Thursday, June 16, 2005

Orthodox poskim allow abortion

As reported by Shahar Ilan in Haaretz:

Rabbi Moshe Tzuriel, a former mashgiah ruhani (spiritual mentor) at the Sha'alabim hesder yeshiva, argues,

"It is incorrect to state unequivocally and authoritatively that the ban [on abortion] is absolute," and that in a case of a disagreement among poskim, it is appropriate in this case to follow those with a permissive approach."

"Most poskim [halakhic arbiters] in our generation have permitted the aborting of a fetus, even when there is no danger to the mother."

"the late head of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli - who permitted abortion due to the great anguish that may lie ahead for the parents "who will see the fruit of their womb suffering and living a life that is not a life";

Oh my goodness, what about the "culture of life?" and life being an absolute good, no matter how difficult? and "difficulties in life are a test from God to see how you'll respond?"





11 Comments:

Blogger BrooklynWolf said...

Orthodox Judaism never took the position you're accusing them of. I think you're confusing us with Catholicism.

Judaism has always recognized that there are times when abortion is forbidden, is an option, and, under some circumstances, even required.

The Wolf

3:44 PM  
Blogger Conservative Apikoris said...

However, the right-wing orthdox jews in the USA are allying themselves with the Christian right.

Check out the posts of Toby Katz on Cross Currents and the free and open discussion of her posts on Dov Bear.

I think that Ms. Katz would plotz after reading Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli's opinion.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Rav Yisraeli, the assumption that abortion solves the trauma problem has been challenged by a number of scientific studies. It seems that the trauma of birth is simply replaced by the trauma of an abortion. While at least, with birth, the baby can be put up for adoption, with abortion, feelings of guilt linger on for years. The question is a lot more complicated 30 years after Roe.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Rav Yisraeli, the assumption that abortion solves the trauma problem has been challenged by a number of scientific studies. It seems that the trauma of birth is simply replaced by the trauma of an abortion. While at least, with birth, the baby can be put up for adoption, with abortion, feelings of guilt linger on for years. The question is a lot more complicated 30 years after Roe.

4:51 PM  
Blogger dilbert said...

I agree with the Wolf. There is a famous machloket between R. Eliezer Waldenberg(Tzitz Eliezer) and R. Moshe Feinstein, where R. Waldenberg allows abortion of babies with a prenatal diagnosis of Tay-Sachs. R. Feinstein disagrees so vehemently that he refers to R. Waldenberg not by his name, but by something like "that Rabbi". Those who want to ignore a famous, well know, and well grounded posek like R. Waldenberg deny a part of the mesorah. They are certainly free to disagree, but the opinions are there. So, R. Yisraeli isn't saying anything that wasn't said 30 years ago by someone known as one of the gedolei hador with regard to medical issues. Its just that sometimes people(maybe the ones on Cross Currents, maybe not) ignore the makhil rulings that have been handed down in years past, and claim monolithic status to their view, which is a patently false position.

4:51 PM  
Blogger S said...

actually, i believe r. moshe also allows for cases of abortion. possibly not in the case of the baby being disabled, but i'm fairly certain in the case of imperilling the mother's life. it's interesting to note that within 40 days of conception there are definitely opinions allowing abortion, since the fetus isn't considered to be a 'soul' until then. after that it becomes more complex.

3:51 PM  
Blogger dilbert said...

According to R. Moshe and all(as far as I know) abortion is mandatory in the case that the mother's life is in danger. The fetus is termed a rodef. I think more details are needed of exactly what situations the article in Techumim is referring to before anyone can say if this is really news or not.

2:26 PM  
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