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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

New Question: "ASK THE RABBI"

Here is a new great question we received on our website.  If you'd like to ask your question, go to: 

ASK THE RABBI RESPONSE FROM WEBSITE I have debated on social media with those who claim to be Christians and think more liberally concerning abortion. I have brought up the fact or my belief that the sin of murder is considered one of the worst sins or greater than other sins that we commit towards each other. (Note, this is sin towards each other, not towards the Holy Spirit or the Almighty.) Because my claim is not specific in the Bible, saying "murder is the worst," the Liberals use that to excuse abortions. I really can't understand how they can put poverty on the same level along with murder. Do you know a good answer to give to these people?

RABBI'S ANSWER:  This is a great question, and you are certainly not the only believer defending the rights of the unborn against the evils of abortion.  Here is my answer:

Modern (non-Orthodox) rabbinic Judaism, does not recognize a fetus as a human being.  This is why you’ll find most Jews, at least here in the U.S., on the liberal side of the argument.  However, Biblical Judaism and even early first century Judaism (prior to 70 A.D. & Roman Exile), Judaism was on the extreme opposite, and I can demonstrate this.

First, you are not far off in your position that “murder is the worst”.  Besides being a violation of one of the 10 Commandments, “blood shed” is actually in a category that is separated from most other sins according to the Bible.  

Some sins are done in ignorance, others are done in willful “high-handedness”, some sins are against your fellow man and others are against God only.  However, there is a category known as:
תועבה = “Abomination”

According to the 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia a “To’evah” (abomination) is that which is loathed or detested on religious grounds and which, therefore, is utterly offensive to the Deity.

The encyclopedia goes on to say: “Still more offensive to the God of Israel is the practice of idolatry. The idol itself is called an Abomination: "for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house and thus become a thing set apart [tabooed=ḥ erem ] like unto it thou shalt utterly detest it and utterly abhor it for it is a thing set apart [tabooed]" (Deuteronomy 7:25,26 , Heb. ): "Cursed be the man that maketh a graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord" (Deuteronomy 27:15 ). Often the word to'evah is used for idol or heathen deity for instance, in Isaiah 44:19 Deuteronomy 32:16 2Kings 23:13 , and especially Exodus 8:22 (26, A. V.), it is to be taken in this sense.
All idolatrous practice is an Abomination because of its defiling character: "Every abomination to the Lord which he hateth have they done unto their gods" (Deuteronomy 12:31 compare Deuteronomy 13:15 , 17:4 , 20:18 ). Also magic and divination are an Abomination (Deuteronomy 18:12 ). Sexual transgression is particularly denounced as an Abomination (to'evah) (Deuteronomy 22:5 , 23:19 [18, A. V.], 24:4) especially incest and unnatural offenses ( Leviticus 18 and xx.): "For all these abominations have the men of the land done who were before you, and the land became defiled lest the land vomit you out also when ye defile it" ( Leviticus 18:27,28 , Heb. compare also Ezekiel 8:15 and elsewhere).”

In the ancient pagan world, various religious cults practiced Infanticide (i.e. child/infant human sacrifice).  When God separated the children of Israel from the pagan world through Abraham, he made it clear that this practice is completely forbidden and is also a To’evah.  Unfortunately, however we see throughout the pages of Biblical History, Israel did indeed take on the practices of their neighbors and committed these abominations:

Jeremiah 7: 30 “The children of Judah have done what is evil in My sight”—it is a declaration of Adonai—“They have set their detestable things in the House that bears My Name to defile it. 31 They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire—which I did not command, nor did it even enter My mind.

As I stated earlier, modern non-Orthodox rabbinic Judaism sanctions abortion, based on their understanding that a fetus is not a human (some Talmudic literature discusses this, however the context of those discussion were based on tort law and how much a person is liable if they are responsible for the death of a fetus through injury and it is not as “valued” as a fully mature human being).  

The great historian Josephus, in his book: “Against Apion” written in the first century to support and defend Jewish values, wrote: “The law, moreover, enjoins us to bring up all our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten, or to destroy it afterward; and if any woman appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child, by destroying a living creature, and diminishing human kind; if any one, therefore, proceeds to such fornication or murder, he cannot be clean.

Clearly, Biblical Judaism, the Bible, Orthodox Judaism, and Messianic Judaism + Christianity all reject Abortion and define it as the Bible does: (Abomination equal to idolatry),
Why is abortion today equal to idolatry?  

The answer lies predominately in the over all “reasons” that abortions are practiced.
Statistically, the overwhelming number of motives for performing an abortion are 2 fold:

1. “Convenience” – rarely is the purpose of an abortion today due to rape or danger to the life of the mother.  The overwhelming reason for a customer to choose an abortion is that they simply are not ready to have the child, or they don’t want a child with the particular partner.  Boiled down, the child, or even arguably the potential of a child is inconvenient, and this is mostly for financial reasons.  
2. “Financial Gain” – the opposite side of the abortion customer is the Service Provider, and abortion is simply big business and a $ cash cow.  
Either way, both of these major purposes for modern abortions are directly or indirectly related to money.  And money, income, financial gain, greed, comforts and conveniences become the “DIETIES” that are worshipped today.

In essence, there is no difference other than a more sterile and technologically advanced method of “INFANTICIDE” and “IDOLATRY”.

In the ancient world there were sacrificial altars made of stone where a child was laid on and burned alive, or their heads could be smashed against.  These altars stood in just about every neighborhood.  Some of these altars are still standing in the middle east and elsewhere discovered by archaeologists.  Today, we have the very same thing – we simply call them clinics. 

hope this helps...

R' Eric 

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