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March 20, 1987 - Image 53

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-03-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

110) ONO)

VACATION
SPECIALS

eter or a hypodermic syringe."
The problem, he said, is if
a donor is used for many dif-
ferent women, which could be
in violation of Halachah.
There is also concern, Ibndler
said, for the psychological ef-
fect on the infertile partner
and for the overall effect on
the family. "The definition of
the family becomes all con-
fused, genetic links are
weakened and with it a sense
of mutual obligation and
responsibility. All of which
bodes poorly for the survival
of an ethical society."
A perfect example of that,
he said, is surrogate mother-
hood where a woman bears a
child for others, usually under
contract.
On that issue, said Tendler,
the Vatican and Halachah are
in complete agreement: Sur-
rogate motherhood is not per-
mitted. The reason, said Tend-
ler, is because of the prohibi-
tion against putting a life in
danger. Since a woman giving
birth is in danger, a woman
cannot take such a risk for
money or for someone else's
child, he said.
Which is not to say that
surrogate motherhood is ab-
solutely never allowed. There
may be extreme conditions
where it would be. But deter-
mining that and balancing
Jewish law and medical tech-
nologies is what Halachah is
for.
"Juggling these factors is
all in a day's work for

Halachah, which evaluates
and responds to all that
comes up. We must weigh the
commandment to 'be fruitful
and multiply' against that of
not allowing someone to
cause damage to themselves.
We must evaluate the stress,
physical and mental, of ster-
ility versus the methods of
procreation available."
And while the technologies
involved may be different, he
said, the issues are nothing
new. "Historically, the largest
number of Talmudists have
been physicians by training.
There has always been a close
working relationship."
Just as there is between
God and man. And that, in
the end, Tendler said, is where
Judaism and the Vatican part
company. .
"The Pope stopped 'review-
ing the Ibrah' just a little too
soon. The Torah tells us to till
the earth and master it. Mas-
ter it means just that. The
natural world was put in our
hands to modify and make it
better. Man was given an ac-
tivist role. We are here to
modify the world in all con-
structive ways."
Overall, however, added
Rabbi J. David Bleich, a pro-
fessor of Jewish law and
ethics at Yeshiva University,
the Vatican and Judaism do
very much see eye-to-eye on
the issue of procreation.
"We both," he said, "are in
favor of it."

Three Converts Asked
To Delay Court Appeal

Tel Aviv (JTA) — Three im-
migrants converted to Juda-
ism by Reform rabbis were
asked last week by Attorney
General Yosef Harish to
postpone for six months their
appeal to the Supreme Court
to be registered as Jews, the
media reported.
The three are Julia Ann
Biglaizer and Murilo Pinto
Varela of Kibbutz Mishmar
Hanegev, and Gail Mosaco-
witch of Kibbutz Gonen.
Their attorney, Yosef Ben-
Menashe, was approached by
Harish who reportedly was
acting at the behest of Prime
Minister Yitzhak Shamir
The Supreme Court issued
a show cause order on Feb-
ruary 1 requiring the Interior
Ministry to explain why the
converts should not be
registered. Harish, in seeking
to postpone action, was
criticized by senior legal
figures who said he should
have rejected Shamir's re-
quest outright instead of con-
veying it to the appellants.

.

Shamir temporarily holds the
portfolio of Interior Minister
which is being administered
for him by Deputy Minister
Ronni Milo, a Likud MK.
Interior Minister Yitzhak
Peretz of the ultra-Orthodox
Shas Party resigned rather
than comply with a Supreme
Court order to issue a Jewish
identification card to Sho-
shana Miller, an American
immerted to Judaism by a
Reform rabbi.
According to the media
reports, the six-month delay
sought by Shamir would give
him time to persuade Peretz
to revoke his resignation and
return Shas to the unity coali-
tion government.

Reunion Planned

A reunion of volunteers
and immigrants who pa-
rticipated in Aliyah Bet (il-
legal immigration to Pa-
lestine) between 1945 and
1948 will be held in Israel on
June 24.

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53

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