Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tweet Tweet (Not the Electronic kind)

It seems Rav Silfkin is having a hard time explaining why he signed an organ donor card. A record 7 people have voted for his post as "kefirah" (Side note: - Amazing that he has a Kefirah vote on every single post). One of his arguments reminded me of a Rav Amital story. Rav Silfkin is reflecting that organ donation is literally a life and death halachic decision:

"So we have ALL effectively made potential life-and-death decisions in this area. The question is, what was the grounds for our decision? Shev v'al ta'aseh is sometimes a halachic verdict even in life-and-death situations - but where it is so, it is a halachic verdict of what to do (i.e. nothing) based upon an analysis."
Two weeks ago I was at a evening dedicated to the memory of Rav Amital. One of the speakers- an ex student of his told the following story almost Hasidic story:

"One Shabbat morning in the yeshivah it was snowing outside. In the middle of Shacharit,  a member of the nearby kibbutz came in, and asked to speak to Rav Amital. He told Rav Amital that the electricity in the kibbutz had been off since yesterday evening, and if they do not fill up the generator immediately all of the baby chicks were going to freeze to death. Harav Amital immediately stopped the davening and told everyone that due to the emergency he had to immediately go to the Kibbutz. When he returned a few hours later, they asked him what he paskened. He looked at them surprised and said that it was a simple thing that you could not save the chicks on shabbat - since it wasn't a pikuach Ne'fesh. They then asked him, if it was so simple, why did he have to go to the Kibbutz? Rav Amital answered " I felt that I couldn't pasken them to death without first going to hear them Tweet".

Rav Amital famously had signed an organ donor card.

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