Abortion in Judaism by Daniel Schiff

By Daniel Schiff

Abortion in Judaism offers an entire Jewish criminal heritage of abortion from the earliest suitable 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 ancient series, thereby elucidating the improvement 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 function of halakhah inside Judaism.

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Other explanations could be advanced. It is conceivable, for example, that Josephus was attempting to make a differentiation between the case of an induced miscarriage that is caused by an aggressor, in which the resultant harm could have been unintentional, and the instance of a woman who aborts her own fetus. In the Middle Assyrian Laws, the former case generally resulted in a fine, while the latter was the cause of repugnance and death for the perpetrator; Josephus may be trying to replicate this pattern by articulating a far more stringent standard for the woman who deliberately self-aborts.

Not imposing monetary liability, but acquitting him of it . . But if he is liable for death, surely it is unnecessary to teach that he is not liable to make compensation? Hence it follows that he is liable neither to execution nor to make compensation. Bei Chizkiyah’s approach holds that if the death penalty cannot be applied, monetary compensation is inappropriate in such a case. As one of the foremost Talmudists, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, explains: The essence of Chizkiyah’s system is that when a person commits a crime which contains room for guilt of a capital nature – whether the laws of capital cases are applicable in this instance or whether there is no possibility of applying such laws – since this transgression subsumes an element of the law of death, he is not liable for any compensation in this matter.

H. Schiffman, From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism, Hoboken, Ktav Publishing House Incorporated, , p. . On the influence of the notion of ensoulment on early Christian thought, see below, chapter , pp. –. Aptowitzer, “Criminal Law,” , n. . According to St. Basil, “[w]hoever purposely destroys a fetus incurs the penalty of murder. We do not ask precisely whether it is formed or not formed . ”; G. Grisez, Abortion: The Myths, the Realities and the Arguments, New York, Corpus Books, , p.

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