Candlelighting Times

Give life in death

I enjoyed Cynthia Dettelbach’s column “Orthodox community rallies around man in quest of kidney” (CJN, Jan. 20) about Stuart Greenberg and the gittah neshamah who gave him a kidney and a new lease on life.

I hope this tremendous gift will bring them both long and happy lives.

I’m the wife of the “other” Stuart, the one in New York, mentioned in the story. Ms. Dettelbach also mentioned an organization started by Fred Taub, After creating a website in 2004 to help my husband find a donor (Nearly 1,000 people contacted me or the hospital, and 120 were tested), Mr. Taub launched neshama when he saw that he could use his talent to help save more lives.

I encourage CJN readers to visit his site and learn of others in need. The “Stuarts” were lucky. But 17 people die every day waiting for a vital organ transplant. More than 63,000 are waiting for a kidney right now. Jews, sadly, have a poor track record of becoming organ donors in death. There is a lot of misinformation about halachah (Jewish law) and organ donation. If more of us were card-carrying organ donors, people like my husband and Mr. Greenberg wouldn’t be looking to the living to part with one of theirs.

The Halachic Organ Donor Society was founded in New York to educate Jews on this most important mitzvah - organ donation in both life and death. Visit and learn more. To see the selflessness demonstrated by my husband’s donor and Mr. Greenberg’s donor while still very much alive, it would be selfish indeed to deny someone an organ in death. The person denied could be you - or your child.

Jennifer Zimmer


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