Organ Donation

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Dear Rabbi Simon
Members of Kesher have been registering to opt out of organ donation should one chas ve-shalom die with good working organs, as it is contrary to Jewish practice. However, should your organ go directly to saving a life won’t that have bigger benefit for you in the World to Come as I remember a passage in tractate Sanhedrin stating that one who saves a life is as if he has saved an entire world.
Kind regards

Dear Jeremy
TY for your Question.
In general, yes it would be meritorious to give one’s organs to save the life of a needy recipient.
However, the law is intended to make one’s organs available for research, organ banks, etc., where the existence or absence of an actual recipient is not necessarily taken into account. It is ceding authority over one’s organs to the State which is objectionable in Jewish terms. There are other issues as play as well, such as the definition of the time of death. For these and other reasons it is best to “opt out”. In a specific scenario it may be appropriate for next of kin to authorize donation of organs to save or prolong an actual life. If so, that decision can and should still be taken (with rabbinic consultation).
I hope this helpful.
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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