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Essay 1 - Sarah Levy 11/3/04 Gender and Judaism Abortion on...

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Sarah Levy 11/3/04 Gender and Judaism Abortion on Rosh Hashanah My roommate told me she was pregnant on Erev Rosh Hashanah. I was sitting at my desk, finishing up some last minute homework before I went to a Rosh Hashanah dinner at my neighbor’s apartment. She walked into our room and threw down her purse. “Sarah!” She exclaimed. She looked haggard. “I’m pregnant again.” I turned around and stared at her. This would be her third pregnancy, her second in four months. She told me about second pregnancy at the beginning of the school year. We were sitting in a little Chinese restaurant off of Figueroa, sharing orange chicken and chop suey out of a foam container with wooden chopsticks and diet soda. She told me about the entire ordeal, from discovering she was pregnant, telling her boyfriend’s parents, and finally the abortion clinic. When she got to the part about seeing her sonogram, she started to cry. “Sarah—” she started choking on tears. “I saw my baby on that screen. The first, and only time I ever saw my baby was at an abortion clinic, a few minutes before they put me to sleep and took my baby out of me.” She shook her head, as if to push the image out of her head. I don’t care how little it was. It was my baby.” But we sat now in our room in silence. I felt as if I had been sucker punched. We stared at the floor, in silence, neither one of us wanting to break the tension. The next day, I attended Rosh Hashanah services with my neighbor, Eli, at Beth Chayim Chadashim. Ironically, the Torah readings on Rosh Hashanah center around pregnancy: the story of Hagar and Ishmael, Sarah, Abraham, and Isaac, Rachel and her
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children, and sometimes the story of Hannah as the Haftorah. When we started reading
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Essay 1 - Sarah Levy 11/3/04 Gender and Judaism Abortion on...

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