ed note–as the readers of this site know, we have made it axiomatic that the followers of Judah-ism, the ‘children of Israel’ as they love to refer to themselves, are consummate and committed purveyors/propagators of dishonesty, duplicity, deception, deceit, and just plain old lying.
However, once in a great while, and NOT arising out of their love for righteousness and all that is good and decent, they slip out of character a bit by ‘burping’ the truth, as unintentional as it may be.
Here however, it is safe to assume it is entirely intentional and rooted in the typically-spiteful manner in which virtually all followers of Judah-ism constitutionally view those who are the professed followers of the most HATED man in Judah-ism’s history, Jesus Christ.
And all can rest assured that it is this spitefullness driving the argument presented here by our deranged follower of Judah-ism, and especially the fact that what he is doing–even if unbeknownst to those followers of JC who may happen to read this piece–is pointing out how mindlessly-hypocritical Christians are who espouse the bible, including the Old Testament, as the ‘infallible word of God’, while at the same time, categorically denying and contradicting what Judah-ism has believed/taught for thousands of years–that unborn people are not ‘persons’ and therefore killing them is not murder.
Please note a few items of importance–
Our deranged follower of Judah-ism is not a rabbi, but rather a medical doctor, which means that he–better than anyone else–understands that indeed this ‘fetus’ growing within the body of his/her mother is alive, but yet, because his Judah-ism says it isn’t a person and therefore no ‘murder’ is committed when it is killed via the process of ‘feticide’–his exact words–he accepts this, despite what his training and profession as a medical doctor have taught him.
Yes indeed, in this case, the ugly truth is plain–within Torah (Old Testament) Judah-ism, abortion is not murder.
Jonathan Frankel for the Times of Israel
The recently exacerbated discussion over abortion in the United States Supreme Court engenders predictable debate. Ignoring the legal legitimacy of Roe v. Wade, the most common justification for antagonism of abortion derives from moral motivations, the majority of these religious. The latest data from the Pew Research Center demonstrates that religious people (predominantly Christian survey) are between 42-74% against abortion legality while atheist/unaffiliated people are 85% likely to support abortion’s legality.
The contemporary antagonism towards abortion is a great example of evolving religious interpretation exaggerating the dichotomy between religious theory and practice. A common assumption is that contemporary religious practice has had continuous authority from ancient times. While undoubtedly true in specific cases, there are numerous examples to the contrary, abortion being of particular note as detailed below. Dogma is an amalgamation of primary sources as well as individual invention. The intellectually honest mind must evaluate the veracity of contemporary mores and their authenticity with ancient origins. Ideally distinguishing between modern revisionism and classical ethos.
Allow me to be clear about the sole position of my argument. The Judeo-Christian belief that abortion is tantamount to murder is inconsistent with the original position of the primary sources. Specifically, the Torah, and for the most part the Talmud, as authoritative sources for the formulation and derivation of religious practice, do not condemn abortion as murder. As such, within the Judeo-christian ethic therefore, opposition to abortion is, according to the teachings of the Torah, tantamount to historical and religious revisionism.
The single biblical reference specifically mentioning the death of a fetus (Exodus, 21:22-23) explicitly categorizes it as the loss of personal property, not death. In fact, the loss of the fetus is not even referred to as death, rather the fetus simply ‘came out’.
Although differences in later translations (Septuagint Exodus 21:23) and subsequent interpretations suggest linguistic acrobatics to the contrary, the primary source classifies feticide as merely the loss of personal property.
Feticide is not discussed again in primary sources until the era of the Mishna and Talmud where nearly all primary rabbinic sources from the period categorize feticide as loss of personal property and not the capital offense of murder.
Notwithstanding debate among later opinions, the authentic position of Jewish primary sources places the status of feticide as tort–again, loss of personal property– with consequences limited to only monetary recompense.
How halacha is ultimately determined I leave to the halachists. However, when debating the historicity of abortion, intellectual honesty compels us to recognize that claiming abortion is murder by divine fiat would require violating the authenticity of our primary sources, i.e. Torah and Talmud.
In an attempt to better elucidate the moral zeitgeist from the biblical and talmudic period it is interesting to note that contemporaneous law codes from the biblical period similarly categorize feticide as tort. Middle Assyrian law and Ancient Hittite law are both detailed below.
Furthermore, although tangential, it is interesting to note that Talmudic discussions of the status of animal fetuses predominantly suggests that the fetus is considered a part of the mother’s body and not a separate entity (Chullin 74a/b).
Middle Assyrian law (MAL 50) states that ‘If a man struck another man’s wife and caused her to have a miscarriage, they shall treat the wife of the man who caused the miscarriage as he treated the first woman; he shall compensate for her fetus with a life. However, if that woman died, they shall put the man to death; he shall compensate for her lost fetus with a life. But, when that woman’s husband has no son, if someone struck her so that she had a miscarriage, they shall put the striker to death; even if her fetus is a girl, he shall compensate with a life.
Ancient Hittite Law states ‘If anyone causes a free woman to miscarry—if it is the 10th month, he shall give 10 shekels of silver, if it is the 5th month, he shall give 5 shekels of silver and pledge his estate as security.
A later version of that same law states ‘If anyone causes a free woman to miscarry, he shall give 20 shekels of silver. If anyone causes a slave-woman to miscarry in the 10th month, he shall give 5 shekels of silver.’