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Interreligious Relations 1981  
Policies Headlines

The Rabbinical Council of America in convention assembled,

NOTES with satisfaction the increasing role of religious values and concerns in American communal life;

SIMILARLY NOTES that the values of the different religious communities are often at variance with one another, in the nature of a pluralistic society;

IS SENSITIVE TO the fact that the issue of abortion is now in the forefront of moral concerns in American society, generating intense feelings on the political scene;

PROCLAIMS that Jewish law and practice views the question of abortion as fraught with the most sensitive ethical and moral concerns. Neither the “pro-life” movements nor the “pro-choice” movements, are fully acceptable or in consonance with Jewish tradition. We are therefore unwilling to endorse irrevocable legislative measures which would hinder proper Jewish practice. At the same time, we call upon the Jewish community, especially Jewish women in the community, to recognize that abortion is not a choice open to a Jewish person except in dire circumstances, and in consultation with proper Halachic authority. In this we are bound by a Higher Law, which is subject to neither constitutional amendment nor to the judicial review of any secular court in any land;

DECLARES its readiness to work in harmony with others in all matters that relate to the good and welfare of all, and do not impinge on that which is part of the unique religious covenant of the Jewish People;

CALLS UPON the National Council of Churches and similar religious groupings, to raise their conscious awareness of latent and subtle anti-Semitic attitudes, and to seek to understand the sensitivity of a post-Holocaust generation of Jews to the dangers of bigotry, the security of the State of Israel, and the obscenity of a neo-Nazi resurgence in any form.

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