On Saturday, 23-month-old Alfie Evans died as the direct result of an order from a British court in an act one prominent Jerusalem rabbi compared to Pharaoh’s murderous attempt to prevent the Jews from leaving Egypt.
After an intense six-month legal battle, Alfie Evans passed away on Saturday. Alfie was in a coma, being kept alive by life-support equipment, when Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, the hospital in which Alfie was on life-support, sought a court declaration to discontinue the support. They claimed that continued ventilatory support was “unkind and inhumane” and not in Evans’ best interests. Alfie’s parents, Kate James and Thomas Evans, resisted the application. On April 18, Tom Evans, Alfie’s Catholic father, met with Pope Francis who supported his cause. After the meeting, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs granted Alfie Italian citizenship, hoping it would permit an “immediate transfer to Italy” after which Alfie would be admitted to a Vatican hospital.The British court rejected Italy’s offer and ruled in the favor of the hospital on April 23. On the same day, the ventilatory support was discontinued. Five days later, Alfie died.
Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, was aghast when he heard the story of the death of the Evans’ baby, comparing it to a similar story from the Bible.
“In an attempt to prevent the geula (redemption) of the Jews from Egypt, Pharaoh threw the Jewish children into the Nile,” Rabbi Berger said to Breaking Israel News.
“How can anyone act precisely like the worst evil described in the Bible?” Rabbi Berger asked. “By justifying this, by making it part of their national policy, they are showing that they are the spiritual descendants of Egypt.”
Rabbi Yosef Dayan, a member of the nascent Sanhedrin (a rabbinic organization attempting to reestablish the Biblically mandated court of 71 elders) and a descendant of King David commented on the case, noting that the Bible specifically forbids killing children, which was a disturbing aspect of idolatry.
Do not allow any of your offspring to be offered up to Molech, and do not profane the name of your God: I am Hashem. Leviticus 18:21
“The case of Alfie Evans is not quite child sacrifice as practiced in idolatry,” Rabbi Dayan emphasized. “It is not worshipping a foreign God. It is not worshipping anything. But to make this out to be a moral imperative is at the very least confusing good with evil, which bears its own consequences.”
Ah, Those who call evil good And good evil; Who present darkness as light And light as darkness; Who present bitter as sweet And sweet as bitter! Ah, Those who are so wise— In their own opinion; So clever— In their own judgment! Isaiah 5:20
The rabbi pointed out that even though ordering the death of Alfie Evans was not idolatry, it was only a few degrees removed from the barbaric custom forbidden by the Torah.
“In essence, it is not really so different than idolatry,” Rabbi Dayan explained. “What they are worshipping is their own idea of a comfortable lifestyle. If the birth of a baby will be an inconvenience, if the child requires too much special care, they place their own comfort above the life of the child.”
This belief is also held by Dr. Eli Schussheim, a highly regarded Israeli surgeon who is the director of EFRAT-C.R.I.B, an organization that assists pregnant women who want to give birth but can’t afford to keep their baby. Dr. Schussheim believes that the death of babies, before and after birth, is delaying the arrival of the Moshiach (Messiah).
“There is a timeline for the arrival of the Messiah,” Dr. Schussheim explained. “Some actions actually serve to bring the Messiah closer. The life of one child may not seem significant but the life of a single child hastens the messiah.”
Dr. Schussheim quoted a section of the Talmud (Tractate Yevamot 62a) which states, “The son of David (i.e. the Messiah) will not come until all the souls are finished from entering bodies.”
“This means that there are a set number of souls that are supposed to come to this world and when that number is reached, the Moshiach (messiah) will come,” the doctor explained.
The Talmud referred to a verse in Isaiah as its source.
For I will not always contend, I will not be angry forever: Nay, I who make spirits flag, Also create the breath of life. Isaiah 57:16
“Everyone that does an abortion or kills a baby is actively prolonging God’s anger and delaying the Messiah.” Dr. Schussheim said. “God created the world to be full of souls and created man to fulfill this”.
Dr. Schussheim’s belief in this imperative has driven him in this work for the past 40 years, enabling him to save 72,000 babies from being aborted.