A mitzvah called organ donation
Efrat Shapira-Rosenberg
Published: 10.06.07, 16:47
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1. ok...
girl ,   TA   (06.10.07)
If Israel wants to join the 21st century then maybe it is about time to seperate State and Religion....and to start a huge campaign to promote organ donations....
2. reason for lack of organ donors
Facts ,   USA   (06.10.07)
Many Rabbis do not allow organ dontaion since the requirements for a useful organ demand that the donor still be alive while donating. In other words, you have to kill the donor to help the patient. The standard for defining death in the medical profession is much more lenient than the generally accepted Jewish Halachic standard. Brain dead is not necessarily dead. Especially today where the secular standard and definition for defining where a life is no longer of value is so much at odds with the Jewish standard, organ donors would be putting themselves in great peril by providing blanket permission for taking their organs.
3. it should be considered a mitzvah
zionist forever   (06.10.07)
In judaism it is not only permited to break just about every law if it will save life but in some cases breaking some of those laws is a mitzva if its going to save somebodies life so why not organ donation. The individual donor is dead they have no more use for it but if donating those organs will save the life of another then I cant understand why it should not be considered anything but a mitzvah to save another life after your own death.
4. Your Ignorance Is The Problem: This Is The Solution
Yishai Kohen ,   YeShA, Israel   (06.10.07)
THE reason why we recoil is because according to YOUR definition of time of death (which is not the Jewish definition), you are in fact committing murder. The way to overcome ignorance AND the religious problems associated with donating organs is via organizations such as the Halachic Organ Donor SOCIETY (
5. A matter of conscience
marilyn   (06.11.07)
If you believe humans evolved, well they are literally pieces of meat and there is no ethical reason why you can not recycle pieces of matter. If you believe like I do that we are Gods creation, and we have been brought with a price, we believe, whether we live or die we belong to Jehovah, and he is the 'owner' of our bodies. So if you steal a part of a beloved ones body [like what happened to a child of mine that died]. God himself asked for it back, and they had to pay other family members restitution. God protects us.
6. 'Faith is the expectation of things hoped for.'
marilyn   (06.11.07)
Because of what i experienced I learnt some hard wonderful lessons. Not only has 'messiah' 'poured out his soul, to bring a righteous standing to many' as Isaiah states ' but by his stripes we are healed' many do not look to God for their healing and people are dying daily because the 'serpent strikes, and there is no healer' many scoff at miracles, but then they scoffed at the Wright brothers because they defied gravity and said machines could fly.. It takes knowledge and in the area of faith we are so 'lacking'. Jesus has not left me bereaved because he states " he is the ressurection and life.' not will be, not was. but is.
7. I'm so sorry for the passing of your relative.
Jerusalem,Israel   (06.11.07)
This article really got me thinking. Very moving. My condolences to you and your family.
8. Taking vital organs from live donor = murder
SL ,   New York   (06.11.07)
As the author (who admits not being at all qualified to discuss Jewish law or ethics) suggests, Judaism holds the sanctity of life to be among its highest values--but the prohibition of murder supercedes the saving of a life! The large majority of leading orthodox Jewish scholars cannot justify organ donation of vital organs from a patient labelled 'brain dead' ( a misnomer in many cases, as parts of the brain--such as the hypothalamus-- are still alive in 25% or more of such cases). Notwithstanding the infomercials of a popular web site funded by outside sources, most orthodox rabbis cannot accept brain death as meeting the criteria for death. To remove vital organs from a person who is brain dead may very well be murder! Rabbi Elyashiv, the eminent sage, recently declared it forebidden for Jews to go to China to get organs, fearful that Chinese prisoners might be prematurely put to death to provide organs for this highly lucrative business. In doing so, he fully realized the implications for his hundreds of thousands of followers--as did they. This is the testament to the sanctity of life--even of a common criminal in a Chinese jail--that denotes traditional Judaism, not the skewed presentation by a web site such as HODS funded by the US federal government to increase organ donation from orthodox Jews who do not know better. Those who believe in the sanctity of life should be praised, not condemned.
9. Ilana Dayan
Naomi ,   PT   (06.11.07)
did an indepth programme on this utterly incredible family in her "Fact" Oovda programme a few weeks ago. With such bravery they all allowed themselves to be interviewed before and during the actual operations and everything to be filmed. They even bravely agreed to share the tragic outcome and their feelings. Would that the outcome had been different for this beautiful and special family of tzadikim and their son/husband/father /brother Z"L Yehi Zichro Baruch.
10. Do for the other as you would have the other do for you
Henry Lowi ,   Toronto, Canada   (06.12.07)
Thank you for this article. I am a patient with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. There is no treatment and no cure. The mean survival time of patients with this illness is 28 months. The only way to prolong life is through double lung transplant. As everyone knows, there is a shortage of organs for transplant from deceased donors. It is a shame that, in the name of "religion", some Jewish people refuse to donate their organs, preferring to place them in the ground. Shame on those modern-day Shylocks who are prepared to receive organ transplants, but refuse to donate their own organs for transplant to another. The anti-semites could not have invented a "better" image. Thanks to those in Halachic Organ Donation Society who understand what "Ve'ahavta le're'acha" means. We have to help each other.
11. Organ Donation
Martin Kerner ,   Houston, Texas   (06.12.07)
I am alive today because 15 months ago someone died and was good enough to allow his organs to be donated to another. I went through a lung transplant and I walk today thanking G-d that I was that fortunate. My doctors said there was very little hope of living with any quality of life. So I stand here today to let people know of the Mitzvah of organ donation.
12. i am Jewish & i got a bone graft from a cadaver
does this mean that I am no good? it is bone from a dead person. however, i am going to be a donor b/c someone was a donor for me when i needed it.....
13. u guys need to learn
truth be told ,   israel   (06.12.07)
what mizva means. it has nothing to do with material, flesh or anything like donation. the name comes from the kabbalah and is a degree in spirituality. if you think that if u you donate organs or anything and you'll "be rewarded in the next life" or where ever your imagination goes to, its just simply wrong. g-d does not care what you do on this world nor what u say about him. the only thing u (we, "am israel") needs to do, is finding back to spirituality through the kabbalah. check out www dot kab dot tv. shalom
14. #13 Oo! A 'bad' number???
For Gawds sake, come off the drugs. Stop trying to sell us 'your' Yiddishkeit just because you've just bought it yourself. Real authentic long time Jews don't talk like you.
15. Strictly speaking, organ transplants are cannibalism
Peter Eriksen   (06.13.07)
Some people are confusing socialism with Judiasm. This is the strict Biblical position on human-transplant the issue: In the Bible the eating of flesh of certain animals is forbidden in Leviticus 11. And "not eating" is generalized to "not consuming" - not deriving a benefit in any way: Vayikra 11:8: From their flesh you shall NOT EAT and their carcasses you shall NOT TOUCH; Devarim 14:8: And the pig, which has a split hoof but does not chew its cud, it is tamei to you; from their flesh you shall NOT EAT and their carcasses you shall NOT TOUCH.) Similarly eating human flesh is also forbidden in two ways, both in a negative sense. Human flesh in NOT listed in the list of animals whose flesh we may consume in Leviticus 11. And cannibalism is used several times by G-d as as a threat of punishment. And again with the human flesh, the "not eating" is generalized to "not consuming": Nazarites and priests are forbidden to TOUCH a dead human body, and others who TOUCH a dead human body so, become unclean. The consumption of non-Kosher animals is forbidden. The consumption of animals of all species is forbiden when the animals die of natural causes. The consumption of even kosher animals not slaughtered in a Kosher way, is forbidden. And human organ transplants fail on all three counts. Organ transplants are a form of cannibalism. People derive a benefit from consuming the flesh of the forbidden human animal. All who recieve an organ transplant are cannibals and are ritually unclean for the rest of their lives. And the same goes for s people who wear shoes made from human skin.
16. #14
mark ,   ca   (06.13.07)
re: #13. It must be britney spears :-)))
17. #15
Your discussing! I just barf reading your talkback. I never read such trash in my life! ewwwwwww
18. #15
hanina   (06.14.07)
Sir, You must be a lot of fun to go to dinner with. Go read about pikuach nefesh.
19. BEWARE of signing organ donor cards BEFORE your death...
Rebekah Kmet ,   California   (06.14.07)
There is a financial incentive for hospitals to harvest organs: about $300,000. per patient that is not paid for the organs, but for the the service of providing the organs. It is DANGEROUS to sign an organ donor card before your death or to have "Organ Donor" on your driver's license like in California. This is a world wide problem and may be a mass murde problem. Dr. Bill Deagle of Ft. Collins, Colorado, said in a speech that he left Canada because a forty year old man who fell down and hit his head on a coffee table was brought into the emergency room of the hospital Dr. Deagle worked at. He would have recovered and awakened, but his family was told it was hopeless and asked them to donate his organs. They agreed and the man was murdered. In Las Vegas, the organ donor industry is so lucrative that unsuspecting tourists have awakened after being drugged, to find one or both kidneys have been surgically removed, according to the FBI.
20. #18 "Pikuach Nefesh" trumps moral argument against O.D.?
Peter Eriksen   (06.16.07)
Some like Hanina, argue that all this moral argument against organ donation is well and good, but that "Pikuach Nefesh" simply trumps all of itl. "Pikuach Nefesh" means literally "save a soul", and is a Rabbinical liberal interpretation of. Lev. 19:16 "Thou shalt not.. stand idly by the blood of thy neighbour: ". The commandment is certainly telling Jews to do something for other Jews, but what? The "Pikuach Nefesh" interpretation says it is telling Jews they must do whatever it takes to avoid the death of any Jew; short of idolatry, incest and murder, and other than risking their own lives, as explained. for example in: I just think this interpretation has drifted so far from Lev 19:16 "not to stand idly by the blood of your neighbor" so as to be unrecognizable. Lev 19:16 clearly means not to stand by, out of fear for your own life, while a fellow national gets beat up. For example, it says a soldier should go into battle fearlessly, disregarding the danger to his own life, to defend his own people. But now the Rabbis have, little by little, totally reversed its meaning. They have switched it from: a call to the individual to defend other fellow-nationals from being felled by foreigners, to: a call to defend any national (including oneself), from being felled by God. And the originally unqualified call for intervention, they have qualified with: "so long as you don't get hurt". I just reject Pikuach Nefesh in general, not only in this specific case. It is just an example of lawyers manipulating the law to mean whatever they want it to mean.
21. #15
you sound like one of those converts who have become extreem
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