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February 20, 2011

Why Rabbi Moshe Feinstein Was Right About Abortion Law – And Why Pro-Life Activists Are Wrong

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the leading rabbinic adjudicator of Jewish law during the latter half of the 20th century, strongly opposed abortion on demand. But he also opposed laws limiting abortion. Here's why.

 

The Pitts bill, called the Protect Life Act, allows hospitals and other medical providers to refuse to provide abortions to women who need them or transfer said women to other hospitals or medical providers to have the abortion done – even if continued pregnancy endangers the life of the mother.

This is a significant issue in Catholic hospitals, where even before the Protect Life Act has been passed, women are routinely denied abortions they desperately need to save their lives. Instead, the women are transferred to other hospitals – sometimes hospitals that are hours away, further endangering their lives.

If the Protect Life Act passes, those Catholic hospitals will be able to refuse to make those transfers – meaning women could very well die as a result, and the hospital will face no government sanction.

This is true even though the bill, which also severely restricts funding for abortion, makes an exception for said funding for women whose lives are physically endangered by continued pregnancy.

But this still does not mandate hospitals and other medical providers to provide life-saving abortions to women who need it. In fact, the opposite is true.

The wording of the bill also makes it clear that even a woman who is at extreme risk of suicide if pregnancy is not terminated cannot have her abortion paid for by the government.

In other words, a hospital or other medical provider can refuse to give a woman a life-saving abortion, whether the need for that abortion comes from a physical threat to the mother's life or from a mental illness induced by the pregnancy.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein This denial of needed abortions is what Rabbi Moshe Feinstein worried about when he chose not to endorse pro-life demonstrations and pro-life policies.

Jewish law, halakha, mandates that a woman's life be saved. If the fetus threatens the mother's life, it should be aborted if there is no other safe solution to the problem.

Rabbi Feinstein feared that laws made by pro-life legislators would kill women, because the pro-life movement is strongly influenced Christian understandings of life that make the unborn fetus equal to the mother, and thereby prohibit abortion to save the mother's life.

In Rabbi Feinstein's view, the decision to abort was a decision that should be made by the woman and her rabbi, not by Congress.

Jewish activists – even activists who are Orthodox and rabbis both – who back pro-life laws like the Protect Life Act are, according to Rabbi Feinstein, violating halalka.

So why don't we hear haredi and Orthodox opposition to the Protect Life Act?

I think the reason is that, as I noted yesterday, haredim and many Modern Orthodox have come to view the conservative agenda as halakha's agenda. But this is largely false.

Conservatives have been seen as being very pro-Israel over the past 20 years or so, in the sense that Christian conservatives have come to dominate the Republican party,and their views tend to support Israel's territorial expansion and Israeli settlements in the West Bank – two issues that Orthodox and haredi Jews tend to strongly support. Similarly, Christian conservatives are strongly anti-gay rights – a position shared with much of Modern Orthodoxy and haredim.

Because of the strong popularity of these positions, conservative views on other issues, like abortion, have grown to become the normative haredi and Orthodox view, as well. The halakhic nuances lost with these other issues have caused halakhic nuance to be lost with abortion policy, as well.

But halakha does not view a fetus as a full life, and any time a mother's life is threatened by the fetus – even if that threat is not certain – abortion is allowed and usually required.*

We err on the side of life, meaning halakha tilts toward saving life, mandating violation of Shabbat law and hundreds of other halakhot to save a life, even if the danger to that life is not certain, and even is that threat to life is from mental rather than physical illness.

This is the message we should take to Washington, DC and to our state capitols.

*Please do not have an abortion based on what I've written here – consult a competent rabbi first.

Comments

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This bias is no different on the non-religious side where the non-frum have been supporting the secular liberal position of the Democrats for so long that they have come to believe that Judaism = Secular Liberalism with an all-approving godhead.
The problem for both sides is that Jewish law is deep and nuanced on major issues so no blanket "this is always right" or "this is always wrong" statement can ever rightly be applied.

I think the differences between the two camps are large.

I think drafting a bill that allows hospitals to refuse to give a life-saving abortion to woman, while at the same time allow it to legally refuse to transfer her to another hospital that will do the abortion, is evil.

And I don't think you can find a similar example from the liberal left.

When it comes to evil in politics, anything at all that the Left has come up with cannot hold a candle to what the Republicans have been doing ever since the Depression. While Progressive Liberal ideas are not the foundation of Halakha, they ARE in the spirit of justice and kindness that the Torah mandates. Oh, yes - the Torah is only for Jews... let the goyim go f... themselves... that's the Orthodox viewpoint, isn't it?

Before the US Supreme Court removed legal restrictions on abortion, women that feared complications during delivery chose Jewish hospitals over Catholic ones.

It is worthwhile to note that Harav Shach strongly disagreed with the Lubavitcher Rebbi about land for peace.

And I don't think you can find a similar example from the liberal left.

I agree. What the frum don't seem to get is that liberalism comes closer to Biblical and halakhic mandates concerning the treatment of the poor than anything the conservatives have ever come up with. Their parents used to get it (to a point, anyway). Those days are over. When you get a small group of frum people trying to recapture that ethos in a religious framework - e.g., Avi Weiss and his students - all the other frummies castigate them.

Conservatives have been seen as being very pro-Israel over the past 20 years or so, in the sense that Christian conservatives have come to dominate the Republican party,and their views tend to support Israel's territorial expansion and Israeli settlements in the West Bank – two issues that Orthodox and haredi Jews tend to strongly support.

You know, I don't understand this. Decades ago, you knew where the Haredim stood - however much they hated one another, they were unilaterally opposed to Israel and anything pertaining to it. Even the ones who lives there felt that way.

Now, they still hate the idea of a secular Israeli government - but they participate in it? They're in favor of its territorial expansion? Or they're in favor of some aspects, but not others? I don't get it. When did the black hats develop a sense of nuance?

Shmarya, great points....I would like to add an additional element: Pro Choice is typically a liberal viewpoint. Liberal ideologies will always be vehemently opposed by the frummies because of it's association with 'open-mindedness' as well as it's support for gay rights. In general, Haredi-ism, as a form of religious fanaticism, will view 'open mindedness' as a threat, as leadership wants "yes men" blind followers. Fanaticism also is associated with rigid 'black and white' so if an ideology supports gays, they must be totally banned, and there is no room for agreeing in some areas and not others-it's an all or nothing. I feel bad for those 'stuck' and brainwashed to drink the kool-aid, who can't develop their own individual mindsets, who are manipulated into thinking that any thought opposed to the status quo makes you a kofer. What a pathetic way to go through life.


*consult a competent rabbi first.

This is always a code phrase for "Orthodox." Haven't we been exploring here the moral bankruptcy of the Orthodox rabbinate?

How about instead, "consult your rabbi."

The problem is there is fanaticism and hypocrisy on both ends of the political spectrum as well as the religious spectrum.

On the one hand you have the chareidim who ignore / deny the parts of Judaism dealing with religion and social justice while castigating the "secular Jews" who espouse social justice for not following the ritual areas of halacha.

On the other hand, studies have shown that while most liberals support government social programs, they personally contribute a much lower percentage of their incomes to charity than religious conservatives.

And can you explain to me how being pro-life meshes with being in favor of the death penalty?

What is needed and is in short supply, is liberal leaders who understand, respect and are willing to work with conservatives.

And conservative leaders who understand, respect and are willing to work with liberals.

Similarly with all ends of the religious spectrum.

Still waiting for the moshiach.

On the other hand, studies have shown that while most liberals support government social programs, they personally contribute a much lower percentage of their incomes to charity than religious conservatives.

I've heard this before. It's a conservative talking point, and I'm skeptical. If it is true, I'd like to know to which charities the religious conservatives are contributing. My money is on faith-based charities. If an evangelical contributes to a proselytizing organization, that's very different from giving to an organization that feeds people with no strings attached.

You think you're in a position to evaluate Rav Moshe Feinstein's judgment? You are clearly narcisstic and delusional. I guess you can thank g-d that there are blogs today in which you can successfully feed your narcissistic tendencies. I, for one, am quickly losing patience for your site, which I had liked for its facts. Unfortunately, you have moved more and more into the world of opinion. Even worse, you obsess over so much with almost exclusively negative opinion - even worse, its your opinion!

Stick to the facts and maybe the downward spiral that you're on but dont yet realize will stop!

obviously, R'Moshe had deeper reasons than this, but very giood.

I wrote about growing evangelical influence over the abortion issue in Israel three years ago when American pro-life legislators were visiting the Jewish state and rubbing shoulders with ultra-Orthodox Knesset members. The article was published in the Jerusalem Post and other online and print publications
http://jewishisrael.ning.com/page/abortion-and-stem-cell

You think you're in a position to evaluate Rav Moshe Feinstein's judgment? You are clearly narcisstic and delusional. I guess you can thank g-d that there are blogs today in which you can successfully feed your narcissistic tendencies. I, for one, am quickly losing patience for your site, which I had liked for its facts. Unfortunately, you have moved more and more into the world of opinion. Even worse, you obsess over so much with almost exclusively negative opinion - even worse, its your opinion!

Stick to the facts and maybe the downward spiral that you're on but dont yet realize will stop!

Posted by: Meyer Muschel | February 20, 2011 at 09:00 AM

He spoke about his reasons to people who asked him, including people I know very well.

Past that, on another thread you defend the Met Council, say that whatever they do to help the homeless is enough, and attack anyone who challenges that.

But you bought one of the few SRO 'hotels' very poor people used to live in, now called the Whitehouse Hotel on 319 Bowery, and turned it into a hostel by evicting the long-term tenants, is that right?

You removed hundreds of desperately needed SRO beds and did nothing to replace them.

I wonder what Rav Moshe would have said about that.

Shmarya,
News flash!! Rabbi OJ backed down in the face of threatened Lithuanian and Eda Charedis protests! "Deal" brokered by Aryeh Deri.

Posted by: corn popper | February 20, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Thanks!

THANK YOU FOR THE INFO ON CAUSE OF LOSS OF BEDS.
THAT'S WHY WE LOVE YOU SHMARYA!!

And by the way, Mr. Muschel, when you wrote:
"You think you're in a position to evaluate Rav Moshe Feinstein's judgment?" - you made an error.
Shmarya has not "evaluated Rav Moshe's ... judgment". The question is, why aren't others holding by The Rav? Shmarya has merely cited the well known ruling. Why does that bother you?

I've heard this before. It's a conservative talking point, and I'm skeptical.

Jeff, you are proving my point!


The problem isn't that both sides are a bit hypocritical. Its human nature to be hypocritical.

Don't get caught up in the details!

The problem is that both sides eye each other with extreme suspicion and venom and unwillingness to be open minded!

FYI the study referred to was published in a 2006 book titled: Who Really Cares: America’s Charity Divide: Who Gives, Who Doesn’t, and Why It Matters. by Arthur C. Brooks, then the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Whitman School of Management.

The book notes that “religious conservatives donate far more money than secular liberals to all sorts of charitable activities, irrespective of income.”

Among other things, the book notes that:
Conservatives are even eighteen percent more likely to donate blood.

I don't think that blood donation is proselytizing.

But all this is just static. The true problem is the refusal for each side to speak to (as opposed to talk at) the other, and for each side to actually listen to what is said (rather than hear their own preconceived notions).

Neither liberals nor conservatives, not chareidim nor seculars are all good or all bad. Its time to respect each other.

++Dr. Dave | February 20, 2011 at 08:33 AM
Dr. Dave | February 20, 2011 at 01:16 PM++

Excellent summaries of my thoughts on the matter!

I think that it's important to distinguish between the necessity of having laws that permit abortion and the issue of abortion on demand, without the legal issue and when the life or well-being of the mother is not at stake.

There are over 50,000 abortions in Israel each year, and many more Jewish abortions throughout the world. The reason why the charedi population is booming compared to other Jews is that the charedim will have large families, but others many times opt for abortion as a form of birth control.

I don't care whether or not non-Jews have abortions. But we must recognize the fact that there is a tremendous demand for Jewish children from both orthodox and non-orthodox.

Again, this is completely different from the issue of Jews getting caught up with the pro-lifers in the political realm. I couldn't agree with you more on that.

Shmarya,

You're funny! You google me, you read a little about the Whitehouse Hotel and suddenly you're an expert on me. Your website is not the place to go into details about me - auffice it to say I have probably done more chesed with regard to Jews and non-jews than you will ever do and I am quite comfortable with my conduct. But your website isnt about me - its about you! You've had a good website but you're drifting into perpetual negativity. Chazor b'cha. Be positive and focus on positive. And stop seeing negativity everywhere! And instead of criticizing the world, try doing some good deeds!

Posted by: Meyer Muschel | February 20, 2011 at 03:31 PM

In other words, I'm right about you, you can't answer me, so you return to trying to smear me instead.

And from what I've heard about you, I'd say bragging about your good deeds is kind of like bragging about penis size. The truth is usually far smaller.

++ghj | February 20, 2011 at 02:38 PM++

Where do you get your information from? Obviously not from working in a hospital or outpatient medical/surgical center where abortions are done.

Have you ever actually spoken with patients who needed an abortion? Obviously not. Do you actually think that people opt for abortion just as a form of birth control? You are disconnected from reality.

Why is 'Jewish abortion' different than that of any person of another religion? You need to get your information from somewhere other than your yeshiva.

Abortion in the frum world has become to mean the same as murder and like Shmarya points out that shouldn't be so It seems to me we are aligning ourselves with conservative Catholics especially in America (Aguda opposed the law to re the Statute of Limitations)

How about every time they scream about decreasing the rates of abortion we offer them a free vasectomy?

Abort Abort Abort!!!-It's mainly libbs that abort, so by all means-KEEP IT SAFE, LEGAL, AND FREQUENT!!
ah-pee-chorus-I couldnt stay away-Especially when I came up with the word that best describes the hypocritical wussies that you are-You and your girlfriends (yes, you too wooly and Jeff), in every sense and in every way, ...Hypoclitts!


And from what I've heard about you, I'd say bragging about your good deeds is kind of like bragging about penis size. The truth is usually far smaller.

Posted by: Shmarya

probably not in your case, Shmarya-seeing that you are probably pulling yours constantly, it has probably grown.

Meyer Muschel writes: "..thank g-d..."

Well that's certainly an interesting one!

Missing out the "o," yet using a small "g."

Where are the sources? Please provide links to Rav Moshe's work in support of what you've written, Shmaraya.

Where are the sources? Please provide links to Rav Moshe's work in support of what you've written, Shmaraya.

Posted by: ephraim | February 22, 2011 at 04:46 AM

Re-read what I wrote.

You'll see what I said was that Rav Moshe refused to endorse or support pro-life legislation and groups trying to ban abortion.

I don't believe he wrote a teshuva about this. His position was well known and was something Rav Moshe thought would be self-evident to any learned Jew.

If you doubt this, ask Rabbi Dovid Feinstein or Rabbi Shabatai Rappoport.

"Well-known opinions" and things that are "self-evident" don't count. You know that.

People are always saying "I heard this" from someone who said the heard it from so-and-so. It is MEANINGLESS halachically unless it's on the record!

"Well-known opinions" and things that are "self-evident" don't count. You know that.

People are always saying "I heard this" from someone who said the heard it from so-and-so. It is MEANINGLESS halachically unless it's on the record!

Posted by: Prato Hamersman | February 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Please.

Anyone – and I mean anyone – who could write a comment like that has to be ignorant of halakha, the halakhic system, and Jewish history.

Now process: If you don't believe me, call Dovid Feinstein or Shabatai Rapport and ask.

Shmarya-why dont you call Dovid Feinstein yourself, tell him about your great work publicising his fathers opinion on this issue, and ask him to give you a direct quote that you can publish?--I will bet that BarackOvomit will become fiscally responsible before you would actually do such a piece of truly investigative journalism.

Shmarya-why dont you call Dovid Feinstein yourself, tell him about your great work publicising his fathers opinion on this issue, and ask him to give you a direct quote that you can publish?--I will bet that BarackOvomit will become fiscally responsible before you would actually do such a piece of truly investigative journalism.

Posted by: tooclose2detroit | February 22, 2011 at 10:52 AM

I already heard it almost 30 years ago from his family and from a couple students of his.

But I'll reverse this for you because, clearly, you don't have the mental or moral faculties to work this out for yourself.

Nowhere will you find Rav Moshe endorsing pro-life legislation, a pro-life lobbying campaign to elect a person who says he wants to ban abortion, or anything similar.

If Rav Moshe held the way you, out of your profound ignorance, think he he held, you would have to have many examples of Rav Moshe endorsing the pro-life position. But you don't.

Now toddle off.

Shmarya, you are such a hypesensitive defensive little putz-I have only asked you to better document your statements of R Moshes's position-this would be help to counter some of the people questioning you-your patent response is "call Dovid Feinstein"-so, lame one, if it so easy to get Dovid Feinstein to endorse your position, then why not just call him yourself, publish what he says, and that would put your detractors questions to rest-but, of course, instead of doing that, you get harshly defensive against anyone that would DARE to question you-You are such an immature little child-Anyhow, my position, if you havent noticed, if rabidly Pro Abortion-regardless of any Rabbi's opinion, I am firmly convinced that liberals limiting their numbers (as liberals make up the vast majority of abortion seekers) is the only way to save the world from descending into a liberal led hell that they would lead us into-so, suck away and save the day!!!

If I called Rabbi Dovid Feinstein and got to him to comment on the record – something that he normally will not do for journalists – these people would claim I made up the quote.

If I taped him and posted that, they'd claim it was out of context or doctored.

They made up their minds and now need to make the world fit their understanding of it.

The only solution is to make them hear it from Rabbi Dovid Feinstein or Shabbatai Rappoport themselves.

I dont think people are quite as skeptical as all that, but , here is a crazy solution-ask him to send you a signed letter endorsing your position, and then post the letter-This way, you could assure him that he wont be misunderstood, because he will be writing the letter!!-I think the world will wait a long time until you make that request, though.

Posted by: tooclose2detroit | February 22, 2011 at 12:03 PM

You're either a disingenuous person or someone who hasn't dealt with leading haredi rabbis much.

You don't get the system, or you are in effect lying.

Rabbi Dovid Feinstein won't write a letter for me or for you or for pretty much anyone, for anything.

Now toddle off.

Fuck your "toddle off" bullshit-you are such a childish little jackass. Like I have told my kids "dont get defensive if someone gives an opinion that is different than yours"-it seems that your parents never pased that lesson into your hypersensitive defensive skull-or, they might have tried, but gave up when they saw it was a lost cause-

What I'm upset with is your disingenuousness, not that you disagree with me.

"If I called Rabbi Dovid Feinstein and got to him to comment on the record – something that he normally will not do for journalists – these people would claim I made up the quote.

If I taped him and posted that, they'd claim it was out of context or doctored."

NO! I would say that you are right!

I would say that you are right, and so would any reasonable poster.

What I'm upset with is your disingenuousness, not that you disagree with me.

Posted by: Shmarya | February 22, 2011 at 01:10 PM
I am quite genuine-you may disagree with my posts, but to say that I havent clearly said what I believe??-THAT is disingenuine.

Okay. So what you're saying is you don't really know how ultra-Orthodox rabbis work.

That's fine.

I would say that anyone that cant put into writing clearly what they believe probably shouldnt be thought of as a leader-A true leader should not be afraid of controversy.-Call him and tell him tooclose2detroit demands a pronouncement on this issue-I am sure that your fax machine will ring with the notice.

You have zero understanding of how haredism works.

: tooclose2detroit - what an unpleasant surprise!! you said you were done here but lied. thats what intellectual dwarfs do, they lie to themselves and then to others.
carry on.

Things must have changed since the late 1980's--when I was in neve Yerushalyim in Jerusalem. Back then the view was more liberal for abortion and I know RAbbi's that helped women get permission to get them for everything from health concerns to issues of mental health and fiancial conerns. The rules obviously have gotten stricter in the last few years. The jerusalem Post did a story on this, I think, in 1989.

Tooclose2detroit:

"disingenuine" - that's a new one! Not too smart, are you? And who's getting defensive ? Don't come here talking about what you tell your children and pretending to be frum, and then using the f-word.

And can you explain to me how being pro-life meshes with being in favor of the death penalty?

Dr. Dave -

there is no consistency in these 2 positions whatsoever. but there IS a common thread, and that is the bible. todays conservatives (excluding the libertarian wing) are complete hypocrites. your example is one of many. they claim an unwavering allegiance to the constitutional right to personal freedom....until it conflicts with their bible-induced sense of morality. so they push for legislation banning gambling,prostitution and drugs.
another example is that conservatives should be at the forefront of the constitutions guarantee of separation of church and state. yet they not only openly violated that with the placement of "in god we trust" on our currency but they added those words to our pledge of allegiance in defiance of the wishes of the late authors children. and then they further made a mockery of their supposed conservatism when they adopted "in god we trust" as our national motto!! this excludes many patriotic and productive citizens unfairly.
in further hypocrisy to their claimed love and respect for the constitution our former born-again president bush permitted billions of tax dollars to be used for social programs under the fiscal administration of churches!!! part of his 'faith based initiatives'.
one might as well replace the term "conservative" with bible fundamentalists, since that is what controls their positions on issues. whenever there is a break in bible vs. conservatism, the bible wins.
i dont think you will find anything on the left that approaches this level of blatant hypocrisy and diregard for claimed positions.

I predict that tooclose2detroit will be banned within about 48 hours.

The express goal of Christian conservative Republicans is to make Christianity the official religion of the USA. All other religions will be 'tolerated', at best.

In the past couple of decades, the orthodox world somehow fell in love with the Republican Party. I can understand how financially successful wealthy Jews can adopt the conservative line on some issues, but for most of the orthodox their love affair with the Republicans seems to be based upon the alleged love that religious conservatives have for Israel. Those foolish orthodox Jews can't understand the Christian End of Days prophecy and the role of the Jews in it.

Too bad no orthodox Jew seems to remember the Republican outcry against Israel in the 1967 War, nor the ongoing love affair of the Republican Party with the Arab Oil Cartel.

Silly frumme yidden, such short memories.

WSC
There seems to have been a rising conservatism in the entire Middle-East. while I understand the Saudi money promoting Wahabi Islam is responsible for much of the problems we are now seeing with women's rights in Egypt. I wonder if America's same conservative Republican investors in Saudi oil companies are also helping to fuel the conservative tide that is currently claiming Israel. If so, how odd.

@WSC: Those foolish orthodox Jews can't understand the Christian End of Days prophecy and the role of the Jews in it.

Drives me crazy. When I complain about it, theologically and/or politically conservative Jews always tell me the same thing, "We don't believe it, so why do you care?" This floors me. I don't want even to speak to someone who thinks I'm going to hell; I certainly don't want to accept money or political favors from him.

I'm told two things. On the one hand, I'm told Israel needs their money and political clout. On the other, I'm told it doesn't. I'd prefer to believe the latter, but, if the former is the case, I can understand keeping one's mouth shut out of necessity - but let's not lie to ourselves. Let's at least be honest among one another, and admit that it's a matter of political and economic expedience, and nothing more. However, not one Jew has ever said to me, "Yes, they're psychotic, and their belief system is an abomination, but we need them, so shut up and don't make trouble." Not one. All I ever hear is, "Well, we don't believe it, so why do you care?"

I'll say both of these again:

1) I am thoroughly sick of the Jewish people. I seem to have no connection, and I can't seem to communicate with most of them.

2) The Republican Party and evangelical Christians, more than anyone else, have convinced me that humanity is unsalvageable.

APC -

You are right, but again missing my point.
There is hypocrisy on both sides, and saying the Conservatives are worse than the Liberals or vice versa will not solve the problem.

You pointed out some of the Conservative's hypocrisy.

There is significant hypocrisy on the left as well.They espouse free speech, but attempt to suppress any speech that doesn't agree with them (as the Obama administration proved by trying to exclude Fox from White House briefings).

The left espouses women's rights and spoke out against Clarence Thomas regarding unwanted advances towards Anita Hill, but gave a pass to Bill Clinton who did the same with several women including Paula Jones.

The problem is that each side has demonized the other to the point of not talking nor listening to each other.

We need to get both sides to listen to one another to survive as a nation.

BTW I run towards the middle and am happy that Mr. Emanuel, a Democrat, is the mayor elect of Chicago, but I also supported Mark Kirk a Republican for Senator. I try to look at each issue individually and listen to both sides. I wish we could get the leaders to do the same.

ah-pee-hoar-us
yeah, i changed my mind-why should i deny myself the pleasure of destroying your silly hypoclittical arguments publicly-For that matter,I have no doubt that others relish in seeing this little mutual masturbation society of leftists have someone come in and take their vaseline away from them.

Dovid-The "F" word is a great word-didnt you ever see the movie Lenny?-I mean, whats bad about F'ing?-Perhaps you've never done it-go pay someone and try it-perhaps you will agree!-I've no doubt that Ah-Pee-Hoar-us can give you some numbers.

Tooclose,
Enjoy your last couple of days here at FailedMessiah.
Have a nice life.

Sincerely,
WSC

Jeff,
Don't dismay.
The vast majority of Jews are not orthodox, and are smart, caring, intelligent people.
The Republican Party is heading towards more polarization to the right, thus making themselves less and less relevant.
It's only a matter of time before the veneer of 'love' for Israel and Jews is cracked, and perhaps then 'Republican' Jews will finally see the falsehood of Republican love.

Evangelical Christians, like frumme yidden, still think the calendar year is 1200. They deserve each other.

Woolysillysister
if you had those types of powers, you would have no doubt given yourself the ability to think-but, yer just a little hypoclittical (gont get too excited "radical feminist")wuss like your sister ah-pee-hoar-us.

@WSC:The vast majority of Jews are not orthodox, and are smart, caring, intelligent people.

Meh. I can't stand the liberal Jews either. I've just never got on well with most of them. I agree with Ahavah, who commented on them the other day - I don't find them to be particularly caring. For example, in my opinion, the things Shmarya says about the Federations and related philanthropies are spot-on.

Perhaps a lot of it has to do with being in Boston. As I've said, we deserve our reputation for coldness. We don't do community well up here. Actually, the MO Jews here do community fairly well, but I have so little in common with them in terms of worldview. I am friendly with an MO rabbi and his family, whom I mention here periodically, but I can't deal with their belief system.

The Republican Party is heading towards more polarization to the right, thus making themselves less and less relevant.
It's only a matter of time before the veneer of 'love' for Israel and Jews is cracked, and perhaps then 'Republican' Jews will finally see the falsehood of Republican love.

I don't think we have enough time left as a civilization for that to happen, and you know how vigorously people cling to their states of denial. In any case, they've already won.

Evangelical Christians, like frumme yidden, still think the calendar year is 1200. They deserve each other.

Agreed - but I do think the evangelicals are worse. They live for the eternal damnation of those with whom they disagree. The frummies are no slouches in that arena, either - but I don't think they're quite as obsessed with it.

For that matter,I have no doubt that others relish in seeing this little mutual masturbation society of leftists have someone come in and take their vaseline away from them.

Bullshit. Harold said something very similar to justify his continued presence here (although not as vulgar). After Shmarya banned him, he tried to sneak back in under another name. The reality is that, like him, you have a compulsion. Also, denigrating those you dislike - "libtards", etc. - makes you feel better about yourself.

Jeff-you actually said something on your own-wow!-you climbed out from behind woolysilly's skirt-you must have had a drink to increase your bravado-I dont need to justify my being on this mutual lefty masturbation society-if you cant deal with ideas that make your little lefty wonderland shake a bit, then who the hell would want to be here anyhow-ya wanna ban me, hypoclitts (dont get too excited radical feminist and Ruthie), then make me day-you'd actually be doing me a big favor.

Dr. Dave -
i agree that we need people from both sides to work together rather than magnify their differences, and that this is paramount.
setting aside the fact that the ones i hear screaming loudest about hypocrisy (like tooclose2detroit) are typically blissfully ignorant of their own, i am bringing up an important distinction.
there is a huge difference between the examples you raised about some on the lefts treatment of clintons accusers and fox news, versus much of the conservative hypocrisy. the issues you raised relate to how individual people responded to specific situations. these actions are not incorporated into the lefts position on the matters. contrast that with the examples i brought up which involve actual platform stances of conservatives. these hypocrisies are part and parcel of what makes someone define themselves as a conservative. laws were passed based on these contradictions. the left never called for laws to be put in place to deny accusers of clinton their day in court if they happened to be women. the left never attempted to pass a law denying freedom of speech to fox news. and the reason for the conservatives ingrained hypocrisy is obvious. they answer to a higher authority. their religious beliefs are what REALLY leads to their positions, not their professed love of america and the constitution. and that is an important distinction.

Sigh....

I'm sorry, Dave, but he's right. These are important differences.

You know what else is an important difference? They think we're going to hell (and they don't particularly care). I don't know of anyone on the Left who thinks the same of them.

These are important differences, whether or not you want to acknowledge them. This faux-egalitarian, "everyone is equally to blame" position just doesn't reflect reality.

Sigh....

Do you get nosebleeds up there on that perch?

I'm not on a high horse, Jeff.

But the other side believes as fervently as you do that they are completely correct and you are the ones completely false and that it is the you calling them evil or insane or whatever the castigation du jour happens to be.

So long as any discussion begin with the poisoned well of prejudgment of the other side, we can never achieve understanding.

That is utterly ridiculous. They think we're going to hell. We don't think they're going to hell. If you can't see the difference, you're in denial. It's just that simple.

Sigh....

Dave, I thought about saying this before, then thought better of it. I'll say it now. It has been my repeated experience that when people punctuate their comments with dramatic devices such as "sigh" and "hmmm", they have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and their remarks may be safely ignored.

But I'm obviously too dense to get it. You're operating at a much higher level than the rest of us are; how special for you! Sorry to cause you such consternation.

There is actually a very simple reason why R' Moshe refused to participate in the pro-life debate, and it has nothing to do with the fantasies and speculation offered here. I quote R' Moshe's son-in-law, Rav Tendler:
"My father-in-law, the late Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, felt very strongly that allowing government to legislate in any area of morals and ethics gives them a toe-hold in religion, and if you let them in a little bit, the government will begin toexpand its role in this area and start legislating what is proper to teach and what isproper to do in areligious context. Now, Rabbi Feinstein had lived some 10 to 15 years under Stalin and his experience of the Russian government's total involvement in the religious life ofthe Jew was so traumatic that he held fast to the idea that we should keep the government away from religion even in those instances where its legislation might seem to be supportive of the Torah point of view. For Rabbi Feinstein, the complete separation of church and state, was absolutely necessary for the survival of any minority group."
Source: http://thejewishreview.org/articles/?id=175

What you wrote supports what my post says.

Minus the generalizations about how R' Feinstein "felt" about abortion. And much more concretely.

An example: R' Moshe would never have said that one who supports pro-life measures "violates halacha." His concern was a much more global one regarding church/state separation.

Perhaps he would not have used those words, but he certainly held that the pro-life movement posed very real dangers for Jews, and that Jewish women would die if they succeeded.

So you could say there is a gramma, so to speak, between the act of supporting the pro-life movement and the death of the Jewish woman.

But in either case the result is the same: the woman dies. And that is is against halakha.

Yes, Rav Moshe was against giving anyone but Rabbonim the right to interfere in matters of Jewish law. Especially the government, which could back their position with force.

In this case, oddly, it would be the political right threatening with heavy-handed Soviet-style dogmatism. Maybe it isn't that odd.

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