Need for commitment continues
The d’var Torah by Rabbi Josh Jacobs-Velde (“Why Judaism is different on ‘what is a fetus?’” Feb. 16) was a succinct and clear explanation of the basis for the Jewish position on the status of the fetus.
I would bring to your readers’ attention the fact that the rabbi’s synagogue was one of 1,500 participating organizations across this nation taking part in Repro Shabbat, an annual project launched by the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) in 2021.The goal of NCJW in this project is to designate one Shabbat to learn what our tradition teaches about reproductive freedom, and for Jews to come together as a community to talk about these issues. That Shabbat is over, but the need to commit ourselves as a Jewish community to reproductive health, rights and justice continues.
Rabbi Jacobs-Velde ends his d’var Torah by asking Jews to recognize that “our country’s understanding around abortion, particularly around efforts to limit abortion access” is the result of the imposition of a Christian ideology on us all.
To counter this NCJW has created many resources, among them one slogan that says “abortion bans are against my religion.”
Science can explain developmental timelines, but it is philosophic and religious viewpoints that largely determine what defines “life” or “personhood” for each individual.
Lesley Frost, Bethesda
The writer is a member of the NCJW Maryland Action Team
Anti-Zionism in sum
Regarding “Trial By Billboard” (Editorial, Feb. 9):
Anti-Zionism is antisemitism because it denies the Jewish people the fundamental right to self determination while negating Jewish historical, cultural and religious ties to the land of Israel. It differs from mere disagreement with Israeli government policies or actions.
However, propagandistic distortions and lies about Israel such as the apartheid smear are antisemitic because they employ flagrant untruths in an effort to delegitimize Israel. “Anti-Zionism is antisemitism” aptly sums up the matter.
Stuart Endick, Burke