Answers to Jewish Questions

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What does Judaism have to say about the treatment of animals?

Answered by
Rabbi Howard L. Jaffe
As far as how Jewish tradition, and the Torah in general speak of God's love for animals, there is a rabbinic concept of tzaar baalei chaim - literally the woe/pain of living things - roughly rendered as concern for cruelty to animals, but runs deeper than that. The principle is that animals experience pain and suffering, and although are not equivalent to human lives, they must still be dealt with caringly and thoughtfully.

What is the Reform Jewish perspective on abortion?

Answered by
Rabbi Julie Zupan
Due to our fundamental belief in the sanctity of life and the Jewish value of kavod ha’briyot, respect for human dignity, Reform Judaism holds that abortion is both a medical and spiritual decision that should be made by the individual within whose body the fetus is growing.