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January 21, 2011

Exclusive: Rabbi Moshe Tendler Slams England's Chief Rabbi, Others, Over Organ Donation

Rabbi Dr Moshe Tendler cropped Speaking at a synagogue in Israel, Rabbi Tendler slams England's chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Yeshiva University's Rabbi J. David Bleich, and the RCA member who co-authored the RCA's discredited report on brain stem death and organ donation, Rabbi Asher Bush.

 

 

The video was recored earlier this week, I think, in Israel.

Here is a transcript of the video:

Rabbi Dr. Moshe Dovid Tendler: The Chief Rabbi of England and their Beis Din… also basically sided with the RCA [Rabbinical Council of America]. 

I read Rabbi Sacks’ Shabbas sermon every Shabbas, one of my members that happens to be president of my shul, that’s why I read it, I am afraid he will fire me if I don’t… It is a brilliant exercise in human language… how that man masters the English language.

And suddenly they ask him about the brain-stem thing. So here is number one. Somebody asked him so what about this business about getting without giving… that you can get an organ from a brain stem [dead] patient because he is dead but you can’t give it because you are alive. To which the Chief Rabbi answered “that is a spurious question." Spurious question? It’s a question that’s [unintelligible – seems to be omeid m'rubo shel haolam, meaning Rabbi Sacks's position separates Jews from the rest of humanity in a negative way]. Spurious means irrelevant… He used the word so no one else would understand what it means. [Laughter]

And then he comes out with statement concerning… well we believe what the Bet Din believes but you should know you are supposed to ask your own rabbi et cetra, et cetra.  A man who has mastered the language for clarity… suddenly is mumble bumble; don’t know what he is talking about. There are tremendous… tremendous political issues that are here that I don’t understand. 

But the fact is that I would venture to say… I will put it as a fact; no member of the Beit Din of London ever saw a brain-stem dead protocol performed. If anyone sees it you can’t have any doubt in your mind before the doctor comes to his conclusion that he is brain-stem dead you know very well that man is dead. He looks dead; he behaves dead.

This is, im yirtzah hashem [with the help of God], maybe bedieved [retrospectively] a wonderful thing [the Chief Rabbi’s Statement]. To hang the issue up for public review and let the public respond the way they have to respond. Each of you have rabbanim, each of you… there are members here of the RCA, you still have a voice in the RCA, if you pay your dues at least.

Im yirtza hashem, they have to back off. They have to back off first on the… if you don’t give then you don’t get, that must be established. If it is death for one side; it is death on the other side. Then it is not death on one side then it is not death on the other side. That’s the key.

And then to review what are the facts and who are… what are the sources of the information. I venture to say that it was the influence of Rabbi Bleich that convinced Rabbi Schachter and Rabbi Willig and the RCA. And I say again: he [Rabbi Bleich] hadn’t the slightest idea of what we are talking about.

Question from Audience: I don’t know if you know, but why did they start the process… why would they start the process that resulted with this report, was there something… somebody had to organize [RCA issuing the Bush Report on brain death and Organ Donation]

Rabbi Dr. Moshe Dovid Tendler: Let me tell you something again something from my father zz”l [may his memory be blessed] folklore... two yeshiva bochrim [yeshiva students] studying together for 15 years in Radun [city in Poland] and then one of them leaves for America. And after 10 years one of them comes back to see his old chaver [friend]. So he stops… he doesn’t know where he lives any more… he stops at the first house and he asks do you know where Yonkil is. So he says Who? Yonkel the mamzer [bastard]? Goes to the next house: Do you know where Yonkil is? Yonkil the ganaf [thief]. Finally meets Yonkil and he says what do you do here in this town?  He says I'm the rosh kollel, I’m the president of the shul. He says what do you need it for? He says I wanted a little kavod [honor].

You say in the bentchin [prayer after meals] harachaman hoo yifarnasenu bekavod [the merciful one with provide me sustenance with honor/respect]. You want to feed me little kavod [honor, public recognition], whoever wrote that thing – largely Asher Bush - he wanted kavod …. so he got bizayonot [disgrace] instead.

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Related Posts:

Rabbi Hershal Schachter: If Brain Stem Death Is Not Halakhic Death, Then Jews Should Not Be Recipients Of Organs Transplanted From Brain Stem Dead People

An Architect Of The RCA's Disgraced Policy On Organ Donation Admits "We Got A Problem"

The Immoral Stance Of Britain's Chief Rabbi

 A Key Architect of the RCA's New Document On Brain Stem Death and Organ Transplantation Lies To Support His Postion – And Is Caught On Videotape

Update 1-23-11 12:45 am CST – As noted in the comments below, HODS posted to YouTube a video of the entire Tendler lecture. Here it is:

Comments

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fuck the tendler family...and fuck them again. and again. and again.

Say what you wan about Tendler(and there is a lot to say) but the man is right in this case. Shame on Sachs and his crew for distorting Jewish law!

i wasn't thinking about this case...he could have been right.
i wrote what wrote because that's how i feel about him and his sons.

The best solution is to have organ donor cards with checkboxes as to when one may "take body parts" include some of the common criteria of death there. This way the donor specifies his wishes, the doctors simply look at what was checked off on the card. If the criteria were met then the doctors may take what they need.

No need for rabbis or family members to get involved, no controversy. The rabbis and the donor can decide what to check off however this decision is being made while the donor is alive and has his full faculties (unless he is a haredi, then there are no faculties).

Contemporary knowledge concerning the manner in which the human body reacts to freezing is based almost exclusively on records from Nazi freezing to death experiments carried out on concentration camp victims.

This data has provided medical researches with a dilemma as it could be useful in the design of survival suits for shipwrecked sailors or finding effective techniques to treat extreme hypothermia. A researcher who used that data wrote:-

I don't want to have to use the Nazi data, but there is no other and will be no other in an ethical world. I've rationalized it a bit. But not to use it would be equally bad. I'm trying to make something constructive out of it. I use it with my guard up, but it's useful.

The London Beis Din attitude is basically similar. No one would argue that the use of the organs of a murder victim in a transplant somehow justifies or takes advantage of that murder.

That said, the Beis Din is of course wrong on the issue of whether brain death constitutes the end of life.

Contemporary knowledge concerning the manner in which the human body reacts to freezing is based almost exclusively on records from Nazi freezing to death experiments carried out on concentration camp victims.

This data has provided medical researches with a dilemma as it could be useful in the design of survival suits for shipwrecked sailors or finding effective techniques to treat extreme hypothermia. A researcher who used that data wrote:-

I don't want to have to use the Nazi data, but there is no other and will be no other in an ethical world. I've rationalized it a bit. But not to use it would be equally bad. I'm trying to make something constructive out of it. I use it with my guard up, but it's useful.

The London Beis Din attitude is basically similar. No one would argue that the use of the organs of a murder victim in a transplant somehow justifies or takes advantage of that murder.

That said, the Beis Din is of course wrong on the issue of whether brain death constitutes the end of life.

fuck the tendler family...and fuck them again. and again. and again.

Posted by: ruthie | January 21, 2011 at 06:46 AM

Some people don't want to admit that Rabbi Mordechai Tendler was never convicted of anything off the blogs.

Ruthie - burn in hell.

Ruthie-u get me very excited when you talk like that-my monitor is steaming up...

Jonathan Zaks is usually so impressive - why did he cave here?

"Jonathan Zaks is usually so impressive - why did he cave here?

Posted by: harvey | January 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM "

Because he has no say in what the Beth Din does.
That was the arrangement when he became CR.

I think Dvorim 32:28 sums things up nicely...

For they are a nation void of counsel, and there is no understanding in them.

‏כִּי־ג֛וֹי אֹבַ֥ד עֵצ֖וֹת הֵ֑מָּה וְאֵ֥ין בָּהֶ֖ם תְּבוּנָֽה

Son un pueblo al cual le falta juicio; no hay en ellos entendimiento.

e.t.c...

Onc again, Rabbi Tendler is right on target. Rabbi Sachs and the RCA should reverse their positions and thanl Rav Tendler for showing them the truth.
HDW W772@aol.com

Is Moshe Tendler an Apikores?

I will stop short of calling Tendler a real Halachic Apikores.

But what Tendler says in this video exemplifies the typical MO of every Apikores' belief system, perfectly.

Tendlers style of speech (in this video) would have you believe that Judaism and Jewish Law is decided by:

1) A Popularity contest (as he says "let the public decide")

2) "Kovod" as though it makes any difference - he makes that a focus - as though he can't imagine that any human being can be driven by what they honestly believe is true Halacha, as in their free and true inner Emunah of what they feel is right and wrong according to Torah.

Tendler makes it abundantly clear in this video that he can't even imagine that any Rabbi (the RCA) would have issued a Halachic opinion if it's unpopular and or if that Halachic ruling is based on is their true belief, yet in the secular world, they will surely make fun of him for deciding Halacha in any unpopular way.

There is no TRUE religion in the entire world, Jewish or any other religion which decided what is within the realms of what they truly believe based on the criteria if their belief system will bring them Kovod or bring them Bizyonos.

Yet it seems to be what is the deciding factor in Tendlers mind that it all depends on Kovod or the lack thereof and "that" is what proves that the RCA was wrong.

Because in Tendlers mind ...

(this is reflected CLEARLY in his LINE of reasoning in this video)

Tendler feels sure that the only reason the RCA said what it said can't possibly be for any other reason except in order for them to get Kovod ...

(if that's what he thinks about others then certainly, it logically follows that, that's how Tendler himself, decides all Halachic issues).

3) What else influences the mind of an Apikoreses way of thinking and how else does an Apikores determine what is Halacha and what is not?

Tender continues to ridicule those who differ with his view by pointing out that none of his opponents have viewed "what it looks like"... or else they would have come to the same conclusion he came to.

There is no greater Apikurses than that!!!

Halacha is not decided based on how it looks by popular belief. Someone can apear to be perfectly dead but Halacha and all other religions don't decide their religion based on how it looks.

There are thousands of examples in Halacha which reflect that we don't go by how anything looks but rather by what Halacha defines the criteria to be.

If Tendler was a Conservative or Reform, certainly they do in fact regularly decide all Halachic issues precisely the way Tendler decides them.

The above 3 points, demonstrates clearly that Tendlers words in this Video reflect the perfect MO of an 100% full fledged Apikores as defines by most Orthodox Jews.

(of course the Conservative and Reform don't call THEMSELEVS to be an Apikores but all Orthodox Jews say that about their criteria of how they decide Halacha).

Of course no one can ever imagine that "perhaps" just "perhaps" Tendler may be motivated, amybe "just a little" by his personal Agenda to defend his own long standing position which RCA and most of Orthodoxy contradicts based on Halachic Merits not based on popularity.

Posted by: What was not reported here yet | January 21, 2011 at 02:19 PM

Please.

The halakha has to be based on the actual medical facts. That's how it works.

You cannot say that X ruled 3 because he thought a4 was true, but now, even though we clearly know a4 is false, the halakha remains as X ruled when the halakha involves MURDER.

Tendler is a piece of shit.
He distorted his father in laws views all the time.

I'm not charedi, and don't like them much....


But let's call a spade a spade.

He's a lying sack of shit.

Nothing he says can be taken as peak Halacha.

And stay the fuck away from any tendler.
They will grope you....any age...any gender....in fact even BRAIN STEM DEATH and they will grope you.

Pigs.

Tendler is a piece of shit.
He distorted his father in laws views all the time.…And stay the fuck away from any tendler.
They will grope you....any age...any gender....in fact even BRAIN STEM DEATH and they will grope you.

The problem with your little theory is that Rabbi Dovid Feinstein says his father said exactly what Rabbi Tendler claims, and so does Rabbi Reuven Feinstein.

So to believe you we have to believe all of them, along with Rabbi Shabatai Rappoport, Rav Moshe's grandson-in-law who was very close to Rav Moshe, are all lying.

Oy, all this "organ" talk is reminding me of those late night TV infomercials about enhancing "that special organ on a man's body", especially after hearing "ruthie"'s cries for sexual activities.

This “organ” issue is becoming really hot. Strange since so few people, haredi in particular, carry donor cards and the amount of people falling into this twilight world of half dead half alive is so small.

Anyway a worst it makes for interesting shabbos tish torah topic.

What was not reported here yet |=

you have no idea what you are talking about. halacha ABSOLUTELY considers not only the popularity of certain rulings, but also the effect on the public of a halacha. if a ruling is seen to not be accepted by the majority of jews, it does not become halacha. and if the result from a halach makes too many problems for followers, it too is not implemented. there is the concept of 'vo'chai bahem' and 'lo bashamayim hee'.
there is no such thing as pure halacha enacted in a vaccuum. in addition, the entire halachic process is reliant upon MAN and not not on some absolute definition handed down by god. proof of this is the story in the talmud that even when a bas kol meenhashamayim appears to settle a halachic dispute, we are instructed to ignore it in favor of the position held by the majority of the debaters.
it is therefore clear that man is responsible to adjust and maintain halacha as needed to allow it to fit with life on this earth where it takes effect. the word "halacha" itself has a root of "holech"- to walk or go.
your view that the former existing halachic definition of death as being heart related means that it must be correct, is outrageous. the men who had to determine what death was at the time these decisions were made were ignorant in the area of medicine and anatomy. this led them to make many erroneous rulings halachically. they believed a girls hymen would regenerate if she was under 3 years old and would not do so if older than 3. they therefore ruled that sex with a girl under 3 had no halachic significance while over 3 did. they were just plain wrong. they furthered their errors by believing that rulings made by man would effect this hymen regeneration. this was clear from their decision that the adding of a leap month ,done at mans discretion , would determine whether or not the girl was 3.
another mistake in halacha based on poor science is the talmuds belief that menstrual blood differs from other blood. many halachas related to purity and impurity derive from these mistaken assumptions.
the amoraim also believed man had 248 bones and women 252, or 253 according to r. akiva. should halachas be made based on ignorance such as this?
it is incumbent on rabbis to obtain the most up to date, accurate, scientifically accepted information before making or upholding any relevant halachic rulings.
so in this case, it is first necessary that rabbis become aware of the actual scientific data showing that brainstem death is in fact accepted and verifiable as being death. but the fact that refusing to accept such a definition has led to many problems for jews, including the immoral appearance of accepting while not donating, as well as the potential for israelis to be excluded from the international registry, means that there are now 2 valid halachic reasons to reject the ruling which is both outdated, and untenable.

What was not reported here yet -

why did you so blatantly lie on the thread regarding ezagui getting a 33 month sentence? did you think you would get away with it? do you think its OK to lie to support a fellow jew?

The frumme version of declaring someone dead reminds me of the criteria the Camerlengo uses to declare that the Pope is dead.

http://www.snopes.com/religion/hammer.asp

This by Jeremy Rosen in the Manchester Jewish Telegraph
www.jewishtelegraph.com


"THERE has been a running controversy over "brain death" in circles that are committed to Jewish law.

Traditional sources require the heart and lungs to stop functioning.

In olden days, a mirror or a feather to the nose was the best they could do. Times have changed.

Medical science has advanced and "brain death" has now been added to the halachic as well as the medical lexicon. It is of particular significance when it comes to transplants. Waiting until the heart finally runs down can be too late for some organs to be useful to others.

A great deal of halachic discussion has gone on ever since the late great Rav Moshe Feinstein's son-in-law Rav Moshe Tendler, a qualified doctor as well as a halachic scholar, first suggested accepting "brain death" in principle.

The fact that he affirmed he had his father-in-law's agreement added weight to his position. There was a furore at the time as there always is when anything new crops up in traditional circles, but over time more and more experts joined him.

Indeed, the whole issue of transplants and organ or skin banks has been dealt with extensively in halachah and there is a massive amount of material readily available on the subject.

But equally, opinion is still divided because of the fear that doctors might rush to declare death too quickly precisely because they want to get organs to recipients as quickly as possible.

Still, the fact that there might be rogue doctors should not detract from the fact that "brain death" in principle is approved of by more real halachic authorities nowadays than not.

You might recall the tragic case of Yoni Jesner, a highly gifted young man cut down by a homicide bomber in Israel some years ago. His courageous and religious family took advice from halachic experts and donated his organs, one of which saved the life of an Arab child.

Around the Jewish world the issue of organ donorship suddenly became a popular issue. More and more rabbanim encouraged Jews to carry donor cards and specifically religious organisations sprouted to cover all religious reservations.

In Israel, added provisions were added to the National Donor Card system to encourage religious Jews to participate. But, sadly, Jewish religious life being what it is nowadays, there has been a reaction against change and progress.

It is really political, not spiritual. There is an almost universal perception that strictness and holiness are linked when all the evidence points to the contrary.

Strictness as extreme is often used as a bargaining tool, particularly in Israel, for political or financial gain.

Cadres of new wonder, miracle, mystical rabbis make money out of the pain and helplessness of the sick and dying and their families and promise cures and hocus- pocus in exchange for reward.

They have been leading a trend against organ donation and accepting "brain death".

A year ago, a very good friend of mine, Rav Yossi Raichick, died in Tel Aviv when a transplant would have saved him. A ready organ was at hand and whereas his rav approved the exchange, another one objected. The family buckled and Rav Yossi died.

To make matters worse, the world shortage of organs had led to an unsavoury black market in human organs.

Too often it's one-way traffic in which the rich benefit at the expense of the poor and too many people are more willing to take from others than contribute themselves.

This is the main reason why so much effort has been put into encouraging Jews to donate or carry cards.

The Rabbinical Council of the USA recently published a position paper in which it gave both points of view, those in favour of "brain death" and those against. It decided not to take a definitive position.

Many people regretted this act of moral cowardice, but one could at least understand that in a case of differing opinions it is only fair to give both.

Still, a recommendation would have been in order. But fear now stalks the rabbinic world and it is hard to judge those who are frightened.

Once again the London Beth Din, the authority of the majority of British Jews, true to form took a stand with the extremists.

It declared, simply, that "brain death" was not acceptable. No mention of different views, no qualification.

The Chief Rabbi, not a halachic expert but notionally the religious authority of the movement, agreed that until the issue of "brain death" was dealt within the UK system he would not approve the use of donor cards.

In typical Anglo fashion, you chicken out. And then in equally British fashion you then express outrage that you are "misquoted". Once again Chief Rabbi Sacks has let down with a clang the very side he was elected to uphold. I am not an admirer of his leadership.

He may have other qualities and gifts but taking a stand is not one of them (unless standing with archbishops and cardinals but put him in front of a black hat or a shtreimel and he turns to jelly).

All he needed to do was to state clearly and simply that Jews should indeed carry donor cards but that they also need to take steps to ensure that "brain death" is adhered to within halachic parameters.

To be fair, he did say he was going to take steps to see if the issue could be dealt with. But in effect he did it the wrong way round.

He said "No until we decide Yes".

Once again thinking, moderate orthodoxy has been failed by its leadership and it has shot itself in the foot."


apc I believe you are very correct on what used to go on in the Halachic process. Much of it thru the ages was adapting halachah to be relevant to the lives of people and even if a Gazeirah was enacted it was then repealed if the ordinary people rejected ignored or couldn't live by it. There are many examples of this (Pruzbul which contradicts a D'raisah bread from a non jewish bakery etc etc).
Now with the advent of Hareidism this process has stopped and even began to reverse (I read there were even calls to reverse Hillels ruling re Pruzbul many people will not eat bread from a non jewish but kosher bakery.
This ends up with Hareidim due to their numbers influencing the RCA and the Rabbanut and ends with what I personally feel is the immoral ruling that it is alright to accept body parts but not to give them.

shlomo-
absolutely. while the haredim claim they are the guardians of authentic judaism, the truth is just the opposite. they deny and pervert the halachic process, ignoring precedent.

Rabbi Tendler reminds me a lot of Eli in the Tanakh, who had two sons that took advantage of others in their community.

Still and all, I heard him speak on this topic in SF over 20 years ago,and he took aim at Lord Jacobowitz, and said, "Once the brain stem begins to liquify, the person is dead and anyone who refuses to the accept this fact does not understand anything about biology and has no right making Halachic decisions based upon ignorance."

Well, he said something like that. Lord Sachs, writes like a Western liberal, but in his heart he is a coward; he reminds me of the cowardly lion of the Wizard of Oz. However, by letting the Haredim do his thinking for him, one could just as easily conclude that he acts like he doesn't have a brain either.

God, do I love the Allman Brothers.

Full video available here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WVV59sQP64

It's worth watching.

JC, it doesn't work that way because a donor card is not a legal document and the decision is ultimately made not by the donor card or the one who is brain dead, but by the closest relative (or person he pre-designated to make the decision). Legally the donor card is merely a guideline directing the closest family member(s) what to do. A doctor cannot make a decision based on a donor card, only by getting the legal consent of the family.

*JC, it doesn't work that way because a donor card is not a legal document and the decision is ultimately made not by the donor card or the one who is brain dead, but by the closest relative (or person he pre-designated to make the decision). Legally the donor card is merely a guideline directing the closest family member(s) what to do. A doctor cannot make a decision based on a donor card, only by getting the legal consent of the family.*

I guess it is about time that the lawyers come up with a replacement document with more legal "bite". Take the current card and add a couple thousand lines of real tiny print in legalese should do the trick.

Oh, and end it off with "If anyone goes against my wishes or hinders its implementation, they are cut out of the will and their share is to be given to the people who would have benefited by the donation of my body parts"

Rabbi Tendler has the guts to call the hypocrisy of the RCA. Kol HaKavod.

and what right does Moshe Tendler have criticizing anyone -- considering two of his sons are sex offender.

Can anyone name the court of law in which Mordechai Tendler was convicted? I mean call a spade a spade, and a groupie a groupie. I remember all the hooplah in Monsey, you had all the white trash yids dancing in the streets claiming victory and they proved nothing. From Marmelstein to Marineli (yes, goombahs can be baal teshuvas) all you had was a circus freak show that made Ringling jealous. I give the guy a lot of credit he stood up to every one of those yutzes. And look at the shul he was rabbi in today. If not for the rentals in there it would be a morgue. And Rabbi Doctor is 100% right here. The RCA is relegated to save the dolphin status, a worthless group of flacid putzes

I SUPPORT TENDLER, Give credit where credit is due. The debate over stem cell research has raised many questions across the nation,the discussion of the pros and cons in the ethical debate is all over by the GOYIM , YIDEN, BUDDAH,SHUMUDAH ITS AN ARGUMENT ALL OVER SO I AM NOT GONNA PUT MY TWO CENTS IN THIS ALSO. But Tendler makes alot of sense

What was not reported here yet:

Your an idiot by calling tendler an apikores. The man is so much more learned then you i am sure . Rabbi tendler is a real talmud chachim, his words make a lot of sense, and if you dont agree with him he shouldnt becaome an auto apikores, its just shows your flawed thinking

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