Kristol Clear Judah-ism–The rabbi who made the religious case for abortion 30 years ago

Rabbi Robert Loewy argued in 1990 that banning abortion violated religious freedom for Jews long before it was a popular take on the issue

ed note–several important protocols to consider with this one.

First, take careful note of the fact that this rabbi was arguing THE VERY SAME CASE that organized Jewry now has taken up with one voice in screeching tones, i.e. that it is their Judah-ism that permits/commands the murder of the unwanted/yet-to-be-born child, and he was doing it 3 DECADES AGO.

What this obviously means is that this particular concept–the Judaic foundation for child murder–is not merely some new, reactionary card which the ‘children of Israel’ are now throwing down in some hastily-contrived ‘objection, your honor’ maneuver in trying to prevent the implementation of laws aimed at protecting innocent human life.

In short, this ‘foundation’ has been there for a long, long time, pre-dating the ‘Talmood’ and which the followers of Judah-ism say was there from the very beginning of the affair, the book of Exodus, to be precise.

Indeed, although this particular facet–the foundational basis of child-murder as prescribed within Judah-ism and its holiest book, the Torah–did not feature in public discourse when the organized forces of anti-Gentilism were working like Jermites in chewing away at the moral fiber of Christian America in pushing for the legalization of infanticide, rest assured that somewhere in the ‘woodpile’ was this fact discussed amongst the followers of Judah-ism, the ‘children of Israel’ as they love to refer to themselves, far away from otherwise curious Gentile ears who only heard about how ‘rare’ and ‘safe’ the grisly practice of murdering children in utero needed to be and WOULD BE as a result of the Roe decision.

The other major item–even though only implicit–involved in this story and of even greater importance than just the issue of ritualistic child murder as condoned and commanded by Judah-ism is the fact that there is an entire laundry list of other abominations that the children of Israel intend to see ‘legalized’ per the ‘protocols’ of their faith, including child pornography, child sex slaves and other acts against Gentile/Christian civilization as commanded by Torah and by the law of Moses, and all of this as part of the blueprint that was/is/always will be the dark spiritual energy animating all Judaic actions throughout the ENTIRETY of the Hebraic/Israelite/Jewish ‘experience’ on earth, and which can be summed up in a reversed mirror-image of the same ‘Lord’s Prayer’ which Jesus Christ instructed his followers to say, to wit–

 

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth just as it is in hell… 

 

Arno Rosenfeld for the Jewish Daily Forward

Roe v. Wade was the law of the land in 1990 when a Louisiana rabbi brought a very Jewish message to the state capitol in hopes of stopping a bill that would have effectively banned abortion in the state. Now, with Friday’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe, such bills have a much greater chance of becoming law.

And Rabbi Robert Loewy’s 32-year-old strategy may prove more relevant.

Back then, Loewy made the drive from his home in the suburbs of New Orleans to the capitol in Baton Rouge to represent the New Orleans Jewish Federation. The state’s Jewish community was unified in opposition to the bill, echoing the liberal politics of most of its members. Loewy thought he had a trump card that would sway the religious lawmakers pushing the abortion ban: his own Jewish faith.

Loewy explained to a House committee, that Jews do not believe that life begins at conception as the bill’s sponsor had claimed, but that a fetus gradually acquires more rights as it develops.

‘There is a moral and ethical basis for a woman to undergo an abortion,’ Loewy told legislators.

J.J. Goldberg, a former editor of the Forward, recounted the episode in his 1994 book ‘Jewish Power,’ and described it as a watershed moment in the community’s abortion advocacy.

‘The case for abortion as a matter of Jewish religious freedom is a powerful one,’ Goldberg wrote. ‘But it had never before been made in a public forum before.’

The argument could become the next legal frontier, as Jews and Jewish groups make the case that bans and restrictions on abortion violate their First Amendment right to freely exercise their faith. The approach gained traction in early May after Politico published a leaked Supreme Court decision striking down Roe, which in 1973 established a constitutional right to abortion. The court’s 6-3 ruling eviscerated that right.

At the Jewish Rally for Abortion Justice in May, speaker after speaker invoked the Jewish imperative to abortion in cases where the mother’s health was at risk. ‘Whose religious freedom are you trying to protect?’ Sheila Katz, chief of the National Council of Jewish Women, asked of those who are seeking to outlaw abortion. ‘Not ours.’

A synagogue in south Florida earlier this month sued to block legislation that would ban abortions after 15 weeks, arguing that it violated the state constitution’s right to freedom of religion.

Rabbi Barry Silver brought the lawsuit on behalf of Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor, which he leads, and said that his goal was not just to send a message but to carve out protections for Jews in states where abortion is outlawed.

‘It’s not just to make a point or something,’ Silver said in an interview. ‘It’s deadly serious.’

But Loewy’s experience appealing to conservatives who sought to ban abortion 32 years ago may be instructive for the Jewish leaders making the same argument today.

 

The ‘rabbi roast’

Though Loewy’s synagogue, Congregation Gates of Prayer, was located near the liberal bubble of New Orleans, it sits in a conservative Congressional district that better reflects the rest of the state. At the time he testified on the abortion bill, his state representative was David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan.

Well aware of the legislature’s conservative nature — especially on abortion — Loewy still thought his testimony might persuade some lawmakers by using language they could understand.

‘I was actually trying to say, if you believe it’s important to have religion in the public sphere you need to listen to one of the world’s oldest religions,’ Loewy recounted in an interview this week. ‘Probably naively I thought it would have an influence on votes.’

Loewy, by most accounts, did not.

Rep. Louis ‘Woody’ Jenkins, who was sponsoring the measure, mocked Loewy’s testimony about the Jewish tradition that babies who die before eight days should not receive a funeral.

‘We just heard from one crazy religion that doesn’t even think babies are people after they’re born,’ Jenkins told reporters after the hearing.

When Loewy returned to the capitol a few days later to speak to another committee, lawmakers were prepared. Sen. Mike Cross — ‘the irony of his name was not lost on me,’ Loewy said — interrupted the rabbi to ask if Judaism also permitted marijuana use and prostitution.

Loewy said that the Torah did not consider killing a fetus to be murder and tried to cite Exodus 21:22.

‘That’s not in my Bible,’ Cross snapped.

The incident became known as the ‘rabbi roast,’ a term coined by a reporter at the time. The Jewish community backed away from the ‘religious’ argument, figuring that the reaction from hostile lawmakers was motivated by ignorance and intolerance of advocates for abortion rights — not of Jews qua Jews.

Goldberg described local Jews as chastened by the reaction to the religious pitch for abortion access. ‘In framing the bill as an assault on their religious freedom,’ he wrote, ‘the Jewish community’s leaders may have gone one step too far.’

‘They were holding up Jewish rights as a shield for a separate issue, on the assumption that their opponents had too much respect for religious freedom, and for Jews, to press the attack,’ Goldberg recounted. ‘As they found out, that was a mistake.’

Loewy said that his days testifying against the bill, which passed the legislature but would eventually be vetoed by the governor, would represent the high-water mark of his advocacy on the issue. The fierce backlash to his argument aside, abortion rights was a losing issue in a state with a huge base of conservative voters and the strong influence of the Catholic Church, which is opposed to birth control and abortion.

‘There are some fights that are just not worth having,’ Loewy said.

 

 

‘A different faith narrative’

While Loewy’s approach may not have resonated in Louisiana in 1990, other Jewish leaders remain optimistic that the religious case for abortion rights is a compelling one. After NCJW sent hundreds of rabbis to lobby Congress earlier this year in support of a bill that would protect access to abortion nationally, Katz said that the legislation picked up 36 new sponsors.

‘It really showed us that there was power in rabbis and spiritual leaders and faith leaders showing up to say this was a religious freedom issue,’ Katz said. Her organization is also considering legal challenges to abortion bans and said that women who are impacted by those laws could reach out to NCJW.

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