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Jerusalem - Rabbis Metzger And Amar: Killing Fetuses Is “Like Actual Murder”

Published on: January 2, 2013 08:18 PM
By: VIN News Staff
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File photo of Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Amar. Photo by Noam Moskowitz/Flash90File photo of Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Amar. Photo by Noam Moskowitz/Flash90

Jerusalem - As in previous years, Israeli Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar have come out with a letter in support of the controversial nonprofit, Efrat , an organization which works to prevent abortions.

In their letter, the rabbis write in part, “We see great importance in the work of the Efrat association to save the lives of Jewish children; over its 30 years of activity, tens of thousands of fetuses were saved, and in the past year alone, the lives of 4,000 children were saved.”

This year, however, the rabbis deviated from the text of their usual support letter and went as far as calling for “making the wider public aware of the extreme seriousness involved in killing fetuses, which is like actual murder,” according to a report published in Ha’aretz (http://bit.ly/UljoCA).

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Rabbis Metzger and Amar also directed the marriage departments of Israel’s religious councils to continue disseminating the Efrat-produced publication entitled “For a Happy Marriage” because of “its great importance and necessity.”

The rabbis typically issue their annual letter to coincide with Parshat Shemos, the Torah portion which details the murder of Jewish babies at the hands of the Egyptians.


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Read Comments (29)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 02, 2013 at 09:20 PM NotSoFrum Says:

It's not enough to follow halacha, now they have to invent their own and traumatize women during a most vulnerable time?

2

 Jan 02, 2013 at 09:46 PM pickythinker Says:

Reply to #1  
NotSoFrum Says:

It's not enough to follow halacha, now they have to invent their own and traumatize women during a most vulnerable time?

Its not halacha its from the torah ten commandmants
THOU SHALL NOT KILL

3

 Jan 02, 2013 at 10:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
NotSoFrum Says:

It's not enough to follow halacha, now they have to invent their own and traumatize women during a most vulnerable time?

Have u ever been to an sonogram? U can c a baby and a heart and the heart is pumping! the lungs and the brain are working! Would u kill a breathing human being?!

4

 Jan 02, 2013 at 10:12 PM bla bla Says:

Reply to #1  
NotSoFrum Says:

It's not enough to follow halacha, now they have to invent their own and traumatize women during a most vulnerable time?

They are not inventing Halacha, let's face it, the only reason abortion is legal in the first place is because its convenient for women, if it was only convenient for men it would've been called murder. It's beyond belief that people can take an act of murder, give it a fancy name to make them feel good, and legitimize it out of convenience.

5

 Jan 02, 2013 at 10:16 PM ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

Reply to #2  
pickythinker Says:

Its not halacha its from the torah ten commandmants
THOU SHALL NOT KILL

And Yet....

Exodus 21:22-25, which reads:

"When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

So the torah appears to be pro-choise, not valuing the death of an unborn fetus as a murder, but rather a civil matter resulting in a fine.

6

 Jan 03, 2013 at 12:01 AM I_Am_Me Says:

The woman is traumatizing herself by killing her child, yes it's her child and God and the soul have chosen that mother to raise the child. Therefore, who are we (yes I'm a female) to question gods choices or even that of a soul which is a higher being. As for causing a miscarriage, it's not the same as abortion. Abortion is murder miscarriages can happen because of a fall and even more simpler things. As for what the Tora says, it says God considers a child a living creation from the moment of conceiving therefore abortion is murder.

7

 Jan 03, 2013 at 12:20 AM Pony Express Says:

Light is bestowed upon an infant with his or her naming. If a baby is not yet with the light of creation as they are not until they are named, it is not murder but rather a failure of pregnancy. If there is a need for an elective abortion especially in the terms of a mothers health, that is permissible by Torah. But really, we try to avoid the unnecessary demise of a fetus in almost every case. Torah does not permit unorthodox abortions for the means of preserving the womans lifestyle or culture.

8

 Jan 03, 2013 at 01:08 AM ohdear Says:

Reply to #2  
pickythinker Says:

Its not halacha its from the torah ten commandmants
THOU SHALL NOT KILL

Check your facts, its not so simple. The status of a fetus is not clear cut! And this is a mommy speaking. U may not agree but there are acceptable reasons for it.. in addition extreme views are never productive, when a woman is hormonal... ask your wife, she'll cry and do as she wishes

9

 Jan 03, 2013 at 01:31 AM jacob Says:

Halacha says its mutilation of the body. So it's allowed if the fetus will kill the mother etc

10

 Jan 03, 2013 at 01:36 AM Abortion is not "like" murder, IT IS BABY MURDER!! Says:

Reply to #5  
ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

And Yet....

Exodus 21:22-25, which reads:

"When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

So the torah appears to be pro-choise, not valuing the death of an unborn fetus as a murder, but rather a civil matter resulting in a fine.

Ok so we have an Ahm HaOretz GAMUR or a kofer b'ikar in our midst. Come back to us AFTER you have learned all the rishonim & achronim on those p'sukim. BTW, when you want to quote from our "books," please do it in the ORIGINAL Loshon Ha'Kodesh because translations are not always exactly accurate.

11

 Jan 03, 2013 at 02:45 AM Avi Says:

Reply to #5  
ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

And Yet....

Exodus 21:22-25, which reads:

"When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

So the torah appears to be pro-choise, not valuing the death of an unborn fetus as a murder, but rather a civil matter resulting in a fine.

Stop confusing us with facts!

Face it, everyone else, abortion is NOT retzichah. Many poskim permit it under some circumstances.

12

 Jan 03, 2013 at 04:45 AM proud-mo-israeli Says:

it's not their bodies & they have no right to decide for others

13

 Jan 03, 2013 at 07:39 AM Reb Yid Says:

Reply to #5  
ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

And Yet....

Exodus 21:22-25, which reads:

"When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

So the torah appears to be pro-choise, not valuing the death of an unborn fetus as a murder, but rather a civil matter resulting in a fine.

That case was an accident, and since there's no punishment for killing the fetus, he has to pay damages. It's certainly prohibited to do so.

14

 Jan 03, 2013 at 07:51 AM wsbrgh Says:

From 40 days after conception Torah law says abortion is murder, but is punishable "b'dinei adam" but not "b'dinei shomaim".

15

 Jan 03, 2013 at 09:04 AM MBYIsrael Says:

Reply to #5  
ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

And Yet....

Exodus 21:22-25, which reads:

"When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

So the torah appears to be pro-choise, not valuing the death of an unborn fetus as a murder, but rather a civil matter resulting in a fine.

No, that's not a choice, that's an accidental death. She didn't voluntarily step into the fight so that she could abort. The crime of a woman choosing to abort is different from a civil tort where the husband can be compensated for loss. This was in the times when children were an asset for working on the farm and carrying on the legacy of the father. It represented a real material loss to the family as well as an emotional and spiritual one.

16

 Jan 03, 2013 at 09:05 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
I_Am_Me Says:

The woman is traumatizing herself by killing her child, yes it's her child and God and the soul have chosen that mother to raise the child. Therefore, who are we (yes I'm a female) to question gods choices or even that of a soul which is a higher being. As for causing a miscarriage, it's not the same as abortion. Abortion is murder miscarriages can happen because of a fall and even more simpler things. As for what the Tora says, it says God considers a child a living creation from the moment of conceiving therefore abortion is murder.

Exactly!

17

 Jan 03, 2013 at 09:59 AM ChachoMoe Says:

Reply to #11  
Avi Says:

Stop confusing us with facts!

Face it, everyone else, abortion is NOT retzichah. Many poskim permit it under some circumstances.

Another posek in town! Whilst I agree its not retzicha gamur (and ONLY for a Jew , see Talmud Sanhedrin- you are not prosecuted beydai Adom..as indicated in in the torah "nefesh" vlo benefesh) no poskim will EVER permit it for the reasons they are intended, the only cirumstance is if it really endangers the mother, or if the pregnacy is via rape.

18

 Jan 03, 2013 at 10:12 AM esther Says:

paskening on vin.so this is what our rabonim do in their spare time.

19

 Jan 03, 2013 at 11:10 AM iambarry Says:

I'm not so knowledgeable, but I have a couple of questions for those VIN readers who are:
1) Is it allowed to murder someone to save your own life?
2) Is it allowed for a woman to have a baby knowing it would kill her?

BTW - this story seems a bit short - I would guess that the actual statement contains more details and subtleties than the simple "its murder".

20

 Jan 03, 2013 at 11:58 AM Anonymous Says:

First of all I don't like the statement of Efrat being called controversial. Second just some facts between 48 and 88 there were over 1 million abortion in Eretz Yisrael. If you carry forward to now another 22 years probably the numbers are between 2.5 million and 3 million abortions. Add the fact that by now many would have been married and had children of their own and even grandchildren by now.
Safe to say it would be another 5 million Jewish people in Eretz Yisrael They would have not brought the anti-semitic Russia goyim [totally not Jewish by any
dereck] We would not be having problem in occupying the land either. Now for the people who are always anti charedi are they fulling Eretz Yisrael with Jewish
Nesamas

21

 Jan 03, 2013 at 12:24 PM benalt Says:

Reply to #10  
Abortion is not "like" murder, IT IS BABY MURDER!! Says:

Ok so we have an Ahm HaOretz GAMUR or a kofer b'ikar in our midst. Come back to us AFTER you have learned all the rishonim & achronim on those p'sukim. BTW, when you want to quote from our "books," please do it in the ORIGINAL Loshon Ha'Kodesh because translations are not always exactly accurate.

How about rebutting him instead of insulting. I was waiting for an intelligent response.

22

 Jan 03, 2013 at 12:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
ChachoMoe Says:

Another posek in town! Whilst I agree its not retzicha gamur (and ONLY for a Jew , see Talmud Sanhedrin- you are not prosecuted beydai Adom..as indicated in in the torah "nefesh" vlo benefesh) no poskim will EVER permit it for the reasons they are intended, the only cirumstance is if it really endangers the mother, or if the pregnacy is via rape.

Really? Is it true there are exceptions for rape?

23

 Jan 03, 2013 at 12:26 PM savtat Says:

I am not weighing in either way - but I must say that a woman raising a child she doesn't want and sometimes out of wedlock (or worse) - that isn't such a great situation either.

24

 Jan 03, 2013 at 01:12 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

And Yet....

Exodus 21:22-25, which reads:

"When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

So the torah appears to be pro-choise, not valuing the death of an unborn fetus as a murder, but rather a civil matter resulting in a fine.

The Fort Jacobsoner Rebbe ztz"l used to say:
Exodus 21,22 reads "...and her child goes out and...," etc.
If both mother and child survive a premature delivery/ birth and there has been no permanent injury to either one, then one can say there is no harm.
But if the child is born dead, then there most certainly WAS harm. Ask any husband and wife who are with great joy anticipating the birth of their child.
Shemot 21,23-25 addresses the situation if there is harm: "nefesh tachat nefesh," etc.

25

 Jan 03, 2013 at 03:47 PM YonahLevi Says:

Reply to #19  
iambarry Says:

I'm not so knowledgeable, but I have a couple of questions for those VIN readers who are:
1) Is it allowed to murder someone to save your own life?
2) Is it allowed for a woman to have a baby knowing it would kill her?

BTW - this story seems a bit short - I would guess that the actual statement contains more details and subtleties than the simple "its murder".

Hi Barry,

Hope these answers help:

1) Depends- You're only allowed to kill (it's not murder in these cases) someone if they are the threat to your life (a rodef [literally a pursuer]). As it relates to the topic at hand, there is a complete consensus that women are allowed to terminate pregnancies which pose serious threats to their lives.

As it relates to those outside of the womb, you CAN kill someone who has a gun pointed at you, in fact if you find out that they are going to attack you, you are allowed (some say you're obligated) to pre-emptively attack them first. And it's not just to save your own life- if someone's going to murder someone else, you're allowed to kill that rodef too.

However, if someone's only tangentially a threat to your life you aren't allowed to kill them, because they're not the ones pursuing you. This came up in the Holocaust, when the Nazis ym''shmm would round up a certain number of Holy Jewish children to exterminate. A question was posed if one of the children could be rescued via bribe knowing that another child would be sent to replace him. The answer was no, even though someone's life would have been saved, because it would be tant

26

 Jan 03, 2013 at 03:49 PM YonahLevi Says:

Reply to #19  
iambarry Says:

I'm not so knowledgeable, but I have a couple of questions for those VIN readers who are:
1) Is it allowed to murder someone to save your own life?
2) Is it allowed for a woman to have a baby knowing it would kill her?

BTW - this story seems a bit short - I would guess that the actual statement contains more details and subtleties than the simple "its murder".

(contd from above)

The answer was no, even though someone's life would have been saved, because it would be tantamount to murdering someone else.

2) No, a woman can't have a baby knowing that it would kill her. It must be mentioned that this is a very rare occurrence today, especially in countries with substantial Jewish communities.

27

 Jan 04, 2013 at 09:59 AM ChachoMoe Says:

Reply to #22  
Anonymous Says:

Really? Is it true there are exceptions for rape?

While I am not going to go into an Halachik discussion here, (and i was just quoting the ones that permit, not to say tha its accepted)I will mention that the famous Ben Ish Chai was asked that Shailoh, and he refused to actually pasken, although he merely quoted the poskim that permit it, no need to say, every case is diff, for more see his response 'Rav Peolim'.

28

 Jan 04, 2013 at 10:38 AM Brian Says:

Reply to #5  
ModernLakewoodGuy Says:

And Yet....

Exodus 21:22-25, which reads:

"When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined according as the woman's husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

So the torah appears to be pro-choise, not valuing the death of an unborn fetus as a murder, but rather a civil matter resulting in a fine.

Dude, have you ever heard the term "potur aval assur" (translation: you don't receive punitive measures, yet the act remains forbidden)?

29

 Jan 05, 2013 at 06:58 PM iambarry Says:

Reply to #26  
YonahLevi Says:

(contd from above)

The answer was no, even though someone's life would have been saved, because it would be tantamount to murdering someone else.

2) No, a woman can't have a baby knowing that it would kill her. It must be mentioned that this is a very rare occurrence today, especially in countries with substantial Jewish communities.

Yonah,

Thanks for the answer.

Given that for #1, murder (not killing) is not allowed even to safe one's life, and for #2, a woman (theoretically) would be required to have an abortion to save her life, can we say that clearly abortion is not like murder?

That is not to say one way or the other when or if abortion should be allowed or be legal. Just to say that in key aspects it from a Jewish legal perspective it is not like murder.

--Barry

30

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