The US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has sparked nearly as much debate in Israel as it has in America.
Israeli progressives have, like their American counterparts, denounced the court’s ruling as a “dark” chapter in history and an assault on “women’s rights.”
The Chief Rabbi of Tsefat (Safed) responded by penning an article that reflects the viewpoint of most on Israel’s religious right.
Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu took aim at those who “say that a women’s right over her body trumps the fetus’ right to life, and trumps even democracy,” as he sought to clarify the matter for Israelis.
He noted that the US Supreme Court had not, as some are suggesting, outlawed abortion in America. Rather, the court put the decision back in the hands of state governments so that they can legislate based on the will of their citizens.
This, stressed Rabbi Eliyahu, is how democracy works:
“The US Supreme Court ruled that under the Constitution, it is permissible for state lawmakers in all 50 US states to determine whether to outlaw the murder of living fetuses, that according to the justices of the US Supreme Court those who seek to bar lawmakers from representing public opinion are dictators.”
He then turned to the fallacy of labeling those who oppose abortion as “backwards,” when in fact it is child sacrifice that is a millennia-old phenomenon.
In today’s fast-paced, progressive society, abortion is often justified as a means of “family planning” to enable parents, and especially women, to advance themselves. The rabbi hinted that in addition to being entirely selfish, such an approach bears chilling resemblance to the ancient practice of sacrificing children to bring rain or other benefits for the parents:
“Don’t listen to these ‘enlightened’ people, who want to take us back two thousand years, to the dark ages of Rome and Greece – you have the right to believe that life is sacred and murder is backward. You have the right to say openly that life is more important than a vacation in the US, a new car or a master’s degree. You have the right to believe that murdering a fetus is primitive and backward, not advanced or enlightened.”