Israel – Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger and Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Amar announced today that they plan to renew the struggle against abortions though a special committee set up by the Chief Rabbinate, in hopes of preventing “the killing of fetuses in their mother’s womb”.
In a letter sent out to rabbis throughout Israel, Metzger and Amar wrote: “The vast majority of abortions are unnecessary and forbidden by Halacha,” adding the committee was already exploring ways to reduce the number of abortions approved.
The two argue that according to data presented to the Chief Rabbinate, some 50,000 abortions are performed in Israel every year, 20,000 of which are legal. “Adding to the gravity of this transgression is the fact that it impedes the coming of redemption.”
The two religious leaders also expressed their horror at the numbers: “What heart doesn’t cringe by these numbers which indicate nothing less that a pandemic… and the loss of tens of thousands of Jewish souls every year.”
The letter went on to commend the work of Efrat – an anti-abortion organization “which works tirelessly to save fetuses’ lives.”
“The public, said the rabbis, “Must be made to understand the gravity of the killing of fetuses, which is equal to the murder of souls,” adding that community rabbis must include family planning and the abortion ban in their sermons.
I think the esteemed rabbis want to say that if abortions are reduced and the redemption arrives, people will forget about how incomptent they are.
one can say it is against halacha but how does he know that it impedes the coming of redemption.
one can say that about any sin
I’m glad someone is telling it like it is. abortion is murder.
“Data presented to the Chief Rabbinate”?
What data? What source? Who collected it? Israel collects reliable health statistics that indicate that the number of abortions is approximately 20,000. I’ve never seen real data that back up Efrat’s claim.
If we wish to reduce the number of abortions we should look at what countries with lower abortion rates have done. One can start with the Netherlands, which has the lowest abortion rate in the world even though abortions are free for any citizen. I once asked a Dutch statistician how this can be. She said that the culture there is very different from the irresponsible culture of America: Dutch couples don’t engage in sex unless they either (1) want to conceive a child, or (2) are using contraception.
It is also worth noting that the conditions under which abortions are halachically permitted remain a machloket poskim.
Everyone agrees on reducing the number of abortions. What we don’t agree upon is who should ultimately make that decision: a woman and her doctor or some rav. The answer is obvious. The advise of a rav should be solictited if the woman is frum and wants that input but ultimately, a woman and her doctor must decide as is the law today in EY and the U.S. and most of the civilized world.
The gemara says that Mashiach won’t come until all the neshamas have left guf- a neshama storage house. These neshamas don’t get used. Additionally, murder obviously slows down Mashiach.
I’m no fan of terminating unwanted pregnancies, but I really dislike when things of this nature are claimed to “impede[s] the coming of redemption.” I grant you that it’s possible. But the point is that we don’t know, and I dislike the hyperbole.
Abortion should be denounced on its own (de)merits. There’s no need to drag Moshiach into this.
For crying out loud, the two Chief Rabbis together agree that they must battle against abortion and some readers here prefer to play word games. Instead, words of encouragement and support must be proclaimed so that the Chief Rabbis continue in their holy effort!!
Thank you #6 for the response to #2 . It’s a gemara in maseches Avoda Zara (5a). So no, not every sin is likened to be the cause of holdong back the Mashiach.
Additionally, what #4 said ” It is also worth noting that the conditions under which abortions are halachically permitted remain a machloket poskim”; is going off topic. True there are different views dependong on when, how, or the physical/mental state of the mother is which might permit the abortion, but that is a side issue (in truth the rulings are actually pretty much unanimous amongst real accepted poskim, so isn’t realy any argument). The topic at this meeting was the overall number according to all views of halachically illegal abortions.
The Gemora and Chazal say in a few places that in order for Moshiach to come the Neshmos in Shomaiym need to be given a Guf. So in fact each abortion does delay Moshiach’s arrival as that Neshoma now needs a different Guf to be born in.
Let’s be clear that these 2 Rabbonim (as many others) are clearly letting us know that this particular prat (of delaying Moshiach) has to do with abortion.
Murder is a diffferent issue and of course this is murder as well.
Can everyone please stop with the “seforim say” “the geamara says” “chazal say” “it’s brought down”. You clearly all don’t know where this statement about Moshiach being held back etc. is found (it’s in maseches Avoda Zara 5a), so how can you all qoute and even interpert the meaning of the gemara without seeing it at it’s source?!
The same goes for the classic “all poskim” or “the rabbonim say” abortion etc. By just throwing around qoutes without even knowing their sources, noone is right because noone can back up their words. So let’s not spew, shall we?
I wonder if these great Rabbaim are aware of the thousands of children in orphanages across Israel. More than half of these children have parents who are unable to house or support them for various reasons: poverty, mental illness, medical illness, etc.
Efrat is an organization I admire, not because it launches into the whole, “Women are evil if they abort!”, which is a mistake, but because it recognizes the reasons behind abortion, and seeks to alleviate them. When you have such a large number of women living in poverty, and finding themselves pregnant with another mouth to feed and barely able to feed themselves, having that child becomes overwhelming. Offer food, clothing, babysitting, baby gear, baby clothes, and support, and suddenly, women are able to have the child.
These Rabbaim need to address the reasons behind abortion, rather than villianizing the women who undergo them. Perhaps they should donate some of the large amounts of money that people give to them to these poor women, and to feed their children. Perhaps Israel should lighten up on their adoption policies.
Why don’t these “Ravs” try to help free agunos trapped in dead marriages so that countless yiddishe kinder are brought into the world by women who want to have them. Usually women who have abortions are lowlives that you wouldn’t them to reproduce anyway.
look in zohar about the severity of the sin
With the exception of the ‘daas yachid’ of the Tzitz Eliezer, ztl, whose psak permitted a late-abortion in a certain case (obviously a valid psak, but vigorously opposed by Rav Moshe Feinstein ztl and others), the Gedolim seem to be united in opposition to abortion wherein the mother’s life is not being threatened by the pregnancy itself.
Dr. Eli Schussheim, an oleh from South America, has dedicated much of his life to stopping the tens of thousands of yearly abortions in Israel performed for reasons such as economic worries, social pressure, and the like.
Let’s not kid ourselves: there are single girls here and there who find themselves pregnant. They cannot rely on the ‘ambatyia’ excuse, and many are pressured into abortions, both in the secular and the ‘frum’ communities, by parents, and others.
There is no halachic disagreement as to whether an abortion 40 days or more after conception can be performed except for truly endangering circumstances.
What “Efrat: Just One Life” does is offer financial and emotional support to those young ladies, single or married, who find themselves pregnant nad are considering an abortion for non-halachic reasons.
Kol Hakavod to them.
Abortion mostly is done for purely selfish reasons. That I believe is a terrible aveira. If someone has bitachon in Hashem, even if she feels she can’t afford a child or raise her child, she would still have the child and then rely on Hashem. There are many women who are childless and would gladly pay to adopt a child or more. Why would a woman get pregnant if she is going to abort. Everyone knows what causes pregnancy so why don’t those women do something if they don’t want their children? I don’t think there are 20,000 or more abortions done in E”Y, for purely medical reasons.
Will these rabbis be setting up programs to care for those women during their pregnancies if they forego an abortion and arrange for their followers to adopt the babies?
A sad by-product of this is that so many Jews in this country are part of the so-called “pro-choice” movement. So much so that the gentile world believes that this is the Jewish position. We, who value life, should be doing a better job at PR.
Reply to #20 : Whether the number of annual abortions in Israel is 20,000 or 50,000, we are talking about TENS OF THOUSANDS of Jewish children who are not being born, EVERY YEAR, due to considerations other than halachic ones.
The State of Israel would have looked very different if even 10,000 more Jewish babies were born every year for the past 30 decades. That would have been meant 300,000 more Jews, and it would stand to reason that as many of 100,000 of these would have grown up and would have given birth to other children, so we are talking about 500,000 or more Jews permanently ost, due to the secular ethics and financial factors of the secular doctors and social workers who encourage these abortions.
Therefore, I again say Kol haKavod to Dr. Schussheim, whose portion in Olam HaBa is unimaginable. Those who wish to may contribute to Efrat and gain an eternal reward.
So which rabbis are offering to assist one of these women during their pregnancy and then adopt the child?
the only thing that is delaying the arrival of the moshiach are all the false rabbis,rebbunim,who are in positions of leadership that they should not be in.these people dont know how to see the good in people and walk around with judgment and distain for others,and therefore bring tremendous din to the world..
Hi Charlie and Heaven Help Us –
Check out the orphanages in Israel, such as Migdal Ohr. Also, take the time to review Israel’s adoption procedures and limitations. You will note that most children in orphanages are not true orphans, but their parents can no longer care for them. These parents are not willing to give up full custody of the children. Even for the small amount of children available for adoption, the laws are difficult. Israel does not allow for non-citizens to adopt a child, nor can the child be taken out of the country. You must be a citizen for three years to adopt, and only then from an approved agency. And even at that point, the process can cost far more than infertility treatments, and requires a whole host of hired help, such as lawyers, social workers, court documents, etc.
The Zohar, on Shemos 3b, says the following: “There are three persons who drive the Shechina, the Divine Presence, away from the world, making it impossible for the Holy One, Blessed Be He, to fix His abode in the universe and causing prayer to be unanswered. The third is he who causes the fetus to be destroyed in the womb, for he destroys the artifice of the Holy One, Blessed Be He, and His workmanship. For these abominations the Spirit of Holiness weeps.” According to Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, “Though a Jew who kills a fetus is not punished by the judicial system as a murderer, he has nonetheless violated the prohibition of murder. It is like the case of one who has killed a treifa (an individual with a fatal wound or defect); he is not liable for capital punishment, though he has violated the prohibition on murder and is liable for divine retribution.”