Does Genesis justify abortion?

March 10th, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi No Comment yet

Question:

Kermit Gosnell (abortionist covictied of murder) justifies abortion using Genesis 2:7. (Adam became a living soul when God breathed the breath of life into his nostrils.) He claims that a baby does not become a living soul until it takes its first breath of air.
 
Please tell me that God’s language and Ancient Jewish Wisdom refute that notion.

∼ Darryl B.

Answer:

 Dear Darryl,

We are a bit tired and assume you are too of people who cherry pick through the Bible to support their own views. If you followed the view you mention, you would have to conclude that animals are not alive since God never breathed the breath of life into them. Somehow, I feel that Gosnell would not justify gratuitous and random killing of animals based on the idea that they are no more alive than carrots.

Ancient Jewish wisdom makes very clear that the “breath of life,” doesn’t refer to being alive but rather to God granting humans the ability to speak. Animals are alive and they communicate, but only humans formulate and express thoughts through language.

Learn from everyone, but not necessarily what they hope to teach you,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

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