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Sperm bank (archives)
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Rabbi Ariel
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Tzohar rabbis say ‘no’ to sperm donations to single women

Group of Jewish leaders discuss, debate artificial pregnancy, proper age to marry. 'A woman who decides to have a baby out of wedlock by means of a sperm donation is unbelievably cruel,' says Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz

“A woman who decides to have a baby out of wedlock by means of a sperm donation is unbelievably cruel,” said Rabbi Nachum Rabinowitz, head of the Ma’ale Adumim Hesder Yeshiva and one of the most senior halachic authorities in the Religious Zionism movement.


In an unprecedented attack on this phenomenon, Rabbi Rabinowitz added that “bringing an orphaned child into the world is an unimaginable act.


“Whoever plans on having a baby like this by choice, just in order to fulfill her needs as a mother, has exceeded all evil and cruelty. A woman like this is not fit to be a mother for any human creature.”


The rabbi made this statement at the yearly summer conference of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, which took place Wednesday night in Jerusalem.


Rabbi Rabinowitz, along with Chief Ramat Gan Rabbi and Tzohar President Rabbi Yaakov Ariel and the head of the Har Etzion Yeshiva Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein, were asked to discuss the issue of “family, generation gaps and the modern world, in the conference’s closing session.”


Rabbi Ariel joined his predecessors and claimed that encouraging birth without marriage to begin with, grants legitimacy to late spinsterhood.


“You can’t help one person on account of another,” said the rabbi. “There is no such thing as a single-parent family, just like there is no square that is a circle. A family consists of a father, mother, and children.”


Last year, Ynet reported on Petah Tikva Hesder Yeshiva Rabbi Yuval Sherlow’s ruling that allowed single women 37 and older to bring children into the world and claimed that the child’s welfare should not be considered.


In light of the public stir caused by this ruling, Rabbi Sherlow committed to consult with his rabbi friends before announcing similar rulings in the future.


What is ideal marrying age? 

During the panel on Thursday, the rabbis were asked what the ideal age is to get married. Rabbi Rabinowitz claimed that young people today reach puberty very early and emotional maturity arrives late, “when 20-year old boys are still childish.”


Despite the opposing trends, the rabbi thinks that people should wed in their early twenties even if they lack a profession and income since, “at the ages of 23 and 24 it is hard for a young man to find his match and he remains stuck in bachelorhood.”


The rabbi clarified, however, that a couple should not get married if one of the two are under 20 years of age.


As for postponing the first pregnancy, the rabbi said that every young couple needs to have a child, except for rare cases, and he is convinced that this “matures” the parents. He added that “postponing a first birth for an unlimited amount of time is a severe mistake.”


Rabbi Ariel claimed that nowadays it is difficult for a person to stand on their own two feet economically until the age of 30, since a profession must be attained throughout many years.


“In the past, we went to study at the age of 14, and matriculation exams ensured an income,” he said. “Today, even a Bachelor’s degree is not enough, and if you don’t have a Master’s and training, you will not be accepted to work.”


Despite the situation he described, the rabbi agrees that the perfect time to get married is in a person’s early twenties. He also called upon the next government to economically support young people in school and housing, so that they will be able to have children. “Our whole population needs to enlist to this and not only find good matchmakers.”


Rabbi Lichtenstein disagreed with Rabbi Ariel and claimed that “at the age of 21, there is no emotional maturity and there are identity questions.”


According to him, “Many people don’t know who or what they are in order to know who their partner is.” He refused to specify the ideal age to get married since “it is not possible to speak in generalizations."


פרסום ראשון: 08.07.08, 15:15
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