(photo credit: JP)
The gift of life
Sir, – We learn in “YU ethics expert censures attempts by
rabbis to overrule science in brainstem death” (January 5) that the family of
soccer legend Avi Cohen prevented the donation of his organs – despite his ADI
organ-donor card – because another former soccer player, now haredi, and his
rabbi contended that donating Cohen’s organs would amount to murdering
Everyone is prepared, in case of need, to accept an organ, but not
everyone is prepared to donate one. As a result, people die because of the lack
of a transplantable organ.
The misguided decision to prevent the donation
of Cohen’s organs can thus be construed as the murder of people who died for
want of a transplantable organ.GERRY MYERS
The writer is a
registered organ donor with ADI
Sir, – A number of years ago I read an article
by the former chief rabbi of Great Britain, Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits. He
suggested that the donation of a kidney or other organ from a deceased relative
was a double mitzva: First, with the donation, one was giving a new life to an
exceedingly sick person with hardly any quality of life.
of decaying in the ground with the rest of the body, the organ would live on in
the body of the recipient.
In other words, part of the deceased remained
Petah Tikva A great rabbi dies
Sir, – I find it
extraordinarily curious that while you expend precious column inches on all
kinds of political shenanigans as well as minor events like a protest drive by
motorists protesting gas price hikes, you did not think fit to mention the
passing of a great and influential rabbinic sage, Rabbi Yissochor Meir z”l of
Netivot, who passed away last Friday night. (Full disclosure: He was my
Rabbi Meir, who was 83 at the time of his death, made the desert
bloom in both the spiritual and the physical sense. He built a great yeshiva in
Netivot, Yeshivat Hanegev of Azata. He constructed a whole educational village
in the town – a boys’ school, a girls’ school, a girls’ seminar – and he
provided housing for his students. It is doubtful that Netivot would have become
the city it did without the development of his educational
But Rabbi Meir did not stop there. He built schools and
yeshivot in Sderot long before it was a popular spot for missiles or media
personalities, as well as in Tifrach and lately in Moshav Zerua. And all this
was not enough.
Shortly before his last illness, because he always
fancied a challenge, he started building a whole new city in the Negev:
Before he ever arrived in Netivot, he set up a yeshiva in
Montreux, Switzerland, and then went on at great personal risk to build yeshivot
and schools in Casablanca and Tangier.
During all this work and
self-sacrifice, Rabbi Meir was given full back-up and support by his wonderful
wife, Judith, may she live a long and healthy life.
The reason so few
knew about all this is because Rabbi Meir was a very modest and self-effacing
man who never got involved in the swamp of Israeli politics.
on Sunday was enormous. Some 35,000 people attended.
The entrances to
Netivot were closed off to motorists. Police and the Border Police, including a
helicopter, provided crowd control. There were over two hours of wonderful and
emotional eulogies.ANNE KLAUSNER
Petah Tikva CORRECTION
In “Israelis hit
the slopes as ski vacation season gets under way” (December 6), Eli Drechler,
CEO of Interhome, was reported to have said that prices for vacation units in
European ski resorts started from 300 euros per couple, per night. The prices
were in fact for a week-long vacation. The Jerusalem Post
regrets the error.