Letters to the editor: May 20


Not in line with Jewish ideas

In a piece in last week’s JT, Yaakov Menken cherrypicks — deforms, actually — Jewish texts to place them in alignment with the extremist abortion stance of Catholicism and Evangelical Christianity (“The Torah is unequivocally pro-life,” May 13). Which is to say: utterly opposed to standard halachic teaching — and Israeli government policy! — on this fraught subject.

Tellingly problematic is his employment of the phrase “Jewish Bible,” which is common Christian usage. The Jewish term is Tanach. Who would opt for the former over the latter for an article in a Jewish publication?

Menken’s piece is a parade example of what halachah would characterize as geneivat da’at.

The phrase “pro-life” is the shorthand way of referring to the Christian conception that life begins at conception. (Rabbinic tradition dictates otherwise: that life begins at birth/viability.) Menken, however, uses the term to refer to the existence of an embryo within the womb.

Wojo Cohen

Severna Park

It’s a woman’s choice

Any man, biblical text written by men, etc., has no right to decide what a woman should do with her body (“The Torah is unequivocally pro-life,” May 13).

The trauma of rape or incest is bad enough, but to force a woman to carry to term is unconscionable. Do you know as a man what it is like to give birth to a child by these two means? No bonding in these situations. There is just more trauma. When men can get pregnant, then give them a voice. Until then, keep your views in writings to yourself.

Lana Fink


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