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Feticide in the MeAm Lo'ez

Richard Nadler

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Jewish Tradition stands against abortion.

"Blessed are You O God, who sanctified the embryo in his mother's womb...You clothed him with skin and flesh, and knit him together with nerves and bones. You provided him with nourishment and life, and You prepared two angels to guard him in his mother's womb, as it is written, 'You granted me life and favor, and Your appointed ones watched my spirit'"--From a Ladino prayer offered by a Cohen priest at the ceremony of Pidyon HaBen (redemption of the first born).

I. Jewish Teaching on Life and Death

American Jews generally support abortion. According to the 2000 Zogby Culture Polls, 61% of respondents who identify themselves as Jews are "pro-choice" without exceptions--roughly three times the rate of Christians, and five times that of Moslems. The same Zogby survey, however, found 10 percent of Jews opposing abortion except to preserve the life of the mother, and an additional 4 percent opposing it in all circumstances.

While some of these pro-life Jews may have arrived at that position by other routes, it is safe to say that most of them are traditional Jews whose pro-life views are derived from the Old Testament--particularly the Torah, or Five Books of Moses--and the exegetical writings of centuries of Jewish sages. The Orthodox Jew regards these latter writings not as "interpretations," but as a divinely-guided tradition that forms an authoritative part of Revelation. In fact, the written Torah is considered a subset of the Oral Torah which God gave Moses on Mount Sinai.

For the complete article go to the Human Life Review website.



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