August 18, 2011 1:32 am at 1:32 am #806256
can we agree that infanticide is wrong?August 18, 2011 4:11 am at 4:11 am #806257
Hmmmm I did not state the situation where Rabbi Breitowitz or Rabbi Leff hold an abortion is permitted!
I said that in a case that it is, then it should be done by a Jewish woman Doctor.August 18, 2011 4:30 am at 4:30 am #806258
am yisrael chaiParticipant
I’m wondering if there could be a “new gender test” for adults, too.
I was on the bus and had a tough time determining if I should sit down or not; I unfortunately could not figure out this person’s gender in the adjoining seat.August 18, 2011 5:12 am at 5:12 am #806259
hello99 -“Health: if someone asked you “how many candles do we light the second night of Channuka?” would it be “deceitful” to answer “2” without mentioning that Beis Shammai holds “7”???”
I already stated if s/o comes to ask you a personal Shaila, you can just say the way you Pasken. I also posted that over here this isn’t the case. This is a public forum -so no one asked you what the Psak is. If you are discussing the Inyan, you have to at least mention that others disagree, otherwise this is deceitful!August 18, 2011 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #806260
Health: so, in a public forum it would be deceitful to state that 2 candles are to be lit the second night of Channuka, and if someone did so you would vehemently criticize them.
I think I can safely state that this behavior is not mainstreamAugust 18, 2011 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #806261
” I unfortunately could not figure out this person’s gender “
Very Funny, AYC!
I’ve had this case as well on the train.August 18, 2011 9:47 pm at 9:47 pm #806262
Health, Rav Waldenberg is certainly not a Da’as Yachid. Rav Ovadiah agrees with him; and since his P’sak is almost universally accepted by Sephardim you were remiss in not mentioning that part. (In fact, Rav Ovadiah’s opinion is even more lenient than Rav Waldenberg.) That aside, Rav Moshe is considered in the minority of major Poskim for this issue because of the fact that Rav Waldenberg is (and probably will be for a long time) the preeminent expert on Halachic medicine and the way Rav moshe dealt with some of the Rishonim here. Rav Moshe is certainly entitled to interpret Rishonim however he wishes and to dismiss Acharonim if he disagrees with their opinions. However, many Poskim felt that Rav Waldenberg made the stronger claim. The P’sak in most places in America accords with Rav Moshe. However, there are certainly many valid Poskim who agree with Rav Waldenberg and Chalilah (if you are a Posek) to force someone to have to raise an impaired child who they are not capable of raising without informing them of the very strong and accepted dissenting opinion.August 19, 2011 12:42 am at 12:42 am #806263
hello99 – There is a difference stating just the way we Pasken L’halacha from the S’A than stating only one way when it’s a Machlokes Haposkim. The latter is deceitful by putting it on the level of Psak Halacha from S’A as opposed to just a Psak from the Poskim in our generation. I’m sorry that you can’t see this obvious difference.
Would you mind telling us who gave you Smeicha?August 19, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am #806264
Sam2 – You shouldn’t be addressing me -you should be addressing
hello 99! This is what happens when you post without first reading the whole topic.August 19, 2011 4:28 am at 4:28 am #806265
health: you drew the distinction between public and private, I was just following your statement to its logical conclusion.
I don’t understand why you are flying off the handle that I omitted a daas yachid, whille your statement “Poiskem Matter abortions in cases where it isn’t life threating – eg.- genetic problems with the fetus” omitted the majority opinion.
I have smicha from the Rabbanut, Rav Z. N. Goldberg and a local Rav I did shimush by for many years.August 19, 2011 9:21 pm at 9:21 pm #806266
Sorry Health, I did read the whole thread. My post was supposed to be addressed to Hello99. I was more worried about the content of my post than the first word. Oops.
Hello99, would you care to address any of my claims?August 20, 2011 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm #806267
Also, can you bring sources for your claim that “many valid Poskim who agree with Rav Waldenberg”
At this point, I see nothing worth addressing.August 21, 2011 3:47 am at 3:47 am #806268
Hello: The “Many valid Poskim” just include Rebbeim and Rabbis that I have spoken to in Eretz Yisrael. I think this issue more than any other highlights the difference in the weight given to R’ Moshe’s opinions in America and Eretz Yisrael.
I remember being shocked by how lenient Rav Ovadiah was on abortion when I first looked it up (someone was wondering on Jewish Halachic positions on abortion). He says the first 40 days you can abort for any reason and until 7 months (might have been three; I seem to recall him quoting a random Sephardic SHU”T about the 7 months) it can be done to avoid the mother “Tza’ar Gadol”. I looked this up in high school and my notes are on an old note card that I am currently searching for. If I can’t find the card I will try to find the exact Teshuvah for you. It was in the Yabia Omer though.August 21, 2011 5:18 am at 5:18 am #806269
hello99 -“Poiskem Matter abortions in cases where it isn’t life threating – eg.- genetic problems with the fetus” omitted the majority opinion.”
If you didn’t chap what I meant with this post it’s simple -you posted that’s it’s ossur and I was explaining to e/o that your blanket statement isn’t true -there are dissenters! If I thought that you were tellng e/o that there is only one way -I’m sure others thought the same way as me. This was deceit on your part.August 21, 2011 9:34 am at 9:34 am #806270
I respect your lumdus and your impeccable Rabbinical credentials. However, in addition to shakla v’tarya of the sugya, written piskei halachah, and halachah l’maiseh, there is another level, called “what actually happens out there”. I can tell you with absolute certainty that in Eretz Yisrael when the issue arises in the chareidi veldt, what ends up happening is not according to Reb Moshe zt”l and those who agree with him.August 21, 2011 2:42 pm at 2:42 pm #806271
dear old man,
I am far from ignorant about “what actually happens out there”. I receive numerous Sheilos daily in person on the phone and by email. I am constantly networking with contemporaries and consulting with senior Rabbonim.
I can tell you with absolute certainty that in Eretz Yisrael and in the USA when the issue arises in the chareidi veldt NO mainstream Poskim are permitting abortions unless there is a realistic threat to the mother’s life.August 21, 2011 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm #806272
I will not quote major poskim that disagree with you, I have not received their permission to publicize their (lenient) views. I know what happens behind closed doors and apparently you also make the same claim. So we disagree on two levels, one on what the poskim say, and two, what actually happens. I can leave it at that, we both know that our disagreement doesn’t change the mitzius or the halachah.August 21, 2011 5:59 pm at 5:59 pm #806273
Wow this topic is getting interesting.
Old Man – Out of curiosity -what type of sickness or genetic problems are Mattered and until what gestational month?
hello99 – What type of life-threating disease is being Mattered and until what gestational month or till the delivery?August 21, 2011 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #806274
if you refuse to quote names, I guess there is nothing to discussAugust 21, 2011 8:29 pm at 8:29 pm #806275
I specifically avoided using the word “mattir”. In many cases, the posek will not pasken, but he may do one of the following:
1. Quote a lenient psak from a different posek
2. Send the questioner to a posek who will be mattir
3. Send the questioner to a doctor who “will tell you what needs to be done”
This way, the posek cannot be quoted l’heter, and he may not even agree with the heter. But in the final analysis, it gets done and it gets done quickly and quietly.
For the protection of those who may not be mature enough to handle it, I will refrain from mentioning the specific instances where the above occurs. It will suffice to say that due to the overwhelming success of Dor Yesharim, there are very few shailos regarding fatal genetic diseases. Most of the instances do not involve genetic disease or any other disease. These instances are dealt with in the first trimester for the most part, and do not require the Tzitz Eliezer’s seven month criterion.August 21, 2011 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #806276
i’ll be away a couple of days, and respond on my returnAugust 21, 2011 9:50 pm at 9:50 pm #806277
” the Poskim hold that (in a case that abortion is Muttar) it should be done by a Yid.”
My wife once asked a shilah of a prominent talmid chacham if she could teach medical residents how to perform abortions. To her surprise (mine, too) the answer was yes. The reason given was that because abortions were sometimes mandated, it was essential that there be physicians who knew how to perform them.
“163 million missing girls. Talk about a shidduch crisis.”
This is a huge problem. However, in the US and a few other countries, many statistics indicate that there may actually be a *preference* for girls.
“a Jewish Doctor should do the surgery”
Safe non-surgical abortions are now widely available using the drugs methotrexate or mifepristone combined with misoprostol. And they can be done as soon as a woman knows she is pregant, easily within the first 40 days after conception.
” there is no heter of pikuach nefesh for a goy”
An unopposed gemara in Sanhedrin states that there is nothing permitted to a Jew that is prohibited to a non-Jew. The difference is that the penalty for a non-Jew can be greater; for example, non-Jews are permitted to have a death penalty for petty theft.
“the late Rabbi Eliezer Waldenberg,an esteemed religious judge of the Supreme Rabbinic Court in Jerusalem,who permitted Tay-Sachs abortions through the end of the second trimester”
So did Rov Soloveitchik z’tz’l. Others who have held similarly include Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli z’tz’l, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, and Rabbi Levy Yitzhak Halperin. Here is Rav Aviner’s opinion: http://www.ravaviner.com/search?q=abortion
I am not familiar with Rav Ovadiah Yosef’s position on this.
“The P’sak in most places in America accords with Rav Moshe. “
Actually, in the rare cases when Rov Soloveitchik z’tz’l publicly disagreed with his cousin Rav Moshe z’tz’l, most American communities follow Rov Soloveitchik — because almost all their rabbis have earned semichah from either Rov Soloveitchik z’tz’l or one of his talmidim.August 21, 2011 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm #806278
Rav Moshe’s word is generally the final word in Chutz L’Aretz, and generally in Eretz Yisroel as well. On this matter, as well as most others. Rav Waldenberg’s position on this matter is not generally accepted as a rule, in deference to Rav Moshe’s whose is.August 22, 2011 2:21 am at 2:21 am #806280
Charlie – Welcome back. “My wife once asked a shilah of a prominent talmid chacham if she could teach medical residents how to perform abortions. To her surprise (mine, too) the answer was yes. The reason given was that because abortions were sometimes mandated, it was essential that there be physicians who knew how to perform them.”
What do you mean by teach? Like show how on a real patient? I doubt that would be Mutter. That’s the only way it’s called teaching. I would not just do it because I was told to.August 22, 2011 6:58 am at 6:58 am #806281
Hacham, with all due respect, your statement is not true. As I said before, in Eretz Yisrael Rav Waldenberg’s opinion is accepted and Reb Moshe’s opinion is rejected. You will not see this in any newspaper,news item, or quotable psak. But that is what is done and it is done very quietly.August 22, 2011 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #806282
old man -“It will suffice to say that due to the overwhelming success of Dor Yesharim, there are very few shailos regarding fatal genetic diseases.”
What about Down’s syndrome which can’t be detected with prior to marriage testing?August 22, 2011 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #806283
Health, with all due respect, and after much thought, please forgive me for declining to respond to your question. I do have a ready response. However, I feel that the question is too sensitive for this informal and much read forum.August 23, 2011 4:31 am at 4:31 am #806284
am yisrael chaiParticipant
I just can’t bring myself to call you an old man (blame it on my upbringing :)) so may I call you ???? Somehow, ????? in Hebrew are much more respected.
Since you’re reluctant to answer, perhaps I’ll give the most simple response:
“…there are very few shailos regarding fatal genetic diseases.”
“What about Down’s syndrome…”
Down’s syndrome is not considered a fatal disease.
🙂August 23, 2011 1:50 pm at 1:50 pm #806285
Dear Am yisrael chai,
Old man is perfectly ok with me. Yes, Down’s is not a fatal disease c”v. The Tzitz Eliezer has a tshuva on it. I’ll leave it at that.August 24, 2011 3:48 pm at 3:48 pm #806286
old man: None of the many Poskim I am personally familiar with would do something so utterly irresponsible on such a serious issue as to “Quote a lenient psak from a different posek”” or “Send the questioner to a doctor who “will tell you what needs to be done”” without first issueing a difinitive Psak Halacha.
Certainly your statement “he may not even agree with the heter. But in the final analysis, it gets done and it gets done quickly and quietly” is extremely shoking!!!
I really wonder which “Poskim” you know???August 24, 2011 4:13 pm at 4:13 pm #806287
Health: as I mentioned previously, HaRav Elyashiv considers more than three fetuses to be potentially life threatening to the mother. This is a liberal definition of sakana, and he only uses it to allow “reduction” until 40 days.
I have heard of an incident where an expectant mother was diagnosed with cancer, where the chemo would inevitably provelethall to the fetus. Since thebabyy was in no form a rodef, she received a psak that she could not treat the tumor until after the baby’s delivery, which was carried out at the earliest possible date. It was known from the outset that this ruling would seriouslyendangerr the mother’s life, and if fact she survived only a few weeks after delivery.
This seconincidentnt is NOT something I would even consider Paskening myself. Life and death rulings should breferreded to Gedolei HaPoskimAugust 24, 2011 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #806288
y r the most conplex halachos being discussed in the coffee room ?August 24, 2011 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #806289
hello99: Why wasn’t the cancer case considered rodef? By the baby preventing the mother from taking life saving medicine, is not the baby being rodef? Also, in this case, is being that the baby is yet unborn not a factor?August 24, 2011 5:10 pm at 5:10 pm #806290
yahud: what should we discuss, the weather?
I hope everyone reading this has enough sechel to ask a Posek if it is relevant, and not rely on the CRAugust 24, 2011 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #806291
Hello99, that cancer case is actually famous because she was the daughter of an important/famous person. I don’t know who told her to wait on the chemo (supposedly it was a big Posek) and I really don’t want to know. I thought that the Rov who told her to wait was very close to Shofech Damim when I first heard the story and I have seen nothing since then to make me think otherwise. I will never understand that P’sak. Chemo wouldn’t even kill the baby directly. It was a G’ram killing of a fetus in a case of Pikuach Nefesh. I will never understand that.August 24, 2011 6:03 pm at 6:03 pm #806292
Sam: “I will never understand that P’sak”
Your lack of understanding does not make it incorrect!August 24, 2011 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm #806293
Hello: Can you explain how that P’sak isn’t killing the woman? I can’t. Can you find anyone who can explain it to me? Until you (or anyone else) can, I will continue to believe that that P’sak was made in error. Either he didn’t realize how life-threatening it would be or just made a mistake. Either way, I cannot find any Halachic justification for that P’sak and I have been searching for years.August 24, 2011 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #806294
YOU, sam2, of internet CR blog repute cannot find any justification for R’Elyashuvs, shlita psak?August 24, 2011 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm #806295
I did not (or do not) know if the P’sak was given by R’ Elyashiv. I do not want to know if it was given by R’ Elyashiv. All I know is that a woman died because of a case that is Mefurash in a Mishnah. I have spoken to R’ Elyashiv before and disagreed with him in person before. I would love to hear his interpretation of this if he ever explained it. I in no way claim to be anywhere near even close to being 1% as knowledgeable as he is. If asked a Shaila I would never disagree with him without someone of equal stature disagreeing with him first. That being said, I have still never heard any justification for this particular P’sak.August 24, 2011 6:53 pm at 6:53 pm #806296
Sam: Nor have you heard anyone of Rav Elyashev’s stature disagree with this psak. So by your own point and admission, you are not one to disagree on this case.August 24, 2011 7:01 pm at 7:01 pm #806297
Correct. I am no one to disagree. I would not answer such a Shaila if it was brought to me. R’ Elyashiv is under no obligation to explain himself to me or care what I think. But I am not obligated to blindly accept this either, so I can honestly and fairly say that I have not yet found a way to understand a justification for this P’sak.August 24, 2011 7:57 pm at 7:57 pm #806298
Injecting the mother with a chemical poisonous to the fetus is direct retzicha and not grama, by almost any definition of the term grama.August 24, 2011 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #806300
Hello: Are you sure R’ Elyashiv even holds like R’ Moshe. But assuming he does, and assuming that we still can’t call the baby a Rodeph because his existence is preventing the mother from taking a life-saving medication (which is a tremendous assumption), then the issue is not the “kill or be killed” issue. The mother wouldn’t be doing the killing, the doctor would. Thus, we would be looking at the Mishnah and Gemara in Horiyos 13a which lists who to save first. Now, the Gemara (or Rishonim) don’t discuss anything with a fetus, presumably because such a case was inconceivable where we could choose between saving the life of a fetus versus a person, especially when we take into account that the Mishnah says we kill a fetus to save the mother. So we have a choice between saving a woman who is Vaddai living and a Vaddai Kasher, versus saving a fetus who we can think of a limitless number of Sfeikos about. We should also save the woman because she can claim that the baby is a Mamzer and thus she would get preference either way.
And I don’t think you’re right about this not being a Grama. Without getting into biological details, the chemo does not directly attack the fetus. It will affect things inside the mother’s body that will eventually lead to the detriment of the fetus. Aside from this, chemo won’t definitely kill a fetus (there are documented cases of a fetus surviving chemo for as many as 5 months). Which might make this a case of Safek putting someone in danger to save someone else’s life, which is obviously not allowed. But once again, these two are linked so it is up to us to decide who to save first.
Also, even according to R’ Moshe we should call this fetus a Rodeph. Pregnancy and labor is always physically traumatic regardless of the health of the mother. For someone with a late-stage cancer, going through something that physically traumatic would always increase the possibility of life-threatening complications and it’s impossible to claim that there isn;t a Safek Pikuach Nefesh issue for the mother here. And unless I am mistaken, it is clearly brought down that you kill the fetus even if there is only a Safek on the mother’s life.August 24, 2011 9:47 pm at 9:47 pm #806301
Sam: I never said the Posek who gave this ruling was HaRav Elyashiv. However, it is consistent with what Rav Morganstern said in his name that even reducing extreme multiples before 40 days requires sakana.August 24, 2011 9:52 pm at 9:52 pm #806302
Your last point is a good one, I also wondered the same. Wouldn’t the added stress on a pregnancy on a sick woman be a rodef. I have to assume this was taken into account and we are not smarter than the Posek who ruled this way.
I’m not an oncologist, but are you certain the chemo would not kill the fetus directly?
Again, I did not say I would have ruled this way, but i don’t understand why you find it so inconceivable.August 24, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm #806303
hello 99- What about pregnancy complicated by disease? Example – woman has a heart problem. Giving birth to a child could potentially be life threatening. Is it Mutter to abort?August 25, 2011 12:13 am at 12:13 am #806304
I am not positive, but I am pretty sure that wahtever they use for the chemotherapy has to be able to kill the placenta, and then the fetus sustains damage from there. I am not positive though and read that years ago, so I could be mistaken. I still don’t think it’s integral to my argument anyway. Even if they do attack the fetus directly, they would have to cross the placenta first. It would be like a case of having a tied-up person sitting in an empty riverbed, you remove a dam blocking the water-flow, but there is a second dam in the way. The water may or may not overpower that second dam, but removing the first dam is only a Grama.August 25, 2011 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm #806305
Health: as I said previously, I will not pasken on life of death issues, certainly not on an online forum without knowing all the variables of a specific case.
Theoretically, it sounds likely that many Poskim would permit it if the doctors thought the pregnancy presents a real danger to the mother’s life. I don’t know in what circumstances Rav Elyashiv might permit this after 40 days.
Any case like this requires an experienced Posek who understands medical issues to communicate directly with the doctors to understand thintricacieses of the specific situation.August 25, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm #806306
Sam: I did a little research, and it seems that the chemo affects the fetus directly.
However, a recent study has shown little effect to the fetus in the second or third trimester and 20% chance of birth defects in the first. Certainly sounds like a pregnant cancer patient need not abort and it is notcertainlyt killing the fetusObviouslyly, different drugs may behave differently. Also, the story we are discussing took place years ago. The chemicals used then may have been more toxic. In any event, I doubt the same psak would be given today; there seems less imperative to abort and less need for the mother to die.August 28, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am #806307
Sam: I looked up the Yabia Omer, and you seem to mis-remember Rav Ovadia Yosef’s psak. He rules in vol 4 Even HaEzer siman 1 that abortion is assur min haTorah and only permitted for pikuach nefesh. He quotes Rav Waldenberg in Tzitz Eliezer as being more lenient, but disagrees. The 7 months comes from the Tzitz, not Reb Ovadia.
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