Letter to the Editor: John Markson
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Letter to the Editor: John Markson

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The May 11th Rabbinic “Statement on Reproductive Freedom” is confusing. Are the Rabbis saying that Supreme Court Justices should be applying Jewish law in interpreting the US constitution or that we should not accept a Supreme Court ruling that is contrary to Jewish Law?

Perhaps these Rabbis are experts on US constitutional law and are saying that a ruling overturning Roe is a mistaken interpretation of the Constitution. Most likely, their message is simply that they are personally pro-choice and would prefer that the Supreme Court members come up with a legal rationale to support Roe.

In that regard, their opinion carries no more weight or moral authority than anyone else’s no matter how much they wrap their opinion up with some Jewish-speak.

Like the Rabbis, I am “pro-choice” and generally satisfied with the structure put in place post-Roe. The Torah is, however, silent on the issue of abortion and subsequent rabbinical rulings and interpretations are across the spectrum. Our constitution was not interpreted as providing a right to abortion for 180+ years prior to 1973’s Roe decision and today few legal scholars try to defend the decision as constitutionally supported.

I have watched for years in frustration as many of our Rabbis lower themselves from the lofty and universal messages of the Torah into the messy day-to-day business of opining on divisive political topics where they have no particular expertise or perspective beyond the average member of the Jewish community.

The Rabbis Statement on abortion is another sad example.

John Markson, Atlanta

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