By Daniel Schiff

Abortion in Judaism provides an entire Jewish criminal background of abortion from the earliest correct biblical references throughout the finish of the 20 th century. For the 1st time, virtually each Jewish textual content proper to the abortion factor is explored intimately. those texts are investigated in old series, thereby elucidating the advance inherent in the Jewish method of abortion. The paintings considers the insights that this thematic background presents into Jewish moral ideas, in addition to into the function of halakhah inside Judaism.

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Ibid. The rabbis do not propose that a double penalty should be paid, as suggested by Philo and Josephus. , pp. –. See also M. Sanhedrin :.  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.

From an ethical and religious perspective, as well as for purposes of considering the legal consequences of causing the loss of a fetus, Philo can be taken to have been single-minded in viewing the formed fetus as an independent being. For Philo, then, abortion of this formed, independent fetus would have been an anathema that his reading of the texts would have trenchantly opposed. 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.

See M. ), The Principles of Jewish Law, Jerusalem, Keter Publishing, , pp. –. M. Niddah :. M. Niddah : discusses the fetus in a different context, so it cannot be concluded that the fetus was simply inadvertently omitted from :. Rather, as the Gemara (Niddah b) explains it, the definition of homicide is established at one place in the Torah (Leviticus :) as “if one strikes any nefesh adam,” meaning if one strikes – and kills – a nefesh adam of any age. v. ihu, Yad Ramah and Meìiri to Sanhedrin b; Ramban in Chiddushim to Niddah b), the fetus is not a nefesh until birth and, hence, its destruction could not be considered homicide.

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