Women & Judaism


This chapter deals with parents who do not wish to extend their family. However, it would be appropriate to address those who wish to abort their pregnancy for various reasons and considerations. What these people do not realize is that a helpless murder takes place in the mother’s womb which, in order to silence the motherly conscience, was given the misleading title of “abortion”. This act is so severe that the Creator said the following about it in His Torah:[1] “Whoever sheds the blood of a man within a man, shall his blood be shed”, and as the Talmud comments on this verse:[2] “What is a ‘man within a man’? A fetus in his mother’s womb”. However, there are some who mistakenly assume that if the woman is only pregnant for forty days or less, there’s no problem aborting. But the fact is that the soul enters the fetus immediately, together with fertilization, as it is explained in the Talmud,[3] that flesh cannot survive three days without a soul as it eventually rots. The fertilized egg on the other hand, not only does it not rot, but it also develops even though it is no longer a part of the human body. This proves that it is a living creature with an independent soul.

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And the Ari z”l in his book, Otzrot HaChaim[4] has taught that according to Kabbalah, on each day of the first three days, six sparks of life enter the fetus until the third day in which it is referred to as “Chai” (alive). The numerological value of Chai is 18 sparks. And on the fortieth day it goes up a level and its basic form is completed into that of a human.

In light of all that was said, it is critically important to speak out and warn against the mass killings of embryos conducted in Israel under a legal guise. Not too many people know that according to a report by the health ministry, since the establishment of the State of Israel, hundreds of thousands of embryos were killed (see chart 2000-2007), and most of them were aborted without halachic consent. And according to the estimate of Dr. Eli Schussheim, director of the Efrat organization – since 1977, approximately 900,000 embryos were killed and since the establishment of the State of Israel, millions of embryos were murdered – mostly by private abortions.

It is a known fact that many of the women who have requested approval to terminate their pregnancies hide the true reason which is, financial distress – and ask to be granted permission to abort for other reasons. So instead of spending enormous amounts of money on the immigration and absorption of hundreds of thousands of non-jews, wouldn’t it be better for the Jewish government to invest in saving Jewish embryos by providing assistance to families who wish to abort their children following a financial crisis??? How many Jews would be living in Israel and around the world today (including the potential offspring of the murdered embryos) if not for the horrible massacres that have been taking place and continue to take place in Israel in the last few decades?

It must be known and publicized that permission is only granted to terminate the life of an embryo when it is life threatening to the mother.[5] And in case of doubt, the couple should consult with a G-d fearing Torah scholar for a halachic ruling.

It is known among the sages of Kabbala that if the parents choose to grant life to a child who they had previously considered aborting, they will merit a child who will give them more pleasure than all the other children, and may even save their lives. There are many known accounts of this occurrence. And sometimes a child like this may even bring salvation to the Jewish people.

Notes and Sources

[1] Bereishit 9:6

[2] Sanhedrin 57b

[3] Sanhedrin 91b

[4] Otzrot Chaim Shaar Anach chapter 2

[5] Refer to Q&A of Yabia Omer, part 4, Even Ha’ezer Siman 1

Adapted from “The Keys to Life” by Rabbi Zamir Cohen


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