Birth control is a method by which unwanted pregnancy is controlled. It is a medication that inhibits pregnancy and more so regulates the menstrual cycle. Most ladies go for birth control to regulate their cycles. Birth control involves the use of devices and medications which are followed to the later intentionally to prevent or reduce the probability of pregnancy. Contraception is the inhibition of impregnation by use of devices, pills, surgical procedures and sexual practices (Gray 81). Contraception aids women in planning if and when to have a baby. The essay, therefore, seeks to illustrate the rules of birth control and conception in Judaism and the circumstances in which they are permitted.
Traditionally, Jewish law has been opposed to abortion and birth control when purely practiced for selfish reasons. In the Torah, the first mitzvah found is to have children, be fertile and increase(Roded 56-80). Judaism believes that children are a blessing to the family. A home without children lacks blessings. In Judaism, the concept of prearranged parentage or spacing of childbirths does not create a religious problem as long as the duo is arranging to have children. Judaism is mostly concerned with the methods used in birth control and in particular, due to the restriction against seed destruction, some techniques are not acceptable. For example, some uterine devices and use of condoms have been objected by the Orthodox rabbinical authority while they have no objection to the usage of the pill.
Traditionally, having numerous offspring has been encouraged by Judaism. The argument put forward on this is that after the Holocaust, Jews should not shun having multiple children. The smallest number of progenies one must require fulfilling the Mitzvah to be fertile and increase is a problem of rabbinic dispute (Gray 81). Some priests say that one must have at least one male and one female while others say at least twofold. Birth control and usage of contraceptives is permitted in Judaism to some extent and opposed when done for selfish reasons.
Concerning Reform Judaism, abortion or birth control is opposed again when done for selfish reasons. However, when the pregnancy poses a health risk to the mother or child, or when other offspring have been congenital defective, birth control measures are acceptable. Liberal Judaism extends this idea to include scanty living conditions, extreme poverty, and threats to the well-being of the prevailing offspring in the household. Under particular family circumstances, birth control measures are necessary (Roded 56-80). Many Reform and some Conservative priests pledge to the program of prearranged parentage. Under Liberal Judaism, there is no problem with the usage of condoms.
An example is that of therapeutic abortion prescribed to protect the being or health of an expectant woman by the physician. Regarding Jewish law, such an action is utterly justified. Jews believe the life of the mother is imperative when compared to that of the unborn child, both to any other children she may have and her husband (Halperin et.al 853-861).
If a lady is expectant in Judaism, and her pregnancy poses the consequence of death if it continues, then the woman must perform an abortion. In practice, the odds of each course of action are assessed. A rabbi and a doctor need to be consulted. The mothers being takes preference in case of an emergency. Abortion before fourth days gestation is forbidden but it is not considered murder (Bleich et. al).
The view on birth control by the Jewish currently varies from the Conservative, Orthodox and the Reform branches of Judaism. The use of birth control measure among Orthodox Judaism is only accepted under limited situations. Conservative Judaism emboldens its adherents to follow the customary Jewish views regarding birth control. It also goes to greater exceptions to allow the use of birth control means to fit well with the present society (Bleich et. al). Of all, the most liberal concerning birth control is Reform Judaism. It allows it members to use their lone judgment in choosing what birth control means they desire to employ.
Traditional streams of Judaism like the Modern Orthodox and Haredi are mostly affected by the regulations regarding contraception use due to their strict observance of the Jewish law or Halakhah. Liberal strains of Judaism are affected by this regulation comprising but not limited to Conservative movements, Reform, and Reconstructionist much less in cases where the stress is on relating Jewish law to present life than strictly observing it (Halperin et.al 853-861). Most modern Jews feel that the advantages of contraception whether, family stability, disease prevention, or female health uphold the directive in Judaism to choose life more sturdily than they infringe the directive be fruitful and multiply."
Even though, contraception does help a lot. Spacing or delaying babies permits men and women to follow school and career objectives that may otherwise be intervallic by having offspring. All this empowers individuals and upsurges their aptitude to earn more. With lesser offsprings, families can invest more in each child.
Bleich, J. David, and Arthur J. Jacobson. Jewish Law And Contemporary Issues. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Discovery eBooks. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
Gray, Hillel. "The Transitioning Of Jewish Biomedical Law: Rhetorical And Practical Shifts In Halakhic Discourse On Sex-Change Surgery." Nashim: A Journal Of Jewish Women's Studies And Gender Issues 29 (2015): 81. Literature Resource Center. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
Halperin, Ofra, O. Sarid, and J. Cwikel. "A Comparison Of Israeli Jewish And Arab Women's Birth Perceptions." Midwifery 30.Focus on Birth (2014): 853-861. ScienceDirect. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
Roded, Ruth. "Jewish And Islamic Religious Feminist Exegesis Of The Sacred Books: Adam, Woman And Gender." Nashim: A Journal Of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues 29 (2015): 56-80. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
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