Halachic Organ donor Society, 3926 W. Touhy Ave, Suite #365, Lincolnwood, IL, 60712-1028. Phone: 646-599-3895, Email: office@hods.org

testifies as to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s position on: Organ Donation

Rabbi Mordechai Tendler

testifies as to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein’s position on:
Organ Donation
[1 minutes  25 seconds]



Rabbi Mordechai Tendler:

My grandfather, Reb Moshe Feinstein, definitely accepted brain-stem death as being the halachic definition of death. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. My grandfather’s position was unequivocal, that it is a tremendous mitzvah to donate organs. He refers to it obliquely in one of his responsas, but orally he said it quite explicitly. And he did not differentiate whether or not you donated the organs to a Jew or to a non-Jew. And all Jews are encouraged, and I tell this to my talmidim, my congregants, to — if at all possible — to indicate that they are willing to donate organs. Again, with the halachic criteria that the person is dead prior to his organs being taken away from him.

I am definitely aware of many, many such cases… where questions were posed to my grandfather whether or not an organ should be donated. And he would rule based on the criteria; he would provide the Harvard criteria, as my father had told him was the criteria to look for.


Including the heart? He said you could donate the heart?

Rabbi Mordechai Tendler:

Including the heart… if the person… including the heart, right. If the person was completely brain dead per the stringent requirements of this criteria, he said you could donate the heart.


And it’s happened halacha le’ma’aseh [actual halachic practice]?

Rabbi Mordechai Tendler:

It happened halacha le’ma’aseh [actual halachic practice].


People have donated organs based on your grandfather?

Rabbi Mordechai Tendler:
My grandfather instructed people to donate organs. I am one thousand percent [1000%] sure.


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