Avodah Mailing List

Volume 16 : Number 081

Tuesday, January 3 2006

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Subjects Discussed In This Issue:
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 08:30:29 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Subject:
Re: Length of Maaseh Breshis has no impact on halacha (science of origins is speculative and suspect)


"R. Alexander Seinfeld" <seinfeld@daasbooks.com> wrote:
> It appears that R. Gottlieb's speaks specifically to your point:
>     "We are suggesting that [this logic] be used to resolve
>     a contradiction between two generally reliable sources of
>     information. Under these conditions it is wholly appropriate....Of
>     course, this solution assumes that the Jewish tradition does have
>     enough evidence to be regarded as generally reliable."

> Is this disagreement not from the heart of Channukah? For the Hellenists
> say: Human reason and science are the measure of all things. The Jew
> responds: God and Torah are the measure of all things.

> Therefore, it should perhaps not bother us that in one fundamental area
> of knowledge God indeed gave us a challenge for our Emuna, that it should
> trump even reason, as per the Akeida.

Science and Torah do not contradict each other if both are understood
properly. But they are not the same discipline. Torah is a spiritual
understanding that encompasses the real and the physical. Science deals
only with the physical. To understand Torah one need not subscribe
to science at all. But to understand science one needs to deal with
the data in question. One cannot simply wipe away the data and say it
is just a test. That's too easy and disallows scientific inquiry into
nature. Because any time we come up with something seemingly contradictory
we must discard it rather than evaluate it.

To say that observing a star that is measured as being 100 million light
years away is merely a trick of God to try and trip up in our Emunah
and that really it is only created to look like it is 100 million light
years away is to say that Godís purpose for mankind is to lead us astray.

My belief is that God gave us a mind for a reason and He does not mislead
us. The Nisyonos we get in our daily lives are enough of a test. If it
walks like a duck... well it's possible it's not a duck but... common.

HM


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Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 17:47:10 EST
From: T613K@aol.com
Subject:
Re: rape [was: a person who is in the "wrong body"]


In Avodah V16 #80 dated 1/2/2006 RMB writes: 
> Someone asked me to forward the following for them,  anonymously:
>> I do not. However, I was once zoiche to help a woman who  was a therapist
>> for a Satmere girl who was raped. She needed a  consultation with the
>> rebbe before speaking with the girl. The rebbe  was clear. If the girl
>> would be traumatized by having to raise or give  up a product of a rape,
>> abortion would be permissable. As long as it  was within forty days.

A critical piece of information SHOULD be disseminated widely and maybe
even taught in girls' high schools: there is a morning-after pill that can
be obtained in a hospital emergency room. Every rape victim should go
straight to an emergency room and request that pill. If more people knew
about this there wouldn't be such a thing as a girl finding out a few
weeks later that she is pregnant with a monster's spawn. The whole
scenario above could and should have been avoided.

Of course I'm a big talker, but I have to admit that I myself have
never yet had the courage to bring up this subject with my own Bais
Yakov students. Still, I wish this vital bit of information were more
widely known.

There was a push to make this pill available in pharmacies, as an over
the counter drug, but it got shot down by anti-abortion forces without
ever being noticed, or fought for, by the "pro-choice" side. This is
one issue where Judaism differs from the Catholic church (and some
other Christians). The morning after pill prevents implantation of
a fertilized egg. To the pro-lifers this egg is a full human being,
the killing of which is every bit as much of a crime as the killing of a
ninth-month fetus. To us, the idea that one would prevent the killing
of this egg, only to end up killing a fully formed fetus a couple of
months later, is a horror.

 -Toby  Katz
=============


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Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2006 01:06:33
From: "Dr. Josh Backon" <backon@vms.huji.ac.il>
Subject:
Abortion Due to Mental Anguish


Mental illness: the Levush Mordechai (CM 39) permits an abortion if the
woman is psychotic; the Torat Hayoledet Chapter 60 #4 permits in a case of
serious depression. Even here, it was in reference to actual psychosis,
not minor depression of the woman. In order to permit an abortion,
there must be a concomitant illness of the woman that would be greatly
exacerbated by the pregnancy.

On the other hand, the method of abortion also plays a factor: destructive
operations (e.g. D&C) vs. drug induced abortion (prostaglandin pessary)
with drug induced abortions seen as being more lenient (issur d'rabbanan).
18 years ago we actually came up with an even more lenient shita of
abortion (via affecting the autonomic nervous system) [did it in lab rats]
but never publicized (or published) it (as in halacha v'ein mor'in keyn).

1) AGUADO LI, PREPUBERTAL OVARIAN-FUNCTION IS FINELY REGULATED BY DIRECT
ADRENERGIC INFLUENCES - ROLE OF NORADRENERGIC INNERVATION. ENDOCRINOLOGY
114:1845 1984
2) BELL C, AUTONOMIC NERVOUS CONTROL OF REPRODUCTION - CIRCULATORY AND
OTHER FACTORS. PHARMACOLOGICAL REVIEWS 24:657 1972
3) BAHR J, ROLE OF CATECHOLAMINES AND NERVES IN OVULATION. BIOLOGY
OF REPRODUCTION 10:273 1974 
4) NANCE DM. NEURAL REGULATION OF THE OVARY - EVIDENCE FOR HYPOTHALAMIC
ASYMMETRY IN ENDOCRINE CONTROL. BRAIN RESEARCH BULLETIN 10 : 353 1983

[Email #2. -mi]

R. Micha wrote:
> Someone asked me to forward the following for them, anonymously:
>> I do not. However, I was once zoiche to help a woman who was a therapist
>> for a Satmere girl who was raped. She needed a consultation with the
>> rebbe before speaking with the girl. The rebbe was clear. If the girl
>> would be traumatized by having to raise or give up a product of a rape,
>> abortion would be permissable. As long as it was within forty days.

The YAAVETZ (I:43) permits in the case where a mamzer would be born. 
In the case of rape, it is permissible (if done within 72 hours) 
to abort the fetus. (see also the Mishpetei Uzziel [III Choshen Mishpat,
#47]).

KT
Josh


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Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 18:37:31 -0500
From: "Sperling, Jonathan" <jsperling@cov.com>
Subject:
Re: Three steps forward


Those who follow the psak of the Mechaber don't answer omein after go'al
yiso'eil, but according to the Rem"a answering omein isn't considered
a hefseq (see OC 111:1).

There are some, IIRC it was the Minchas Elazar, who offered a solution
to be yotze the Mechaber and the Rem"a, that the sha"tz should conclude
ga'al yisroel silently, as not to enter any shailos about answering omein,
similar to the solution offered by some to the brocho on t'filin shel rosh
(see Shu"t Divrei Yatziv OC 1:83).

RSZA is quoted in the first volume of Halichot Shlomo as saying that the
sha"tz should say ga'al yisrael aloud, on the grounds that although "all
the Acharonim endeavored to find a solution to fulfill all the shitos
concerning [answering Amen to the brocha], they did not mention this
advice of concluding [the brocha] silently." See Halichot Shlomo, Vol.
I, page 93.


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Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 18:50:26 EST
From: RallisW@aol.com
Subject:
Tallis over the head


This past Shabbos, I was honoured with the kibud of davening mincha
from the omud at a charedi nusach Ashkenaz shul which purports to follow
minhag Gateshead. I was politely asked by the Gabai to remove my hat and
cover my head with the tallis. I naturally complied. However, this seems
to me to be a chassidic custom. Can anyone confirm this with sources?

I am aware that many Yekkes and Oberlanders (as R'SBA will be aware
from his shul in Melbourne) keep their hats on during davenen and
do not cover their heads with the tallis. I seem to recall seeing
one of the Rishonim justify this on the basis that pulling down the
hat brim constitutes atifa. I only mention this because it seems to
justify my suspicion that this a chassidic custom that has become more
mainstream. It also seems to be indicative of a general trend toward
homogenization of custom, particularly away from minhag Ashkenaz to
minhag Sefard, which is especially prevalent in the charedi world.
Don't get me started on opshernishen...

I mentioned that the shul is charedi only to dispel the suggestion
that they have "tallis over the head" rule was instituted to cover
the potential shluchei tzibbur who do not wear hats - in this shul,
they all wear hats.

The Mishna Berura advises that one cover one's head with a tallis
throughout the whole of davenen. R' H Schacter writes in Nefesh HaRav
(I think) that Reb Chaim davka removed the tallis from his head for
birchos krias shema and shema itself. I would grateful to hear about
any other customs others might have seen (both mimetically and in text)
with regard to the tallis over the head.

Horav Binyomin Shlomo Homburger Shlito has a teshuvoh entitled "Tallis
V'Kova Al HoRosh BiShas HaTefilloh" that the original Ashkenazic minhog
in the middle ages was to wear both a hat and a tallis over the hat for
all of Orenen. He cites the "Leket Yosher" Orach Chayim Omud 20. and
the "Meduro Basro Shel Avodas HaBoray" Daf 37 Amud 1 among others.


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Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 15:42:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Harry Maryles <hmaryles@yahoo.com>
Subject:
Re: Tzadik vtov lo


"Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com> wrote:
> For those who believe that schar mitzvah bhai almah leka, how do they
> understand what happens to us in this world? Is it just random, do true
> tzaddikim only get punishment so that the rewarded in the next world
> will be greater etc...??????

We have to understand the idea behind schar mitzvah bhai almah leka. 

In my view it doesn't mean that there is no reward in this life. It
means that the ultimate reward is not in this life. But there can and IS
reward in this life as well. Otherwise how can anyone explain a relatively
rewarding or, God forbid, a punishing life in this world? I don't think
reward or punishment is random. There is Hashagcha Pratis. To what extent
God plays an active role and what extent he allows it to be random, I
don't know. But I think where there is an impact, it is the purposeful
will of God.

Punishment meted out is as deserved as is reward granted. What we cannot
do is speculate about what behavior is being rewarded or punished. We
cannot point to a reward and sa, "Aha! I knew that Tzedka I gave would
result in my winning the lottery." Nor can we say, I am being punished
with this debilitating illness, Rachmana Litzlan, because I was oveir on
"such and such" an Issur. We don't knoiw, We CAN'T know.Punishment and
reward is in the hands of God, and it is not ours to judge when... or
why... or for what... it is given.

HM


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Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 19:54:13 -0500
From: "Jonathan Ostroff" <jonathan@yorku.ca>
Subject:
RE: Length of Maaseh Breshis has no impact on halacha (science of origins is speculative and suspect)


[RHM] 
> To say that observing a star that is measured as being 100 
> million light years away is merely a trick of God to try and 
> trip up in our Emunah and that really it is only created to 
> look like it is 100 million light years away is to say that 
> God's purpose for mankind is to lead us astray.

Then big bang cosmology (and its 13.7Gy age for the universe) must
also be a trick as it has its own version of the starlight problem
called the Horizon Problem. Strange and wonderful solutions are
needed to solve it including the as yet undetected and hypothetical
inflaton/dark-matter/dark-energy or the speculation that the
speed of light was 60 orders of magnitude faster in the early
universe. For details in the published scientific literature see:
<http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol16/v16n053.shtml#03>.

KT ... JSO


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Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 20:52:28 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
Subject:
RE: Length of Maaseh Breshis has no impact on halacha (science of origins is speculative and suspect)


On January 2, 2005, Harry Maryles wrote:
> To say that observing a star that is measured as being 100 million light
> years away is merely a trick of God to try and trip up in our Emunah
> and that really it is only created to look like it is 100 million light
> years away is to say that God's purpose for mankind is to lead us astray.

Although I agree that issues from certain branches of science must
be addressed head on, I don't necessarily feel that light from distant
stars is one of those issues. If you ask an evolutionist how long it took
for life on earth to evolve to its present state, he would respond that
it appears that it took eons of time. Does that mean that Hashem would
have fooled us by creating life all at once? Of course not because the
assumption of the presence of a Creator automatically pre-supposes the
ability to instantly create that which from a naturalistic perspective
would take unfathomable lengths of time. Thus, the Creator could have
very easily altered the speed of light during sheyshes yimey bireishis in
order to supply his incipient creation with the great benefit afforded
to us via the facility of the light of stars. In any case, as JSO has
pointed out, there are scientists which question the constancy of c in
the early stages of creation. I am not competent enough to evaluate their
claim on a scientific level but it is comforting to know that respectable
scientists themselves are entertaining ideas that would possibly resolve
this conundrum.

Simcha Coffer 


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Date: Mon, 02 Jan 2006 22:13:03 -0500
From: Zev Sero <zev@sero.name>
Subject:
RE: Length of Maaseh Breshis


"S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca> wrote:
> Firstly, I do not see the necessity of introducing phenomena which are
> not necessary for kiyum haOlam merely to mislead mankind. Some examples
> of these phenomena would be fossil evidence, uranium to lead (and other
> radioactive elements) mixtures possessing decay rates older than 5766
> years, ice cores, tree rings etc. The world itself possesses a sufficient
> level of concealment (olam = he'elem) without introducing these elements
> which seem entirely incompatible with a young universe. True, Adam and
> the rest of the beriah were created fully mature, but do we need fossil
> evidence representing 575 million years of evolution for creatures that
> never existed during these time periods? Do we need tress or ice cores
> that represent 10's of thousands of years of seasonal activity which
> never really occurred?

Since we seem to be back to this question yet again, let me trot out my
standard reply: artistic completeness. Hashem is the Supreme Artist -
"ve'en tzayar kelokenu" - and this world is a work of art which He wants
to appear completely realistic. So He created a set of consistent rules,
and a world which obeys those rules, and whose origin those laws can
plausibly explain. At a minimum, He could have written some boring
laws, under which populated worlds can just pop up like mushrooms, and
nothing lasts very long, so it would be plausible that there were no
"very old" trees, rock formations, etc. But that wouldn't have been
very interesting.

With the laws of nature as He created them, though, He had to furnish
the world with millions of years worth of history, or it would cry out
"fake" - that mountain took millions of years to build up and erode,
so where are the fossils of all the species that must have existed over
that time? So He had to put them in. Now He could have made it all
trilobites and ferns and other boring species, but instead He "created"
the majestic dinosaurs, and all the other wonders of "prehistory",
purely as an artistic exercise.

-- 
Zev Sero
zev@sero.name


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Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 21:04:18 -0500
From: "Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com>
Subject:
RE: Tzadik vtov lo


"Rich, Joel" <JRich@Segalco.com> wrote:
> We have to understand the idea behind schar mitzvah bhai almah leka. 
> In my view it doesn't mean that there is no reward in this life. It
> means that the ultimate reward is not in this life. But there can and
> IS reward in this life as well.

Certainly that's what I'd like to have said but it doesn't seem consistent
with the gemara (kiddushin 39b-see especially tos masnisan who adds the
word klal to the statement of R' Yaakov)

KT
Joel Rich


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Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 22:26:37 +0200
From: Marty Bluke <marty.bluke@gmail.com>
Subject:
RE: Historical Reality and Chazal


Simcha Coffer wrote
>>However, other medrashim do assume that the simple pshat holds especially
> >based on the "berachah" of Yaakov on his deathbed.
>> Even achronim like Bet Halevi assume that the literal pshat is true,

>I do not believe any such Medrash or Beis haLevi exist. Can you please
>supply a mareh makom for your assertion?

Actually it is an explicit Gemara in Shabbos 55b. The gemara first
brings the well known opinion that he mixed up the beds, then the
gemara says k'tanai and both R' Yehoshua and R' Elazar hold that
Reuven actually sinned, they each understand Pachaz as a different
acronym (but they agree that Reuven sinned).

Onkelos as well translates it literall as v'shachiv, implying that he
held as well that the event happened as opposed to Targum Yonasan
which translates it as mixing up the beds.


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Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2006 23:37:38 -0500
From: "S & R Coffer" <rivkyc@sympatico.ca>
Subject:
RE: Xmax and Assimilation


On January 1, 2005, Micha Berger wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 30, 2005 at 11:35:59AM -0500, S & R Coffer wrote:
>:> But as I said, would you condemn roite bindeleach for the same reason?
>: Actually, some people consider it "Darkei Emoree", a lav.

> My point exactly. For someone who doesn't shlug kaparos, or won't allow
> someone with a roite bindela to even enter his home, it would make sense
> to second-guess gift giving on Chanukah.

But I didn't mean that. On the contrary, I meant that roite bendalach
are possibly a lav whereas gift-giving surely wouldn't be considered
a lav. The reason I think this is true is because darkei emoree,
a lav that incorporates several different types of activity, also
encompasses the issur against superstition which is the problem with
roite bendalach. Giving gifts on Chanukah has nothing to do with that. If
anything it might go into lo seilchu b'chukas hagoy but I don't think
it even goes into that because the goyim are merely giving gifts because
'tis the season to be jolly'. It is an expression of camaraderie which is
found equally in all classes of mankind. Unfortunately their jolliness
happens to come out precisely when our holiday does so their gift-giving
custom has infiltrated our holiday and although this custom is basically
innocuous, I have a tendency to want to me mivatel as many customs
learned from goyim as possible. Western culture is highly attractive
and the more we do to resist it, the better off we will be as Jews.

Simcha Coffer


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Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2006 18:17:06 +0200
From: Daniel Eidensohn <yadmoshe@012.net.il>
Subject:
Re: Xmax and Assimilation


Daniel Eidensohn wrote:
> S & R Coffer wrote:
>> When the Gra was a youth, he started breaking minhagim left and
>> right based on a Yerushalmi here, a Bavli there etc. He would say,
>> "minhag is osiyos gehinom". 

> The above statement was made by Rabbeinu Tam in Sefer haYashor.
> If you have a source that the Gra said it also - would greatly appreciate
> the citation.

I could not find the above in Sefer HaYashor but it does appear in Shut 
Baalei Tosfos #11


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Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 10:49:59 +0200
From: Marty Bluke <marty.bluke@gmail.com>
Subject:
Re: a person who is in the "wrong body"


[RMSS:]
> I don't have that sefer to look up the mareh makom. Was my guess, that
> the heter is predicated upon viewing the fetus as a rodef, correct?

There is a machlokes harishonim what is the prohibition to do an abortion
which would seem to be based on a dispute what the status of a fetus is.

Some rishonim view abortion as a form of murder (Rambam), albeit one
that does not carry the death penalty similar to the case of killing
a tereifah where there is a transgression of lo tirtzach without its
corresponding punishment. Others hold that abortion is assur because
of chavala. Rashi in Sanhedrin 72b uses the language that until the
head comes out "it is not a nefesh" which would seem to indicate like
this second opinion (if it is not a nefesh there can't be an issur of
murder). If the issur is retzicha then abortion can only be permitted for
pikuach nefesh and if the fetus qualifies as a rodef. On the other hand,
if the issur is chavala then it can be pushed off for lesser concerns
such as a woman's mental health, etc. (just like an operation can be
performed on a person for his benefit even though it is chavala).

Based on the above, poskim like R' Shaul Yisraeli, R' Waldenberg, the
Seridei Eish and others have proposed various heterim for abortions even
where there is no pikuach nefesh.


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Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 12:29:01 -0000
From: joshua.kay@addleshawgoddard.com
Subject:
Re: Three steps forward


> Al pi Ar"i one should sit while saying birchas k"sh, and not stand up
> till Tehillous le-eil elyoun, then he should stand up and prepare for
> sh"e (Siddur Keser Nehora AKA "Barditchever Siddur" or Tefila Yeshoro
> Siddur).

But the minhag to stand at Tehillos L'el elyon is mentioned by the
Maharil, so it pre-dates the Arizal.

Kol tuv
Dov Kay


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Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 21:28:55 +0000
From: Chana Luntz <chana@KolSassoon.org.uk>
Subject:
Re: a person who is in the "wrong body"


RMSS <ssvarc@yeshivanet.com> wrote:
>If they believed the determination they might consider the fetus a
>rodef. But I find it hard to believe this claim. Do you have any mareh
>makomos that I could look up?

In addition to the mareh makomos brought by RGS, the Tzitz Eliezer
discusses the question of abortion at great length in a number of teshuvos -
with perhaps the most in depth one being chelek 9, siman 51 perek
3. Below is my translation of his summary of the halacha (conclusion of
the teshuva) in that teshuva which I did for mail-jewish a while ago
(NB, I did not find the Hebrew easy to translate, and all errors in
translation mine):

"1) a ben noach merits the death penalty [neharog] for [killing] fetuses,
and there is an opinion that they do not merit the death penalty;

2) a Jew does not merit the death penalty for [killing] fetuses;

3) when there is a need [tzorech] the rule is that it is permitted to
arrange for a woman to abort and it is better that this is performed by
way of a Jewish doctor;

4) it is stricter regarding the performing of an abortion on a non-Jew
than on a Jew because they [ie the non-Jews] are commanded [ie forbidden
in the killing of] also on fetuses and one can be over on lifnei iver when
there is no other who is able also to perform the act. But that which
is written it is forbidden is when there is not seen to be a danger to
the woman and likewise when there is a need to perform an abortion on
a non Jewish woman, one should be careful that this is done by way of
a Jewish doctor.

5) there are those who hold that even though a Jew does not merit the
death penalty for killing fetuses, in any event there is an issur Torah
to do this;

6) there are those who hold that even an issur Torah there is none,
and there is only an issur d'rabbanan;

7) and there are also those who hold that even the issur d'rabbanan that
there is is weak [kalush];

8) according to the hidden torah [kabbalah?] the issur of aborting a
fetus is very strict;

9) when it is seen that there is a danger to the woman with continuing
the pregnancy it is permitted to abort the fetus without any difficulty
[bshufi];

10) also when the situation is that the health of the woman is very weak
and for the sake of healing her or quieting her great pain it is needed
to perform an abortion on the fetus, even though there is no fundamental
danger [sakana mamashit]; also there is place to permit this to be done
according to the view of the decisor when he sees the situation which
is before him;

11) and similarly there is to permit likewise when the woman is nursing
[meneket];

12) a married woman who was unfaithful or was raped and conceived even
from a non Jew where the offspring would not be a mamzer and she does
teshuva, with the support of many gedolei poskim it is permitted to
abort either because of her embarressment or because of the chillul
hashem and the stain [pagum] and embarrassment of the family [if not
for other reasons and mentioned inside];

13) to perform an abortion prior to the expiry of 40 days of the pregnancy
and also including before 3 months of the pregnancy it is much

more makil than performing it after this and there is on this support
to permit to perform an abortion prior to the expiry of the aforesaid
when the fetus is no longer moving and also when there is a justifiable
suspicion that the fetuses will be born defective [baal mum or baal
isurim]; [Note however that in later teshuvos, eg in chelek 14, siman
101, and 102, the Tzitz Eliezer allowed for the testing in certain
circumstances for mongaloidism [Downs syndrome] and for the termination
of pregnancies if mongoloidism was identified, even though the tests
cannot be performed before the 3rd or 4th month, and in other teshuvas
for other genetic diseases similarly by aminocentisis]

14) on the other hand to kill the offspring when the woman sits already
on the birthing stool and the fetus has already uprooted itself to come
out it is very serious because it has uprooted itself and there is no
permission in this situation except in a case of definite danger to the
mother [sakana shel mamash]

15) also in a place where the halacha gives to permit abortion in all
cases you need to seek on this also the agreement of the husband because
it is his money;

16) and so to repeat to perform an abortion by way of the medical system
you may do a physical action [ma'ase b'yadaim];

17) a woman who is sick from a very dangerous sickness which makes her
terminally ill and if the pregnancy is allowed to continue it will bring
her death closer and the woman requests that they not make for her an
abortion saying it does not matter to her if they bring her death closer
so long as she leaves behind offspring there is place to be matir in
this and not do anything [shev v'al ta'aseh];

18) all Jews are warned with a a great warning not to behave in a
frivolous manner in terminating a pregnancy, and a great responsibility
falls on both on the asker and the asked. Besides that which is in this
[a danger] because of the potential of a breaching of the boundaries
by the wanton who will behave immorally after them, but also because
the people of the world limit themselves in this matter and make takanot
and severe punishments on the [killing of] fetuses and on those who help
this and Jews are to be holy.

To understand these matters further one really needs to read the full
teshuva for which this is merely the summary and conclusion, as well
as the subsequent teshuvas published in his works. He makes it clear
in later teshuvas that he does not support routine testing (eg for
all women over 35) but only if there is a reason to be concerned (eg
the mother has had a Downs syndrome child already) and that each case
needs individually to be asked to a posek who is on a level to posken
[see chelek 14, siman 102)".

What I did not get into in that mail-jewish post, but you really need
to look at is the halachic analysis of the sources that he brings.
While the Rambam certainly treats the issue as one of rodef, and this is
the position that Rav Moshe Feinstein followed (which is no doubt why
this is the one position that you bring above), the Tzitz Eliezer does
not treat this as the dominant rishonic opinion, and brings opinions
that, to the extent that there is a d'orisa issur, the issur is either
shifchat zera l'vatala, or the prohibition on wounding oneself (the
fetus being considered the limb of the woman in numerous gemoros, and
just is as she is not permitted to just go and amputate a limb, neither
is she permitted to just go and abort) - while he also brings opinions
that in fact the issur is a rabbinic prohibition possibly based on the
above. He quotes extensively from various different sources throughout
rishonim and achronim. And, as is clear from the summary, one of the
issues discussed is allowing for abortion in the case of a stain on the
family (which is surely as psychiatric a consideration as it comes).
That in particular was permitted, inter alia, by the Ben Ish Chai. It
is definitely worth spending time on the entire teshuva..

Regards
Chana
-- 
Chana Luntz


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