Monday, November 29, 2010

Recommended reading

I started to write a review of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks' Future Tense: Jews, Judaism, and Israel in the Twenty-First Century, but I see that Eugene Korn did a much better job in the most recent Meorot. I recommend both the review and the book.

See also neurosurgeon Noam Stadlan's article on some serious problems posed by the halachic definition of death held by some Orthodox rabbis.

For that matter, see just about every article there.

There are plenty of other goodies on the YCT Learning page, too. Enjoy!


Anonymous Noam Stadlan said...

thanks for the plug. I hope you found it interesting.

Tue Nov 30, 06:39:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

So let me get this straight--if the late Chaim Yankel's heart is kept beating by articial means and is then transplanted into Yossi Yehudah, there's a question, according to some rabbis, as to whether (a) Chaim Yankel is still, halachically speaking, alive, and/or (b) whether Yossi Yehudah is still Yossi Yehudah, or whether he have become, halachically speaking, Chaim Yankel?! Good heavens! Thank you for pointing out some of the problems involved in defining death, halachically, and how some of those problems might be solved by using a more sensible definition of death.

Tue Nov 30, 11:57:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Noam said...

the problems actually also apply to the definition of death in the secular world if you use only a circulation based definition. The issue is a little more complicated. The poskim I discuss do not have any question about the identity of the person who received the heart transplant and specifically say so when they discuss heart transplants. What I point out is that if they used the definition of life/death that they apply in deciding about brain death, they would have a problem. The issue is that one definition is being used in cases of transplant and a different one is being used in 'brain death' cases.

Thu Dec 02, 08:54:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I just picked up a copy of the Jewish Week, distributed in my office, and saw the front-page article RCA Backs Off Stand On Brain Death For Transplants. To put it bluntly, I'm shocked and scandalized. I don't understand. Are these rabbis trying to kill people?

Thu Dec 02, 01:39:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Too Old to Jewschool Steve said...

No, they are not. But they are trying to extend what they define as "life" arbitrarily.

Thu Dec 02, 04:04:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I'm continuing this conversation at the top of my homepage.

Thu Dec 02, 06:03:00 PM 2010  

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