This Shabbat, Friday, April 14, 2023 at 7:00 p.m., is our Organ Donor Shabbat. Organ donation is central to Judaism as one of our tenets is “Pikuach Nefesh.” Jewish tradition considers saving human life — pikuach nefesh in Hebrew — to be among the highest ethical obligations. Saving one life, the Talmud says in Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5, is equivalent to saving an entire world.
Our guest speaker for this Shabbat is Bob Goodman, and he is good friend of Rabbi David. He is a heart transplant survivor, and he will share his journey with us. He feels he has a new perspective on life, and his attitude and personality are nothing short of magnetic. We hope that you will listen to his story, and learn about ways you can support the Gift of Life.
In addition, our congregants Janice Schwartz Donahue, Eliot Eisman, and Arnold Meshkov will participate in our service with special readings for this Shabbat. Each of them has their own story to tell about how organ donation has given them new life, love, and blessings. They each will be doing a reading.
Organ donation is very important in the Levy family as well. My father-in-law, George has been living as a kidney transplant recipient for over 15 years; which was donated by an old high school friend, Patti, when he was in dire need to survive. Ross and I celebrate George and Patti annually and, we too, are both registered organ donors. We are thankful for the “extra” life he has been given, which has given him the opportunity to celebrate so many simchas with us.
The “gift of continued life” is deep seated within our tradition as the Talmud teaches us that one who “saves the life of one human being saves the entire world.” Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 37a. In principle, Judaism supports and encourages organ, eye, and tissue donation in order to save lives.
We hope you will open your hearts and be a part of our supportive Caring Community which advocates for the Gift of Life which is a continued blessing of life every day. Our past president, Janice Schwartz-Donahue has brought materials for you to take and consider the Gift of Life!