Rabbi Yosi began [his discourse on the necessity of guarding the Covenant] by saying: "And they forgot the L-rd their G‑d." (I Samuel 12:9) What is "And when they forgot"? They repelled from themselves the Holy Covenant, they circumcised but did not uncover [and fold back the foreskin - 'priya', and thus removed the Shechinah from themselves by not doing the two step process] until Deborah came and [coerced] all of Israel to offer to do this [mitzva of uncovering and folding back the foreskin] , as it says, "In time of tumultuous strife [in Hebrew, 'pra'ot'] in Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves; praise G‑d". (Judges 5:2)

[The third misdeed that pushes the Shechinah away from the world (see Shemot Day 1) is] one who slays his children, meaning the fetus that his wife conceived, and causes it to be killed in her belly [by an abortion]. He thus demolishes the construction of G‑d and His craftmanship [for a fetus is formed with great craftmanship]. There are people who slay another person, and this one slays his own children.

[Abortion causes] three evils to be done that the whole world can not bear. Therefore, the world deteriorates little by little, although it is not known why. G‑d removes Himself from the world, and destruction and famine and death come to the world. These are the evils: he slays his children, he demolishes the construction done by the King and he repels the Shechinah, which roves in the world and can find no rest. For these evils, the Divine Spirit weeps and the world is judged. Woe to that man, woe to him, better that he was not created in the world.

Worthy are Israel. Even though they were exiled in Egypt, they guarded against all these three: from the impurity of menstruation and of daughters of foreign deities and from killing their children. [Not only they, but] they attempted in public to awaken the state of being fruitful and multiplying. Even though it was decreed that "every son that is born you shall cast into the river", (Ex. 1:22) there was not found among them a person who would kill a fetus in the stomach of a woman, all the more so [not to kill it] after [it was born]. Through this merit, Israel went out of exile.

[How do we know that they guarded themselves] from the impurity of menstruation? Rabbi Hiya taught: What is the verse, "And he made the laver of brass, and its pedestal of brass, of the mirrors of the women assembling"? (Ex. 38:8) Why did the women merit this? Because they guarded themselves in the exile in Egypt, and after they became purified from the impurity of their menstruation, they came and adorned themselves and looked in the mirror with their husbands, and aroused them to be fruitful and multiply.

[How do we know that they guarded themselves] from [marital relations with] the daughter of a foreign god? as is written: "All the hosts of G‑d left" (Ex. 12:41) [and a daughter of a gentile woman wouldn't have been considered among "the hosts of G‑d"] and, "The tribes of G‑d, as a testimony1 to Israel" [that their wives remained true to them and their offspring were pure.] (Psalms 122:4) Certainly, "These are the names of the children of Israel". (Ex. 1:1) "The tribes of the children of Israel", (Joshua 4:5) "Speak to the children of Israel."

You may ask why it is written: "And he was the son of a Egyptian man..." (Lev. 24:10-11) Certainly there was [only] one, and the verse made him known, as written: "And he was the son of a Egyptian man...and his mother's name was Shelomit, the daughter of Divri, of the tribe of Dan."

[How do we know that they refrained from killing their children and continued in] being fruitful and multiplying, as it is written: "And the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly..." (Ex. 1:7) Assuredly, the children of Israel guarded from all these. Therefore, the children of Israel entered [Egypt], and the children of Israel went out, for it is written: "And these are the names of the children of Israel who came..."

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this?

Even in exile, we must seek holiness. We learn that even during the intense Egyptian exile, our habits were nonetheless those of a Holy people concerning menstruation, intermarriage, abortion, and relations with a newly-pregnant woman.

What does the above mean to you?

Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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