By Daniel Schiff
Abortion in Judaism provides a whole Jewish felony heritage of abortion from the earliest proper biblical references throughout the finish of the 20 th century. For the 1st time, nearly each Jewish textual content suitable to the abortion factor is explored intimately. those texts are investigated in ancient series, thereby elucidating the advance inherent in the Jewish method of abortion. The paintings considers the insights that this thematic background offers into Jewish moral ideas, in addition to into the position of halakhah inside Judaism.
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Additional resources for Abortion in Judaism
In the Talmudic tractate Yevamot the rabbis discuss a case relating to the earliest weeks of fetal existence: Mishnah: The daughter of a priest who has relations with an Israelite continues to eat terumah [the priestly tithe]; if she becomes pregnant, she may no longer eat it. Gemara: If a priest’s daughter were married to an Israelite who died, she may immerse and eat terumah the same evening! ” The Tannaìitic position, as recorded in the passage from the Mishnah, plainly articulates the view that whereas sexual relations with an Israelite did not prevent a priest’s daughter from eating terumah, pregnancy certainly did.
In this respect he was fully in line with Hellenistic thought. But Philo’s outlook diverged markedly from the Hellenistic environment when it came to infanticide. ” It is possible that Philo’s rejection of feticide and his determination to frame it as so thoroughly repugnant to Jewish law were components of his strident opposition to the destruction of all early human life. Whatever the reason, the composite nature of Philo’s Belkin, Philo and the Oral Law, pp. –. See below chapter , p.
Though Philo does not restate here the distinction between a formed and an unformed fetus, he makes his opposition to abortion absolutely plain. , De Virtutibus , p. . The conundrum takes shape unless one held that the “young” fetus had independent standing. There are other parts of Philo’s writings, however, which appear to be more compatible with this Stoic doctrine of fetal dependence. In the continuation of De Specialibus Legibus, Philo opines: And yet those persons who have investigated the secrets of natural philosophy say that those children which are still within the belly, and while they are still contained within the womb, are a part of their mothers; and the most highly esteemed of physicians .
Abortion in Judaism by Daniel Schiff