By Daniel Schiff

Abortion in Judaism provides a whole Jewish criminal background of abortion from the earliest proper biblical references in the course of the finish of the 20 th century. For the 1st time, nearly each Jewish textual content proper to the abortion factor is explored intimately. those texts are investigated in ancient series, thereby elucidating the improvement inherent in the Jewish method of abortion. The paintings considers the insights that this thematic historical past presents into Jewish moral ideas, in addition to into the position of halakhah inside Judaism.

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Arakhin a. M. Arakhin  :. Sifrei Zuta (Horowitz edition) to Numbers :.  Committed to the general proposition of fetal dependence, the Tannaìim were apparently in no doubt that, in this situation the existence of the fetus required no independent consideration from that of its mother. To the contrary, since fetal life was wholly dependent on the mother for continuity, if she were subject to the death penalty then the fetus would share her fate.  If this view represents the actual thinking behind the Mishnah, then the fetus was plainly subordinate to its mother for causes other than a clear and present threat to her life.

See above, chapter , p. . Ibid. ” Rashi would later summarize the lack of rabbinic unanimity on this topic: Our Rabbis differ on this matter.  A possible explanation of why they did so is the one discerned by Greenberg in a similar dilemma within the Toraitic treatment of homicide. As human life is invaluable, it follows that it can never be compensated monetarily; thus, capital punishment is the only appropriate sentence for homicide. But the death penalty involves the further taking of life.

Thus,      Aptowitzer, “Criminal Law,” –, n. . Freund, “Ethics of Abortion,” . See also Jakobovits, Jewish Medical Ethics, p. . For more on the “Land of Israel” (Eretz Yisrael) milieu, see below, p. .  See above, p. . See above, p. . Belkin, Philo and the Oral Law, pp. –. The conundrum takes shape  for Josephus, fetal loss was seen to demand compensation for a double injury, though it was presumably not to be regarded as murder. In the closing years of the Second Jewish Commonwealth, therefore, it makes sense to speak of a “Palestinian and an Alexandrian point of view” regarding the appropriate punishment for killing a fetus that had reached formation.

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