Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Chief Rabbi of Efrat
English [2 minutes]
Hebrew [4 minutes];
TRANSCRIPTION OF VIDEO:
“It’s very important to educate Jews as to the permissibility and even the importance of organ donation. Obviously, when someone is very ill in the hospital, that’s not the most opportune time to bring up such an issue. And therefore, it should be brought up when the person is far from death’s door and is able to make the decision when he could make the decision in a very good and elegant way.
We have a principle in Judaism that saving a life takes precedence over everything, really. Except for three major transgressions of adultery, idolatry, and murder, there is nothing more important than saving a human life. And so I believe it would be no question, halachicly speaking, that it is permissible and to a certain extent even mandatory. If your organ can save another human life, then after death to be able to use it.
Look, I certainly believe that people should have organ donor cards. No one really knows what’s going to happen within the next minute, and therefore if you believe it is important. And I think, also, it’s a wonderful way to go to the divine throne; if you have to go, to come at least with the merit of having helped someone else to live. And as a matter of fact, I keep my donor organ cards with me. I’m a member of Agudat Adi and The Halachic Organ Donor Society.”