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Donation of Organs

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Divine Code for October 22, 2022

Today: Page 244

Topic 1:12 -- 1:13

Among the fanning of the laws of Eiver Min Ha'Chai are also the rules on how to deal with organ donation. Sometimes it is done from a person who is still alive.

There are opinions that it is good to help a fellow human being with e.g. a kidney if the patient cannot live without it.

In his Code of Jewish Law, the first Rebbe of Chabad, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (known as the Alter Rebbe), writes that it is not permitted to endanger oneself even to save a friend from certain death.

The Divine Code follows this view and it is therefore not permitted to donate an organ while one is still alive. When one has died, however, it is permitted.

It is important to realise that the Torah defines life by the beating of the heart. Therefor, a Noahide who wishes to be an organ donor is encouraged to make a clear and legally binding stipulation that no organs may be removed, and no life-support mechanism may be discontinued before the heart has permantently stopped beating.

What about blood transfusions? This does not fall under the prohibition eiver min ha'chai as it is not the eating of blood. On top of that, it is not forbidden for a Noahid to eat blood from a human being when he or she is still alive - although this is very inconvenient from a practical point of view, as you are not allowed to intentionally injure a human being.

But blood transfusions are not forbidden, because there is nothing in the law that would preclude a person from benefiting from a blood transfusion (or donating blood, for that matter).

Furthermore, according to Jewish belief, saving a life is one of the most important mitzvot (commandments), overriding nearly all of the others. (The exceptions are murder, certain sexual offences, and idol-worship-we cannot transgress these even to save a life.) Therefore, if a blood transfusion is deemed medically necessary, then it is not only permissible but obligatory.

Reading schedule the Divine Code

Yesterday: Topic 1:9 - 1:11

Tomorrow: Topic 2:1 - 2:4

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Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners and intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.

More from Angelique Sijbolts



The Divine Code 4e edition by rabbi Moshe Weiner

AskNoah Article: Are organ donations allowed within the Noahide Commandments?

Chabad Article: Is blood transfusion permissible in Jewish belief?

Chabad Article: Organ Donation in Judaism


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