correct to the abortion factor is explored intimately. those texts are investigated in ancient series, thereby elucidating the advance inherent in the Jewish method of abortion. The paintings considers the insights that this thematic background offers into Jewish moral ideas, in addition to into the position of halakhah inside Judaism.
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From an ethical and religious perspective, as well as for purposes of considering the legal consequences of causing the loss of a fetus, Philo can be taken to have been single-minded in viewing the formed fetus as an independent being. For Philo, then, abortion of this formed, independent fetus would have been an anathema that his reading of the texts would have trenchantly opposed. In this respect he was fully in line with Hellenistic thought. But Philo’s outlook diverged markedly from the Hellenistic environment when it came to infanticide.
A possible explanation of why they did so is the one discerned by Greenberg in a similar dilemma within the Toraitic treatment of homicide. As human life is invaluable, it follows that it can never be compensated monetarily; thus, capital punishment is the only appropriate sentence for homicide. But the death penalty involves the further taking of life. Although it is for a legitimate purpose, capital punishment nevertheless challenges the supreme value ascribed to human life. ” Similarly, these rabbis’ understanding of Exodus as a call for capital punishment can be seen as a powerful reminder of the supreme legal standing of life.
V. yashvah. Arakhin a. This Talmudic statement led some later authorities to maintain that – in circumstances other than those mentioned in the Mishnah – the husband’s permission would be required before an abortion could be carried out. See, for example, Tzitz Eliezer, volume , number , below, chapter , p. . Evaluating life over those of her husband, which it is fair to surmise was probably quite a radical notion in the Tannaìitic period. Thus, in addition to the fact that the fate of the fetus was to be given no independent consideration from that of its mother, the law also envisioned that the act of feticide would be carried out separately and deliberately – rather than as a byproduct of the execution – in the interests of the condemned woman’s dignity.
Abortion in Judaism by Daniel Schiff