The Fox, the Foetus and the Fatal Injection is a pro-life book authored by Daniel Levy, a Jewish Rabbi in the United Kingdom. There aren’t too many pro-life publications from a Jewish point-of-view, so we thought we would share this one with you. It is ninety-three pages and well worth reading.
Rabbi Daniel Levy heads the United Hebrew Congregation in Leeds, UK and is Orthodox. As a result, his thinking comes straight from the Torah. Since the author frequently uses Hebrew words and refers to various Orthodox Jewish rituals, he is obviously speaking to his own people. However, it is completely understandable to this Gentile.
Rabbi Levy is strongly pro-life. Abortion makes up a good bit of the beginning of the book. He also provides a reference to the fact that the British have recently outlawed fox hunting (thus the book’s title). He notes that “the fluffy fox, with his beady and tearful eyes, attracted more compassion (in Parliament) than the ultrasound scans of a child sucking his thumb in the womb.” He properly calls this a tragedy.
Not only does an observant Jew have the duty to obey God’s law on abortion and the obligation to teach his fellow Jews, but, according to the author, “the Jew has a crucial role to play. He cannot be a by-stander remaining aloof from the world’s conduct. The ancient Rabbi, Maimonides, said, ‘Moses, our teacher, instructed the Jewish people, having been authorized from the mouth of God, to convince all of the inhabitants of the world to observe the commandments given to the children of Noah. It is the Jew’s duty to see to it that all peoples lead the righteous and decent life which comes from compliance with God’s laws.'”
Rabbi Levy is just as definite in his opposition to assisted-suicide and euthanasia, elaborating on this in some detail. He notes that in the Bible, the supreme virtue is to do that which is right “in the eyes of God.” To do that which is only right in your eyes is the “paradigm of lawlessness.” He notes that there are many people who are non-believers and who are open-minded, but do not believe in “religion.” Rabbi Levy writes that the person who claims to be a non-believer may not think that he believes in religion, but he does believe in something. It may be a belief in his inner desires, or a conviction of an incorrect theology. The tendency to believe is deeply embedded in the human mind and if not channeled in one path, it will be directed elsewhere. Without religion to temper and gauge a person’s behavior, that person is at greater risk of becoming a fanatic. The Torah way of life and belief, in contrast to the autonomous self, provides a controlled spiritual and moral framework within which a person may function responsibly.
In regard to suicide, he says, “Your power over the earth is lent to you by God for the fulfillment of your task in life. Accordingly then, your life should be lived in accordance with the teaching of the Torah. But if you regard the world as your own, and yourself as its master, then the contract is torn up and you are making sport of the Torah. Viewed in this light, to commit suicide is even a greater sin than to murder another person. This removes all possibility of repentance and the person who takes his own life denies the divine mastery and ownership of his life, of his body, and of his soul.”
In summary, this little book explains why it is that abortion, euthanasia and suicide are wrong. It does it using traditional, Hebrew words at times, words that are intelligible to a Gentile, but which do resonate much more powerfully with fellow Jews.
Life Issues Institute recommends The Fox, the Foetus and the Fatal Injection as part of your pro-life educational tools to reach the Jewish community regarding the life issues. The cost of the book is only $11.00, which covers shipping and handling. It can be ordered [through Amazon].
[Editor’s note: ordering information updated March 2015.]