Texts: Abortion As Murder

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A few months ago, political commentator Ben Shapiro tweeted that according to Judaism, abortion is murder. This led to criticism from one rabbi as overly simplistic and then defense by another, who showed that both Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik called abortion murder.

Below is a report from Rav Ya’akov Kamenetsky’s 1970 Shabbos Shuvah derashah, in which he calls abortion a form of murder after 40 days from inception — before 40 days it is forbidden for a different reason. While this was not said as a specific ruling, neither was Shapiro’s tweet. At the very least, Rav Kamenetsky’s lecture reflects a general attitude.

(Of course, all such cases should be discussed with a competent rabbi.)

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student currently is serving his third term on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and also serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Board of Jewish Action magazineand the Board of OU Press. He has published four English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter

The latest weekly digest is also available by clicking here.

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter