Gestation and Pregnancy
1 א

1] it is forbidden to hit another person, even with the other persons consent. for a person has no authority over his body to grant permission that it be struck, denigrated, or pained.

2 ב

Do we have autonomy over our bodies?

3 ג
(ו) שֹׁפֵךְ֙ דַּ֣ם הָֽאָדָ֔ם בָּֽאָדָ֖ם דָּמ֣וֹ יִשָּׁפֵ֑ךְ כִּ֚י בְּצֶ֣לֶם אֱלֹקִ֔ים עָשָׂ֖ה אֶת־הָאָדָֽם׃

(6) Whoever sheds the blood of man, By man shall his blood be shed; For in His image Did G-d make man.

4 ד

משום רבי ישמעאל אמרו אף על העוברין מאי טעמיה דרבי ישמעאל דכתיב (בראשית ט, ו) שופך דם האדם באדם דמו ישפך איזהו אדם שהוא באדם הוי אומר זה עובר שבמעי אמו.

In the name of Rabbi Yishmael it was said: [A Noachide may be put to death] even for the killing of a fetus. What is Rabbi Yishmael’s source? For it is written, “One who spills the blood of a person [,] by another person [,] shall have his own blood spilled.”

Which person is inside another person? This is referring to the fetus in the mother’s womb.

5 ה

(ד) בֶּן נֹחַ שֶׁהָרַג נֶפֶשׁ אֲפִלּוּ עֵבָּר בִּמְעֵי אִמּוֹ נֶהֱרָג עָלָיו. :

(4) A non-Jew who kills someone, even a fetus in its mother’s womb, is executed.

6 ו

וְכִֽי־יִנָּצ֣וּ אֲנָשִׁ֗ים וְנָ֨גְפ֜וּ אִשָּׁ֤ה הָרָה֙ וְיָצְא֣וּ יְלָדֶ֔יהָ וְלֹ֥א יִהְיֶ֖ה אָס֑וֹן עָנ֣וֹשׁ יֵעָנֵ֗שׁ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֨ר יָשִׁ֤ית עָלָיו֙ בַּ֣עַל הָֽאִשָּׁ֔ה וְנָתַ֖ן בִּפְלִלִֽים׃

וְאִם־אָס֖וֹן יִהְיֶ֑ה וְנָתַתָּ֥ה נֶ֖פֶשׁ תַּ֥חַת נָֽפֶשׁ׃

22. When men fight, and one of them pushes a pregnant woman and a miscarriage results, but no other damage ensues [i.e. the woman did not die], the one responsible shall be fined according as the woman’s husband may exact from him, the payment to be based on reckoning

23. But if other damage ensues and the woman dies, the penalty shall be life for life.

7 ז

what rule do we extract from this case pertaining to murder?

8 ח

מתני׳ תנוק בן יום אחד ... וההורגו חייב


9 ט

(ב) מכה איש ומת. לָמָּה נֶאֱמַר? וְעוֹד כִּי יַכֶּה כָּל נֶפֶשׁ אָדָם אֲפִלּוּ נְפָלִים בְּמַשְׁמָע, תַּ"לֹ מַכֵּה אִישׁ, אֵינוֹ חַיָּב עַד שֶׁיַּכֶּה בֶן קַיָּמָא הָרָאוּי לִהְיוֹת אִישׁ (מכילתא):

(2) מכה איש ומת WHOSOEVER SMITETH A MAN SO THAT HE DIE .... one is not subject to the death penalty unless he kills a viable child — one which is fitted to become a man (Mekhilta d'Rabbi Yishmael 21:12:2).

10 י

The Mishnah is the main text of The Talmud. A collection of terse teachings written in Hebrew, it was redacted by Rabbi Yehudah the Prince, in the years following the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem

11 יא

(ו) האשה שהיא מקשה לילד. מחתכין את הולד במעיה. ומוציאין אותו אברים אברים. מפני שחייה קודמין לחייו. יצא רובו. אין נוגעין בו. שאין דוחין נפש מפני נפש:

(6) A woman who was having trouble giving birth, they cut up the fetus inside her and take it out limb by limb, because her life comes before its life. If most of it had come out already they do not touch it because we do not push off one life for another.

12 יב

Rashi was born almost 900 years ago, in the year 4800 - 22 February 1040, He lived 65 years. he began to write his famous commentary on the Tanach and Talmud at an early age. The Torah was very difficult to understand properly, and the Talmud was even more difficult. Rashi decided to write a commentary in simple language that would make it easy for every one to learn and understand the Torah.

13 יג

יצא ראשו - באשה המקשה לילד ומסוכנת וקתני רישא החיה פושטת ידה וחותכתו ומוציאתו לאברים דכל זמן שלא יצא לאויר העולם לאו נפש הוא וניתן להורגו ולהציל את אמו אבל יצא ראשו אין נוגעים בו להורגו דהוה ליה כילוד ואין דוחין נפש מפני נפש

its head came out: With a women that is experiencing difficulty giving birth and is in [mortal] danger. And it is taught in the first section [of this teaching], "the midwife extends her hand and cuts it up and extracts [the pieces];" as the entire time that that it has not gone out into the air of the world, it is not [considered] a soul, and [so] it is possible to kill it and to save its mother. But when its head came out, we cannot touch it to kill it, as it is like a born [baby]; and we do not push off one soul for the sake of another.

14 יד

why is the reasoning "it is not [considered] a soul" sufficient to allow the aborting of a fetus?

15 טו

Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (also known as Maimonides or Rambam), Talmudist, halachist, physician, philosopher and communal leader, is one of the most important figures in the history of Torah scholarship. he was born in Cordoba, Spain, on the 14th of Nissan(the eve of Passover) of the year 4895 (1135 C.E).

Maimonides' magnum opus is his codification of Jewish law , which he called Mishneh Torah, or "second to the Torah." The fourteen volume work is a logical systematic codification of Jewish law.

16 טז

(ו) אֲבָל הָרוֹדֵף אַחַר חֲבֵרוֹ לְהָרְגוֹ אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה הָרוֹדֵף קָטָן הֲרֵי כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל מְצֻוִּין לְהַצִּיל הַנִּרְדָּף מִיַּד הָרוֹדֵף וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּנַפְשׁוֹ שֶׁל רוֹדֵף:

(6) When, however, a person is pursuing a colleague with the intention of killing him - even if the pursuer is a minor - every Jewish person is commanded to attempt to save the person being pursued, even if it is necessary to kill the pursuer.

17 יז

(ט) אַף זוֹ מִצְוַת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁלֹּא לָחוּס עַל נֶפֶשׁ הָרוֹדֵף. לְפִיכָךְ הוֹרוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁהָעֻבָּרָה שֶׁהִיא מַקְשָׁה לֵילֵד מֻתָּר לַחְתֹּךְ הָעֵבָּר בְּמֵעֶיהָ בֵּין בְּסַם בֵּין בְּיָד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא כְּרוֹדֵף אַחֲרֶיהָ לְהָרְגָהּ. וְאִם מִשֶּׁהוֹצִיא רֹאשׁוֹ אֵין נוֹגְעִין בּוֹ שֶׁאֵין דּוֹחִין נֶפֶשׁ מִפְּנֵי נֶפֶשׁ וְזֶהוּ טִבְעוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם:

(9) ... It is a negative commandment that one should not protect the life of a rodef (pursuer). For this reason, the sages ruled that in the case of a pregnant woman in a dangerous labor, it is permissible to dismember the fetus in her womb - whether with a drug or by hand because it is like a rodef pursuing her to kill her.

(However, once his head has emerged one may not touch him, as we do not set aside one nefesh [soul] for another, and this is the natural way of the world.)

18 יח

why does the Rambam resort to the reasoning of "because it is like a "rodef" pursuing her to kill her" to abort the fetus? what is the implication?

19 יט

--------------complications during labor---------------------- mid-birth---------------

Rashi - it is not a soul it is a soul

Rambam - it is a "Rodef" it is a soul endangering the mother life and the natural way

of the world

20 כ

The Talmud is a collection of writings that covers the full gamut of Jewish law and tradition, compiled and edited between the third and sixth centuries.

Talmud is Hebrew for "learning," appropriate for a text that people devote their lives to studying and mastering.

The main text of the Talmud is the Mishnah, a collection of terse teachings written in Hebrew, redacted by Rabbi Yehudah the Prince, in the years following the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

Over the next several hundred years, the rabbis continued to teach and expound. Many of those teachings were collected into two great bodies, the Jerusalem Talmud, containing the teachings of the rabbis in the Land of Israel, and the Babylonian Talmud, featuring the teachings of the rabbis of Babylon. These two works are written in the Aramaic dialects used in Israel and Babylonia respectively.

21 כא
ליכא מידעם דלישראל שרי ולעובד כוכבים אסור

"there is nothing that is permitted for a Jew but prohibited for an idolater [i.e. a noahite]"

22 כב

(ד) האשה שהיא יוצאה ליהרג. אין ממתינין לה עד שתלד. ישבה על המשבר. ממתינין לה עד שתלד.

(4) If a woman is about to be executed, they do not wait for her until she gives birth. But if she had already sat on the birthstool, they wait for her until she gives birth.

23 כג

גמ׳ פשיטא גופה היא איצטריך ס"ד אמינא הואיל וכתיב (שמות כא, כב) כאשר ישית עליו בעל האשה ממונא דבעל הוא ולא ליפסדיה מיניה קמ"ל

GEMARA: Isn’t it obvious that the court executes the pregnant woman rather than waiting? After all, it is part of her body....

24 כד
ישבה על המשבר וכו': מ"ט כיון דעקר גופא אחרינא הוא:

The mishna teaches: With regard to a woman taken to be executed who sat on the travailing chair in the throes of labor, the court waits to execute her until she gives birth. The Gemara asks: What is the reason for delaying the execution in this case? The Gemara answers: Once the fetus uproots from its place and begins to leave the woman’s body, it is considered an independent body and may not be killed together with the mother.

25 כה

The Zohar is known as the primary text of the Kabbala. The Zohar itself attributes its disclosure of the Torah's mysteries to R. Shimon bar Yochai(known by the acronym "Rashbi"), the second-century Tanna who is the central master in the Zohar. Rabbi Shimon himself apparently wrote some of the Zohar, described as "the First Mishna," while hiding in a cave from the Roman authorities who wanted to execute him.

The Zohar was concealed for many centuries, as the study of the Kabbala was restricted to a select few qualified individuals. It became revealed only in the thirteenth century and was published by one of the leading kabbalists living in Spain, Rabbi Moshe de Leon.

26 כו

(ו) מַאן דְּקָטִיל בְּנוֹי, הַהוּא עוֹבָּרָא דְּמִתְעַבְּרָא אִתְּתֵיהּ, וְגָרִים לְקַטָלָא לֵיהּ בִּמְעָהָא, דְּסָתִיר בִּנְיָינָא דְּקוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא וְאוּמָנוּתָא דִּילֵיהּ.

"One who murders his child, meaning, one who's wife becomes pregnant with a child, and he causes the child to die in the womb;he is thereby destroying the edifice of the Holy One Blessed Be He, who constructed it with His own handiwork."


אגרות משה חושן משפט פרק ב סט

דאף הולדות שלפי דעת הרופאים הם כאלו שלא יחיו שנים רבות כהא דנולדים איזה ילדים במחלה הנקראת תיי - סקס אפילו כשנודע ע“י הבדיקות בעובר שנתחדש עתה שהולד יהיה ולד כזה אסור כיון דלהאם ליכא סכנה ואינו רודף אין להתיר אפילו שהצער יהיה גדול מאד... וברור ופשוט כדכתבתי הלכה הברורה ע“פ רבותינו הראשונים המפרשים והפוסקים ממש שאסור בדין רציחה ממש כל עובר בין כשר בין ממזר בין סתם עוברים ובין הידועים לחולי תיי - סקס שכולן אסורין מדינא ממש.

Igrot Moshe Chosen Mishpat II, 69

Even for children for whom the doctors predict a very short life span, such as those children who are born with the disease called Tay-Sachs, which through newly developed tests can be diagnosed prenatally, it would be forbidden since there is no danger to the mother and the infant is not a rodef. One cannot permit an abortion even though there is very great suffering involved … It is incontrovertible and clear as I have written, a straightforward halachah according to the words of our Masters, the traditional commentaries and halachic authorities, that abortion would be forbidden as bona-fide murder, for any fetus; legitimate or a mamzer, genetically normal or afflicted with Tay-Sachs, are all included in the prohibition according to Jewish law.


ציץ אלעזר חלק יג סימן קב פרק א

הפסקת הריון בגלל המחלה הנקראת תייסקס כאשר מאבחנים את המחלה בעובר: והנה אחרי העיון בדבר בכובד ראש בכל צדדי הנתונים שבבעיה האמורה, נלפענ“ד על יסוד הבירורים. הנרחבים שכתבתי בדבר הפסקת הריון בספרי שו“ת צ“א חלק ט‘ סי‘ נ“א שער ג‘ על שלשת פרקיו הארוכים. כי שבמקרה המיוחד הזה אשר תוצאות כה חמורות בכנפיו עם המשכת ההריון והלידה, אפשר להתיר הפסקת הריון עד שבעה חדשים, ובאופן שבביצוע הפסקת ההריון לא יהא כרוך בשום סכנה לאם. משבעה חדשים והלאה הדבר כבר יותר חמור.

Tzitz Eliezer 13:102 Chap 1

Regarding the termination of pregnancy due to detection of Tay-Sachs in the fetus: After seriously examining all the facts concerning this serious question, in my humble opinion, based on what I have already clarified concerning the termination of pregnancy in my work Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 9:51 (Section 3): It is clear that in Jewish law an Israelite is not liable to capital punishment for feticide.... An Israelite woman is permitted to undergo a abortion, it would be possible to permit performing an abortion up until the seventh month in this unique circumstance where the consequences of continuing the pregnancy are so severe, even though her life was not at stake.... This permissive ruling applies even when there is no direct threat to the life of the mother, but merely a need to save her from great pain, which falls within the rubric of "great need." Now, is it possible to imagine a case in which there is more need, pain, and distress, than the present one, in which the mother is confronted by the [prospect of a] suffering child whose certain death is only a few years away and nothing can be done to save it?].

29 כט
בת כהן שנישאת לישראל ומת טובלת ואוכלת בתרומה לערב אמר רב חסדא טובלת ואוכלת עד ארבעים דאי לא מיעברא הא לא מיעברא ואי מיעברא עד ארבעים מיא בעלמא היא

If a priest's daughter was married to an Israelite who died, she may perform her ritual immersion and eat terumah the same evening! R. Hisda replied: ... She performs the immersion but may eat terumah only until the fortieth day. For if she is not found pregnant she never was pregnant; and if she is found pregnant, until the fortieth day, is only a mere fluid.

30 ל

can we apply this statement "is only a mere fluid" to be lenient in allowing abortion before 40 days?

31 לא

(ז) הַמַּפֶּלֶת לְיוֹם אַרְבָּעִים, אֵינָהּ חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְוָלָד. לְיוֹם אַרְבָּעִים וְאֶחָד, תֵּשֵׁב לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה וּלְנִדָּה.

(7) If she miscarries on the fortieth day [since her prior immersion], she need not be concerned that it was a fetus. If [she miscarries] on the forty-first day, she should sit [for the required number of days] for a male and for a female.

32 לב
וא"ל אנטונינוס לרבי נשמה מאימתי ניתנה באדם משעת פקידה או משעת יצירה א"ל משעת יצירה א"ל אפשר חתיכה של בשר עומדת שלשה ימים בלא מלח ואינה מסרחת אלא משעת פקידה אמר רבי דבר זה למדני אנטונינוס ומקרא מסייעו שנאמר (איוב י, יב) ופקודתך שמרה רוחי

Antoninus said to Rebbe At what point is the soul given to a human? Is it from the moment of decree [that such a child will exist], or from the moment of formation? He responded: "from the moment of formation." He replied, "is it possible that a piece of meat can last for three days without salt, and yet not become rotten? Rather it must be from the moment of decree." Rebbe said: "This thing that I learned from Antoninus, and there is a supporting verse: [Job 10] Your Providence has guarded my soul."

33 לג

The Torah teaches us that every moment of life is intrinsically valuable; life itself is never futile. Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, a leading halachic authority of the past generation, points out that we have no "yardstick" by which to measure value of life. Even for a deaf, demented elderly man, incapable of doing any mitzvot, we must violate the Shabbat to save his life.(Auerbach, Rav Shlomo Zalman, "Responsum Regarding a Very Sick Patient," Halacha U'Refuah, vol. 3, p60

It is not within our moral jurisdiction to decide what quality of life is "not worth living" and therefore unworthy of treatment. (Auerbach, Rav Shlomo Zalman, "Treatment of the Dying," Halacha U'Refuah, vol. 2, p. 131: "a person is not master of his body to relinquish even one moment"​​​​​​​