Zohar, Shemot 3b
"For There are three [persons] who drive away God's presence from the world, making it impossible for the Holy One, Blessed be He, to fix His abode in the universe and causing prayer to be unanswered.....[The third is] he who causes the fetus to be destroyed in the womb..."
Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik
After New York State Legalized Abortion
"Sometimes we must protest under sacred and noble causes. It bleeds my heart that none of the Jewish organizations in New York protested......We are more guilty than any other people; we are more ashamed than any other generation."
Rabbi J. David Bleich
Contemporary Halakhic Problems, Vol.1
"A Jew is governed by such reverence for life that he trembles lest he tamper unmindfully with the greatest of all divine gifts, the bestowal or withholding of which is the prerogative of God alone. Although he be master over all within the world, there remain areas where man must fear to tread, acknowledging the limits of his sovereignty and the limitations of his understanding. In the unborn child lies the mystery and enigma of existence. Confronted by the miracle of life itself, man can only draw back in silence before the wonder of the Lord."
Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain
"To be a Jew is to be willing to challenge the prevailing consensus.
Power allows us to rule over others without their consent. As the Greek historian Thucydides put it: "The strong do what they wish and the weak suffer what they must." Judaism is a sustained critique of power. That is the conclusion I have reached after a lifetime of studying our sacred texts. It is about how a nation can be formed on the basis of shared commitment and collective responsibility. It is about how to construct a society that honors the human person as the image and likeness of God. It is about a vision, never fully realized but never abandoned, of a world based on justice and compassion, in which 'They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD (Isaiah 11:9).'"
Guide for the Perplexed 1:31
"Men like the opinions to which they have been accustomed from their youth;
they defend them, and shun contrary views: and this is one of the things that prevents men from finding truth, for they cling to the opinions of habit."
Rabbi David Novak
The Sanctity of Human Life. P 68
At this point I would ask my fellow Jewish ethicists, especially the traditionalists ones: Does our reverence for human life, even the miniscule human life of the newly conceived embryo, with what the tradition calls human dignity ( kvod ha-beriyot )? Surely we are not obligated or even permitted to kill a human life, however prehuman it looks, for the sake of someone else’s therapeutic needs - that is for the sake of somebody to whose life the embryo is not a direct threat. We certainly are not obligated or even permitted to kill an embryo for the more indirect benefit of the advancement of possible helpful scientific information. I believe that we are neither obligated nor permitted to do so. I believe that we are prohibited from doing so. We can discover that prohibition ( issur ) philosophy and thus argue it to anyone, anywhere, at any time. The argument need not be confined to persons who are required to live according to our own moral theology, although our moral theology certainly can confirm it. That position is fully consistent with Maimonides’ emphasis on how important advances in scientific knowledge are for our moral deliberations about universal human phenomena. Thus, the discovery of DNA and when it first emerges in a human being should change our thinking about the beginning of human life in the same way that the discovery that babies born in the eight month of pregnancy are viable ( ben qayyama ) changed our thinking about early infant life, even though in the days of the Talmud people believed that they were not viable. Jews are bound by halakhic norms. With regard to questions of human life and death, however, they are not bound to some of their applications that are based on what we now know to have been inaccurate, outdated science. The science of the Talmud has been superseded by more current science, which itself might be superseded in the future.
Rabbi Eliezer Ethics of our Fathers
Repent one day before your death. Asked his disciples: Does a man know on which day he will die? Said he to them: So being the case, he should repent today, for perhaps tomorrow he will die; hence, all his days are passed in a state of repentance.