Stressing the mitzvah of organ donation

Australian Jewish News

From left: Rabbi Daniel Rabin, Rabbi Chaim Cowen, Rabbi Yaakov Glasman, Rabbi Menachem Wolf and Rabbi Velly Slavin showing off their HODS cards. Photo: Peter Haskin.

A HANDFUL of young Melbourne rabbis have joined a scheme which allows them to be registered as organ donors in accordance with halachah.

Rabbi Daniel Rabin (North Eastern Jewish Centre), Rabbi Menachem Wolf (Spiritgrow), Rabbi Chaim Cowen (Elsternwick Jewish Community) and Rabbi Velly Slavin (Chabad of Malvern) are among the latest group of Australian rabbis to sign up with the United States-based Halachic Organ Donor Society (HODS). They join a number of high-profile local rabbis who are already registered.

It is no secret that organ donation has historically been a contentious issue in Judaism.

While saving a life is considered to be a great mitzvah, you may not save a life by taking a life – therefore the donor must be halachically dead before any donation takes place. Questions arise when the definition of halachic death differs between rabbinic authorities. Continue reading