Israeli pro-life ministry Be’ad Chaim launches new initiative to raise awareness, change public opinion

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Be'ad Chaim new initiative "Zchutam" (Photo courtesy)

Be’ad Chaim, an Israeli pro-life ministry, is launching a new initiative focused on bringing awareness to the Israeli public and lawmakers about abortions. The initiative is a branch of Be’ad Chaim called “Zchutam” which means “their right” in Hebrew. KNI spoke to Sandy Shoshani, National Director of Be’ad Chaim, about the initiative.

“This branch aims to emphasize key points about abortions and change public opinion,” she said. “In the past, our primary goal has been to reach the pregnant women, and that’s still a primary goal, but now several people have had real callings from God to do more and to influence Israeli society.”

The statistics about abortions in Israel paint a bleak picture. Until now, 3,400 Israelis have died from COVID-19 and we see that as an enormous threat – but abortions kills 40,000 babies every year.

“We need to make the public aware that abortions is much more serious than corona right now,” Shoshani continued. “Everybody is looking at corona and getting vaccinated, but who is looking at the number of babies that are dying daily? The land is crying out for the innocent blood on the land.”

“All these innocent children are killed because of inconvenience. A baby is not like a bottle of milk, it’s not an inconvenience. It’s something God has given us as a gift and that He values. Something not many people know – 49% of abortions are of married couples. People always assume that it’s only about single girls, but it’s not. A lot of couples have abortions. Even if we could only reduce those abortions, we would come a long way.”

Shoshani emphasizes that the Messianic body in Israel needs to be more vocal about this issue and stand with Be’ad Chaim, and she invites anyone who is in Israel to join them as they demonstrate every Monday morning at 9 am in Jerusalem, at the intersection between Ben Zvi, Rabin and Bezalel street, near Gan Saker. Despite the lockdown, demonstrations are allowed under the regulations.

“We stand with big signs and protest abortion at this intersection, which is one of the biggest in Jerusalem. Today we were ten people who stood there with our signs and we were praying, and many people gave us a thumbs up or honked. Many of them religious Jews.”

“We pray to God for a change in the mindset. For people who will be willing to speak up in our government. For lives to change. Right now, the government funds 19,000 abortions every year. It’s not just about the money. If the government pays, it means it condones and allows it. It becomes normal. If the government is paying for it, the weight of the responsibility is on them.”

Unlike the US, where there is a big public debate regarding aborting despite it having been made legal by a ruling of the Supreme Court in 1973, the discourse in Israel is absent. All political parties accept the abortions laws as they are, and no one is ready to challenge the current status or initiate changes.

“There is just general apathy,” Shoshani says. “The orthodox Jews might think abortion is wrong, but they prefer not to take a stand. They prefer to take a stand on issues that affect them directly, rather than care about the unborn. Nobody cares about the unborn,” she says, and quotes a Bible verse. “Deuteronomy 30:19 says: ‘This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.‘ Mother Teresa said about wars ‘Why are we so surprised when the enemy tries to kill our children when we ourselves are killing our own children?’ The greatest obstacle to peace today is abortion – because it’s destruction of our own families.”

Shoshani believes there is a large dormant majority of Israelis who are pro-life, but are too apathetic to be vocal and take a stand. “If you go on the streets of Jerusalem and ask people about abortions, many will say they are pro-life. But the question is not ‘what do you think’ but ‘what would you do.’ I once spoke to a waitress who was a religious woman and asked her. She said she believes abortion is murder. Then I asked what would happen if she and her boyfriend got pregnant – and she said she would abort. She said that even though she thinks it’s murder, she felt she would have to abort to protect her life and reputation.”

“Many believers, and religious Jews, are pro-life but will they take a stand? Proverbs 24:11-12 says: ‘Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?‘ Are we doing something about it, or are we just thinking ‘abortion is not good’ and then just go about our business? Who is defending them? Proverbs 31:8 says: ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.‘ Who will speak on behalf of the unborn?”

Participant in Be’ad Chaim initiative “Zchutam” holding a sign that reads in Hebrew “The choice is in your hands – choose life.” (Photo courtesy)

In these days, they are building a website for Zchutam with facts about abortion and the rights of the unborn. It’s about the right of the mother to choose and not be pressured to abort, and the right of the baby to have a life. They are also hiring a PR firm and setting up social media channels on Instagram, Facebook and Tik-Tok. “We need to reach the young generation. We need to get the young women to understand that a baby is a life, and that abortion is a bad choice for her,” Shoshani says. The PR firm will help them create a conversation and make it a point of controversy by newspaper articles and street signs.

“Have you tried to reach out to the Orthodox Jewish pro-life organization, Efrat?”

“Yes, they don’t want to make waves in that way. They did not express interest when we tried to organize an Israeli march for life. On the other hand, they have themselves put ads on buses. I’m still hoping that we could unify in some way. There are orthodox Jews that have reached out to us and want to cooperate with us. Efrat hasn’t worked with us in that way per se, but others have. I’ve also been in touch with a Catholic priest and a Muslim former Knesset member. The Muslim was very pro-life, and a very good spokesman against abortion. He said he would gladly speak at any rally I have. We are trying to organize a movement of people who care about life.”

“I want believers to get involved,” Shoshani stresses. “I want them to take a stand. It’s not just for Sandy Shoshani to do. Every one of us is called to care for the needy. It’s not just my opinion, it’s the Word of God. Rabbi Yitzhak Hertzog, Israel’s first chief Rabbi, said in the 1940s that abortions in Israel was like a holocaust. I wonder if one of the reasons for the holocaust is not abortion. In 586 BC we were exiled from our land because of the shedding of innocent blood, sacrificing our babies to gods, and here we are again. What is God speaking in our day? What is his heart feeling? With this shedding of innocent blood and 40,000 abortions a year – could the corona be his judgement? We need to consider these things and repent as a nation. And the believers have to do something.”

Shoshani invites everyone who can to join the demonstration every Monday morning at 9 am in Jerusalem, at the street corner at the intersection between Ben Zvi and Rabin street where Bezalel street ends, near the entrance to Gan Saker. For more information, contact Be’ad Chaim at [email protected] or call 02-6242516.