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January 23, 2011

The Lies Of Rabbi Hershal Schachter?

Rabbi Hershal Schachter Does the rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva University lie in order to defend a untenable and immoral policy on brain stem death and organ donation?

 

According to Rabbi Gil Student, who confirms he did, in fact, post the following comment on his blog Hirhurim, this is Rabbi Hershal Schachter's explanation for why he forbids brain stem dead Jews from donating organs but still allows Jews to receive organs harvested from brain stem dead people:

I just spoke with Rav Schachter. He said that since organs will be removed from donors to any matches on a long list, any specific recipient is not causing the end of the donor’s life. If one recipient won’t accept, another will. Therefore, the recipient is not causing the end of the donor’s life.

I add that, in other words, he agrees with R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.

Just in case Gil decides to remove his comment, here is a screenshot:

Gil Student Comment Confirming Rabbi Hershal Schachter's Position On Taking Organs From Brain Stem Dead People While Still Holding Brain Stem Death Is Not Death And Organ Donation Is Murder

Rabbi Schachter's claim that the organs will be removed anyway is simply false. It is true that at times there are several potential matches for a particular organ. But in most cases, this is not true.

Simple proof of that comes from the following statistics from the US Government:

OrganDonors dot gov transplant data 1-23-11

In other words, each donor has just under two organs harvested. Update 1-24-11 5:40 pm CST – that statistic includes live donors, which is not relevant here. The actual numbers, pointed out by BK in the comments, are 6639 dead donors (most presumably brain stem dead but some cardiac dead, as well) and 18,506 transplants, which means 2.8 organs per donor are removed. Here is a screenshot of that data:

Screen shot 2011-01-24 at 5.44.00 PM

A human body has two kidneys, one heart, two lungs, one liver, one pancreas and one intestine, and there is a shortage of all these organs.

So why aren't all these organs harvested from each brain dead patient?

Both because some organs may be damaged or diseased, and because there are not matches who can receive these organs.

But you can see that doctors do not harvest organs first and match recipients later, and they do not remove organs and put them in storage for later use with as yet undetermined recipients.

And it is also clearly false that for the majority of transplants there is a long list of matched donors, and that if the Jew turns down the organ, another person will simply take it. If that were true, each donor would donate more than 1.98 organs. (What is true is that the accidents that leave people brain stem dead often compromise organs and make them unavailable for transplant. Even so no organ is removed until a match is secured, and the organ is removed for a specific person.)

In an email, I pointed out to Rabbi Student that no organ is harvested unless a specific donor has first been matched. In rare cases, I wrote, a transplant team can be removing one organ and find out that others have now been matched, but doctors do not remove all organs and hold them until matches are found.

Rabbi Student responded to that by saying that Rabbi Hershal Schachter is "fully aware of that," which means Rabbi Schachter is, in effect, lying to support his position.

There are no long lines of matches. What there are is long lines of people who need organs and who are seeking matches, and organs are not removed unless one of those matches is first found and confirmed. And that means that in all cases the organ is removed for a specific recipient – meaning a Jew needing an organ has it removed specifically for him, and if the Jew decides not to take the organ, it is in some cases not removed because there is no match for it.

Rabbi Schachter has been told this many times. And, as you can hear on this audio, at one time Rabbi Schachter held that Jews are not allowed to receive organs harvested from brain stem dead people. [Rabbi Student says this audio recording does not represent anything Rabbi Schachter actually held or believed himself. Rabbi Schachter was simply explaining another's position, Rabbi Student claims. But the audio makes it clear that Rabbi Schachter agrees that the challenge to the don't donate organs but do take organs position is strong, and he does not have an answer for it.]

But today he chooses to rely on a falsehood that allows him to rule on one hand that brain stem death is not death under Jewish law and that taking organs from a brain stem dead patient is murder, while on the other hand allowing Jews to receive organs from this murder and Jewish doctors to participate in the process.

If no one will accept an organ then the organ will not be harvested. The "murder" of the brain stem dead patient will not take place unless someone says, "Yes, I'll take that organ." This means that the person who agrees to accept the organ has authorized the "murder."

To say that another person will surely agree to take that organ anyway, and the brain stem dead patient will surely be "murdered" as a result, in no way creates a permit for a Jew to take that organ. Since when is murder permissible? Since when is enabling or encouraging murder permissible?

If you are told that you must shoot and kill another person in order to live, you are forbidden to do it – even if there is another person waiting behind you who will shoot and kill him if you do not. That is clear halakha. But to argue what Rabbi Schachter argues is to turn that halakha on its face.

In his Hirhurim comment, Rabbi Student noted that Rabbi Schachter "agrees with R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach."

What was Rabbi Auerbach's position?

That brain stem dead Jews were forbidden to donate organs because harvesting those organs is tantamount to murder. But, at the same time Rabbi Auebach allowed Jews to receive organs taken from brain stem dead patients – as long as this was done in the US or in another country with a minuscule Jewish population. But Rabbi Auerbach specifically forbid Jews to receive organs from brain stem dead patients in Israel, where the population is overwhelmingly Jewish, and many of the non-Jewish population have Jewish antecedents.

That is what Rabbi Schachter agrees with – taking organs through what he calls murder from non-Jews and allowing Jews to benefit from this murder.

[Rabbi Student now tells me that Rabbi Schachter does not agree with Rabbi Auerbach. What Rabbi Schachter agrees with is that Jews can take organs but must not give them. To prove this to be correct, Rabbi Schachter would need to say publicly that Jews living in Israel can take organs harvested from brain stem dead people, including brain stem dead Jews. This, however, seems very unlikely.]

What Rabbi Schachter is doing is morally reprehensible, even if he doesn't know it, and even if his contention about long lines of matches for each organ is 100% true.

I've contended for a long time now that Rabbi Schachter is a destructive force that has, perhaps irreparably, damaged Modern Orthodoxy.

Nothing should make this clearer than Rabbi Schachter's behavior surrounding the issues of brain stem death and organ donation.

Related Posts:

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

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

Rabbi Moshe Tendler Rips RCA For "One Of The Most Dramatic Chillul Hashem Incidents In The American Jewish Community"

Comments

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Boy this "organ" thing is tiresome. Haredi just don't donate their organs so analyzing what is on the card is mostly of a theoretical nature. These discussions are Talmudic in nature but have no real practical use except in a handful of cases per decade.

Let’s get back practical things like open parking lots on shabbos or segregated bus lines or moving dead people’s bones.

Boy this "organ" thing is tiresome. Haredi just don't donate their organs so analyzing what is on the card is mostly of a theoretical nature. These discussions are Talmudic in nature but have no real practical use except in a handful of cases per decade.

These people are NOT haredim and you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

See this report of organs per donor for standard criteria donors http://www.aopo.org/userfiles/file/DonationData/Latest%20Monthly%20SCD%20Report%20-%20through%20October%202010.xls

It is consistently between 2 and 4.

See this report of organs per donor for standard criteria donors http://www.aopo.org/userfiles/file/DonationData/Latest%20Monthly%20SCD%20Report%20-%20through%20October%202010.xls

It is consistently between 2 and 4.

Posted by: googleDoc | January 23, 2011 at 08:54 PM

I'll make sure to alert the government that its own statistics are in your mind incorrect.

I'm sorry Shmarya, but you are WRONG and Rabbi Schachter is right. In season 7, episode 17 of ER, it clearly shows that there are numerous candidates for organ.
We see something similar two seasons ago on Grey's Anatomy. Rabbi Shechter is abviously citing these two hit TV shows as proof.
(If I'm not mistaken, there was a similar episode on Scrubs, I just cannot remember the season.)

Rabbi Tendler really said it best. You have to be consistent with the giving and the getting. The tests for brain stem death seem pretty conclusive to show that neurological functioning has basically ceased in the individual. The person is not even breathing. Rabbi Tendler further states that the heart can continue to beat even after the organism (the person) has ceased to function. Fascinating.

In these arguments on controversial issues, beside the logic or structure of the "reasoning" given one must also consider the psychological element too. After all these are highly emotional issues. I think the relevant psychology is one of projection. In fact I suspect there is a lot of projection taking place. check it out.

Shmarya, first of all thank you for your excellent work on this issue - just one question - you seem to say that Rabbi Schachter's position is contradictory, but not Rabbi Auerbachs's...is this correct?

Next think you know this guy is gonna come out and say if man on man sex is oral and not anal it ain't faggotry. SICKO!

These frum fucks are all experts when it comes telling others exactly what they are required to do in live and death.

Moshcaich!

Shmarya, first of all thank you for your excellent work on this issue - just one question - you seem to say that Rabbi Schachter's position is contradictory, but not Rabbi Auerbachs's...is this correct?

Posted by: Jtb | January 23, 2011 at 10:52 PM
Bfeirush in Fartscroll

No.

I'm saying both are reprehensible, but there is an excuse for RSZA. He was very old, did not speak English, and had only limited exposure to information, most of which went through Dr, Avraham Avraham, who clearly skewed information to get his desired results.

RHS speaks English and has access to much more information than RSZA had. But he still holds the same thing – Jews can take but not give, and harvesting organs from brain stem dead people is murder.

If the second point is true, if it is murder, then the only morally correct thing to do is to ban receiving organs.

RHS won't do that, however, because he'd probably be run out of YU and out of town by angry MO Jews, who would never tolerate it.

I'm curious how old RSZA was when he was making those rulings, and how old he was when he died. Does anyone know?

I have no doubt that his position was abused by people with an agenda at the end of his life, it happens all the time, and we see it now with R' Elyashiv and R' Kanievsky.

Do you think Rabbi Gil Student will call him out on his lies?

Where is the outrage?

The issue is that r' shachter is considered the best talmudist in YU, and r' tendler is more knowledgable in science.
Ordinarily no one would challenge r' shachter on a halachic issue, but since it's a science issue the chrain is flying.

Are you aware of the demonstration Rabbi Tendler did in front of RSZA?
They placed a lamb on a heart lung machine and decapitated the head. Tendller said - This is brain death. RSZA ruled the presence of a heart beat - even artificial - meant it was still alive.

He just didn't get it.

Hmm could a person like that be counted in a minyan?

Give a get?

How alive is alive?

Shmarya- please give your definition of a Haredi Jew..as far as I'm concerned, Shacter, Willig, Tendler, etc. are Haredi.

have you even bothered to do the responsible thing and contact R' Schachter for a comment yourself instead of relying on what OTHERS say?

I believe the protocol is that once a patient is declared to be brain dead, his family is invited to offered the chance to end life support by the team responsible for his care. If the family agree to ending life support, they will then be asked if they are willing to allow organ donation. If they do not agree to the latter, then the life support will be switched off immediately and the patient will be halachically 'murdered' there and then by the team responsible for the patient's care. Families do not say 'you can turn off life support if organ donation is possible and if not, then let him hang on for another few days'.
If the family agree to donate organs, then the patient passes from the team responsible for the patient's care to that responsible to any possible donee. If no donee is available, then that team will immediately proceed to shut down life support and halachically 'murder' the patient, not much later then had the family agreed to stopping life support but refused organ donation. If a donor can be found then the patient will have a few more hours before he is halachally 'murdered'.
Rabbi Schachter is wrong to say that organs would be removed whether or not a donee can be found, but he would be right in saying, that the decision to turn off life support contrary to halacha resulting in the 'murder' of a living person is not dependant on organ removal. A person may be against the death sentence (either in a particular case because you believe the condemned may be innocent or in general). However once the state carries out the execution, there is moral issue in that person receiving the organs of the condemned since he did not kill the condemned.
Of course all this moral debate arises because of bad science, in that halachah follows the old view, that the heart is more than just a pumping muscle but the seat of the emotions and more. Scientific ignorance causes suffering and death, be it the old view that diseases spread through bad smells, to the halachic view that conciousness resides in the heart. In the good old days when people understood science like the rabbis now understand it, people were lucky to make 30.

hershel shachter is really hareidi. i have no idea what he is doing at yu and what yu has to do with him.

Schachter was early supporter of Rav Leib Tropper and appeared in the early conferences. He allegedly broke up with Tropper\EJF over money issues.

To call r' Schacter Modern Orthodox because he graduated and he teaches in YU is like calling r' Efarai (r' Elayshiv's dog) Dati Leumi because he went to Kerem D'Yavne (prominent Dati Leumu yeshiva)

Rhs has a beautiful mind and gives a great Talmud class, but if he is chicken on this issue, he will lose everyone's respect.

Herschel Schlechter is a reform jew who loves women who are notr his wife. he is involved in ORA a despicable organization who supports women who are always harassing their husbands shelo k'din. When a woman goes to arko'oys, she is oyved avodah zorah, But herschel the menuval invariably supports such women. he is worse than modern orthodox, he is reform.

Herschel Schlechter is a reform jew who loves women who are notr his wife. he is involved in ORA a despicable organization who supports women who are always harassing their husbands shelo k'din. When a woman goes to arko'oys, she is oyved avodah zorah, But herschel the menuval invariably supports such women. he is worse than modern orthodox, he is reform.

Posted by: anti mo | January 24, 2011 at 01:45 PM

You realize that you are insane, right? You need medical attention.

In other words, each donor has just under two organs harvested.

Shmarya,

The website, http://organdonor.gov/, says it is based on OPTN data. This blurb is included in your snippet above.

The OPTN data, http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/data/default.asp , states that 5452 of the 12091 donors were live donors. The site states that these 5452 donors donated 5452 organs.

6639 deceased donors donated 18506 organs. So deceased donors donate an average of 3 organs.

So your conclusion was based on a mixture of live and deceased donors, which isn't correct for the purposes of your essay.

Posted by: BK the incompetent or dishonest moronic lap poodle idiot toddler | January 24, 2011 at 05:07 PM

Thanks.

I'll fix my post.

I agree with most of what you are saying, but one thing is not true, when there are donors parts are taken not always with a direct recipient in mind, and that would be the corneas. Those are in fact banked.

have you even bothered to do the responsible thing and contact R' Schachter for a comment yourself instead of relying on what OTHERS say?

Posted by: bukin86 | January 24, 2011 at 09:51 AM

Rabbi Schachter has spent years refusing to speak with the press.

He has this strange idea that he doesn't have to do it, while at the same time harboring the idea that the press misrepresents him.

I think this comes from RHS's inability – or lack of desire – to explain himself in a way that non_orthodox Jews understand.

And I think he prefers the company of his fawning students rather than the big bad world of reality.

And I think he prefers the company of his fawning students rather than the big bad world of reality.

u're probably right there on the subject of being stuck on explaining himself to the media; except when he expressed himself in public that a prime minister (then olmert- i think!) who wants to give up territory, is chayov misso, or something along that line.

March 07, 2008
YU's Rabbi Hershel Schachter Calls For Murder Of Prime Minister – Retracts Statement Made "Off The Cuff"
that from FM march 2008

herschel Schachter has already done things against halocho. You can read it at:
http://rabbiniccorruptionatrcc.blogspot.com/ and http://rabbischachter.blogspot.com/

Well, brain death is pretty much death, as far as I know; nobody has yet disproved that notion, and it has been shown that organ donation saves lives and helps people. So nobody is being murdered and mitzvot are being performed. There y'go

Even according to his own premises, Rabbi Schachter is wrong. That is, even if he were correct that the organs would be taken from the gentile regardless, and that you're not causing his death, I believe it would still be forbidden to kill the gentile.

There is a dispute in the Gemara regarding the case of the Romans saying to the Jews, give us Mr. X to kill him, or we'll kill you all.

One opinion says you can hand Mr. X over to die, because, after all, he'll die no matter what. All you're doing is choosing whether everyone else dies.

But the other opinion says no, you cannot hand Mr. X over unless he actually committed some crime against the Romans which he should not have. Even if this crime is a petty one and does not deserve death, the fact that he committed the crime and threatened the whole Jewish community by association, means you can hand him over to the Romans, even though the Romans are going to inflict an unfair punishment. He is a rodef (pursuer).

Rambam rules by the second opinion, the rodef one, and I believe just about everyone since Rambam's time has ruled likewise.

There was a case in which two Siamese twins were born, but they shared vital organs, and either they would both die (because the shared organs could not support two bodies), or they could be separated, with one living and the other dying. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was consulted. He asked the following question: is it that of the two skins (A and B), either A can live and B die, or B can live and A die? The doctor said that no, that in fact, due to peculiarities of the organ arrangement, it was actually that only A could live, and B would die no matter what. In other words, you could NOT choose which baby received the shared organs, and choose which one would live. Instead, one of the babies would die whether separated or not, and the other baby would live only if separated, and die if not separated. In that case, said Rabbi Feinstein, it was permitted to separate, because B was like a rodef, and it was as if B were murdering A. A had a chance to live, and B's sharing A's organs was inevitably going to kill B and would also kill A if not separated. So Rabbi Feinstein was following Rambam, that you can sacrifice one man to save the other only if he is a rodef. But you cannot sacrifice one man to save the other man, even if the one man will die no matter what, and you're merely choosing whether to save the other man, if the one man has done nothing wrong and is not a rodef.

So even if the gentiles are going to be harvested for their organs anyway, they are NOT rodefim, and according to Rambam, you CANNOT do anything to them. Maybe if these gentiles were on death row, and you could harvest their organs, then maybe it would be okay, because their deaths would be inevitable AND deserved as rodefim.

Caveat: everything I just said is from recollection of what I learned years ago.

My mother gave me the best explanation of Rambam's opinion that I have ever heard:

In theory, you should be able to hand over Mr. X, even if he did nothing wrong at all, because after all, he'll die no matter what. The Romans will kill him no matter what, and so you should be able to hand Mr. X over and save everyone else.

But no, Rambam says he must also be a rodef. My mother explained: the issue is, what do you say to Mr. X? How can you say to him, "Sorry bloke, but even though you've done nothing wrong, we have to hand you over to the Romans. Sorry, tough break, but that's life."

It's simply not something a decent human being can do. Logical as it is, how can any loving human treat his fellow so heartlessly?

And that's why Mr. X *can* willingly sacrifice himself. Because for him to sacrifice himself to save the others, is not heartless, whereas for everyone else to turn him over is heartless.

Herschel Schlechter is a reform jew who loves women who are notr his wife. he is involved in ORA a despicable organization who supports women who are always harassing their husbands shelo k'din. When a woman goes to arko'oys, she is oyved avodah zorah, But herschel the menuval invariably supports such women. he is worse than modern orthodox, he is reform.

Posted by: anti mo | January 24, 2011 at 01:45 PM

You realize that you are insane, right? You need medical attention

really: I think it is you who is insane, you meshugeneh. look at the following before you comment:

http://rabbischachter.blogspot.com/

http://rabbiniccorruptionatrcc.blogspot.com/2009/12/herschel-schachter.html

http://rabbiniccorruptionatrcc.blogspot.com/

why don't you open shulchan oruch choshen mishpot 26 to see the truth about the halochos of going to arko'oys, you tipesh

Herschel Schlechter is a...jew who loves women who are notr his wife.

That's his problem and his wife's problem to deal with. If they don't like the situation, then they ought to divorce.

he is involved in ORA a despicable organization who supports women who are always harassing their husbands shelo k'din.

Maybe because some of those husbands are up to no good themselves?

When a woman goes to arko'oys, she is oyved avodah zorah, But herschel the menuval invariably supports such women.

Okay, so he supports women of other religions. What's the problem with supporting women of other religions? And can someone get me a Yeshivish to English translator?

he is worse than modern orthodox, he is reform.

And how is Reform bad? Some of us Reformim think that the so-called "ultra-Orthodox" are "just" a bunch of nudniks.

Okay, so the rabbi supports the right of women to initiate the divorce of their husbands. Sometimes they need that right to get away from abusive husbands. I see nothing wrong with that, either.

Memo to enterprising holy book authors: next time you write a holy book, make sure you let people from the opposite gender take part in the writing.

And nobody here's meshuganah, just greatly opinionated.

Orthodox Jews follow the shulchan oruch as herschel claims to be. Women are just as abusive as men so cut the baloney out.

According to halochoh, going to secular court is tantamount to idol worship. obviously you do not subscribe to halochoh.

Since reform is on the verge of collapse with so much assimilation, its answer to the Jewish problem is to disappear, so rickyrab why don't you do just that.

Posted by: anti mo | January 25, 2011 at 10:48 AM

You couldn't learn your way out of a paper bag let alone pasken a shaila.

Process: Halakha allows going to secular courts when a beit din cannot be used due to bias, due to lack of ability to enforce ruling, etc.

You're just some scumbag (or the friend or relative of a scumbag) who wouldn't give his wife a get.

You need to learn how to learn. And, more importantly, you need professional medical help.

Oh really, Shmarya. You obviously do not know what you are talking about. There are very strict restrictions al pi halochoh was to the requirements for going to secular court. Please inform me what they are before I communicate further with you. You think halochoh is a joke which just gets sidestepped.

Because you hate Halochoh and all rabbonim so profusely, you think everyone and anyone can do exactly as they like, when they like.

Do you not think secular courts are free of bias? Just blog corruption in the courts and see the thousands of cases in the US that occur.

I have never ever seen a so called heter abused like going to courts just because one wants to obtain money one is not entitled to. This is akin to everyone and anyone eating non kosher food all the time because a choleh can eat non kosher food.

Let's see how much you know. Show me sources etc for your claims. i will disprove you ignorant bitter virgin who hates anything and everything to do with yiddishkeit. Show me the sources you scumbag. Then we will see who can lean you potz.

PS: kol haposel be'mumo posel. You are SUCH A SICK OCD SCUMBAG THAT YOU HAVE DEDICATED YOUR LIFE TO YOUR OBSEESSIVENESS, YOUR STUPID BLOG.

That is why you do not go and get a job and support yourself. Instead you try and bum off charity like the chassidim you claim to despise. get real you filth.

Posted by: anti mo | January 25, 2011 at 04:40 PM

Poor little shoteh doesn't like it when he's called out.

Tough.

You're a POS who wouldn;t give his wife a get and you don't like demonstrations in front of your home.

You're scum.

Past that, if your understanding of halakha was correct, you'd have to excommunicate almost every hasidic rebbe in the country and many rosh yeshivas, because there are mounds of secular court casescthey started.

But you don't care about that.

All you care about is protecting men who abuse women (like you) and men who abuse children.

You're pond scum.

PS: kol haposel be'mumo posel. You are SUCH A SICK OCD SCUMBAG THAT YOU HAVE DEDICATED YOUR LIFE TO YOUR OBSEESSIVENESS, YOUR STUPID BLOG.

That is why you do not go and get a job and support yourself. Instead you try and bum off charity like the chassidim you claim to despise. get real you filth.

Posted by: anti mo | January 25, 2011 at 04:42 PM

What I do is expose filth like you.

You are such a shmuk it is unbelievable. The one who is doing the abuse is the woman who breaks halochoh.

If most rabbis break halochoh, as you say claim, that is their problem.

since when does a crime become permissable simply because many people perpetrate it.

get real buddy. you have never been married, you stupid virgin so you know nothing.

a get is given when someone abides by halochoh, not when someone breaks it. i know you hate halochoh but thats your problem, no one elses.

why if someone breaks halochoh by going to secular court do they stilll need a get. they have shown their contempt for halochoh, and so they can re-marry without a get.

Posted by: anti mo | January 25, 2011 at 05:56 PM

Tell us the truth, you felt really powerful when you wouldn't give your wife that get, didn't you?

lol Internet trolling

Orthodox Jews follow the shulchan oruch as herschel claims to be. Women are just as abusive as men so cut the baloney out.

Which means men are just as abusive as women. Which means that it's only fair to give both genders the right to divorce the other gender.

According to halochoh, going to secular court is tantamount to idol worship

Talking to a referee in a nonreligious setting is idol worship? How so? You see any asherah poles or sacred anointed Buddhas or sacrificed-to statues on the grounds? No? Than the folks at court are not worshipping idols, so there's nothing an Orthodox Jew ought to be worrying about.

What began with "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" has spread pretty far and wide in America those days...

Since reform is on the verge of collapse with so much assimilation, its answer to the Jewish problem is to disappear, so rickyrab why don't you do just that.

No, its answer to the Jewish problem is to find new ways to make people Jewish (such as insisting that Judaism can flow through the father's side of the family as well as the mother's, and also streamlining conversion). In addition, making it less "hard to be a Jew".

You are such a shmuk it is unbelievable. The one who is doing the abuse is the woman who breaks halochoh.

If most rabbis break halochoh, as you say claim, that is their problem.

Oh yeah, and the words are properly spelled "schmuck" and "halacha". So there. :-p

...of course, the man sometimes breaks halacha (aka "halochoh") in the course of abusing, too... a divorce is often the end of a long, messy fight.

Upon further review, I find the traditional ban on female writing of Torah to be questionable. It dates back to one rabbi in the Babylonian area, in Iraq, one Rav Hamnuna z"l, son of Rava from Pashronia, who scribbled a bereita in the Babylonian Talmud that various groups of people, including women, were banned from writing Torahs and some other documents. His reasoning? Apparently, the ban is because the obligation to write tefillin and the obligation to write a mezuzah occurred in the same sentence in Deutronomy. It thus follows (at least in his logic) that whomever doesn't have to bind tefillin is thus banned from writing them, and is then (somehow) banned from writing Torahs (a ban which could, presumably according to later folks, be extended to other documents such as a get). Quite the leap of logic here, folks - and yet generations of "observant" rabbis never dared question it, because the promulgator of this rule lived in ancient times and was a rabbi, and thus an authority figure. Has it ever occurred to anybody in frum communities that a human, even one who lived thousands of years ago, was prone to faulty logic? Just saying.

Ahem, see page 4 of that PDF file.

Shmarya,

Note that the government statistics you quoted only include organs successfully transplanted. The statistics do not track organs harvested from donors which were, for whatever reason, not transplanted. We can assume that these organs were harvested due to the existing demand.

See this site (thanks to Hirhurim’s recent post for linking it) where this distinction is made.

Furthermore, the above link shows that fewer organs are harvested from donors who died of cardiac arrest. Obviously they can’t donate their heart. And my guess is that there is less time to extract other organs. But more organs (3.97) are harvested for the Standard Donor Criteria, which presumably is brain death.

So I think it would be more accurate for your essay to assume 4 organs per donor.

Note that the government statistics you quoted only include organs successfully transplanted. The statistics do not track organs harvested from donors which were, for whatever reason, not transplanted. We can assume that these organs were harvested due to the existing demand.

Sometimes the organs are found to be too damaged for transplant, and sometimes the recipient dies before the organ reaches them.

But the stats you cite barely change the stats I cited.

Furthermore, the above link shows that fewer organs are harvested from donors who died of cardiac arrest. Obviously they can’t donate their heart. And my guess is that there is less time to extract other organs.

No.

Most organs cannot be transplanted after cardiac death because the organs are no longer viable.

So I think it would be more accurate for your essay to assume 4 organs per donor.

It's less than 4, I think.

And, again, none of this changes the fact that RHS is allowing what he calls murder as long as the victim is not Jewish.

And, again, none of this changes the fact that RHS is allowing what he calls murder as long as the victim is not Jewish.

RHS doesn't distinguish between Jewish and non-Jewish donors. He allows accepting organs because the donor will be killed regardless. Once he is declad brain dead his respirator is removed or his organs are removed either way he is being murdered. The organ recipient saying yes makes no difference.

RHS doesn't distinguish between Jewish and non-Jewish donors. He allows accepting organs because the donor will be killed regardless. Once he is declad brain dead his respirator is removed or his organs are removed either way he is being murdered. The organ recipient saying yes makes no difference.

Posted by: googleDoc | January 26, 2011 at 02:13 PM

Please.

He FORBIDS Jews to donate organs through brain stem death. Where do you think the organs would come from if Jews listened to him? Dropped down from heaven?

He also forbids non-Jews to donate

He also forbids non-Jews to donate

Posted by: googleDoc | January 26, 2011 at 05:02 PM

Please.

He is not a leader of non-Jews. His opinion carries no weight among them.

You're engaging is sophistry.

If a brain stem dead person is halakhicly alive, and if it is forbidden to harvest organs from him because that would constitute murder, then it is halakhicly forbidden to receive organs from that murder.

That you cannot admit this speaks volumes about you.

He is not a leader of Reform or Conservative Jews and his opinion holds no weight with them either. Your sophistry is another symptom of your vendetta against organized Judaism and "the establishment".

He is not a leader of Reform or Conservative Jews and his opinion holds no weight with them either. Your sophistry is another symptom of your vendetta against organized Judaism and "the establishment".

Posted by: googleDoc | January 27, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Please.

Your moral blindness is appalling.

Orthodox halakha expects all Jews to follow it even though many do not.

There is no concept of legitimate non-Orthodox belief or practice.

Therefore, when RHS or RYSE pasken that something is murder and should not be done, the Orthodox halakhic expectation is that all Jews will cease doing it. Those jews who continue to do it are sinning and are going against the divine will.

RHS wants non-Orthodox Jews to listen to him and to follow him.

But the issue at hand is really far simpler.

Why should the Jews who do follow RHS be allowed to receive organs harvested from brain stem dead people when these RHS followers will not donate such organs because such donation is, in the thought of RHS, murder?

And no amount of sophistry from you and from other RHS lackeys will make that question go away.

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