Israel's Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar on Monday called on all Israeli
rabbis to fight the "abortion epidemic in our country."
Just as in previous years, the chief rabbis sent a letter to rabbis all across Israel instructing them to "bring up the Exodus Torah reading during their sermon on Saturday regarding the "biblical prohibition to kill fetuses in their mothers' intestines."
The timing is not coincidental: This week's Parasha talks about Hebrew midwives in Egypt who did not listen to Pharaoh's ruling and refused to cast away the male babies to the Nile.
In a meeting held three years ago by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel to discuss abortions, a special committee was established to look into the issue.
The rabbis learned that around 50,000 abortions are carried out in Israel every year, 30,000 of which are pirated. Since then, the chief rabbis continue to stress the importance of this subject in their eyes every year, in preparation for the Exodus sermon.
"Obviously the majority of the abortions are unnecessary and forbidden according to the Halacha (Jewish law), since they are conducted in situation that puts the mother's life at risk," wrote the rabbis. "The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is appalled by this horrifying data, indicating that this is a true epidemic costing the lives of dozens of Jewish souls every year."
In view of reality, the chief rabbis expressed their shock and inquired: "Who wouldn't be startled by such data?'". They added: "Aside from the severity of the sin, it also delays salvation."
At the end of the letter, the rabbis request to present their three-stage plan to decrease the number of abortions in Israel, which they consider to be "actual murder of souls."
Firstly, the chief rabbis asked that with the help of their sermons and channels of information, the local rabbis encourage birth within the Jewish people and prevent unnecessary abortions.
Secondly, they asked that the rabbis hand out pamphlets "in preparation of a happy marriage" to any couple who is to be wed. And thirdly, consult with a doctor regarding such activity.