Thursday, August 02, 2007

Blood Transfusions in Halacha (an email discussion)

On 7/29/07, dt catherine taylor manna <> wrote:

So nice to have found your post.
I had made a comment on the birthdays from your blog.
I am a student of the Torah, and observer and would very much like to covert formally, although i have done so in my heart.
also, i am learning so much and it is a blessing.
I would like to ask you if there is a blog on blood transfusions. this is something i am opposed to, I beleive it is an offense to God, to do this from my understanding of the tanak and the torah, are there any rabbi who are against this invented proceedure to try to temporarily save a humans life? and is there any debates on this subject like the birthdays. are there any jews that believe like i do? or rabbis:? If saving one life is performing a mitzvot, would it really be saving if you had to break a mitzvot that God has felt so strongly about?
for example God says, in lev chapter 17 you must not eat "or take into our body" blood of any living creature, if you do you must be cut off. because the life of every living creature is in its blood, you must pour it onto the ground you must not eat it if you do i will turn my face from you. on the ground it must be poured, it is used to make attonement for you, that all, thats it.
just in this last hundread years, of the almost 6 thousand since the creation of mankind, has this been invented, the blood transfusions to save ones life.
this is not wright. how can this be an acception to Gods rules or laws after he clearly states how he feels about blood.? about life? since God is all knowing and powerfull, he knew we would be capable of the intellegence on inventing all kinds of ways to preserve our temporary life here on earth, he knew what we are capable of, but the question still is, are Gods people supposed to sucome to the ways of the world? its practices? absolutly not. Gods people are a clean people, who are supposed to stay free and clear of Idolotry. and if one thinks that they can give there own blood to save someone who is loosing there own blood and is near death and if someone thinks that all they have to do is give there blood to save you, that is a form of Idolotry. saying, i will save you with my blood, over steping Gods authority on this one thinking its ok, im performing a mitzvot, playing God, its not like someone is drowning and you perform mouth to mouth resesitation, thats different or, you dodged a bullet to save your brother or friend, or you took the blow to the head to defend someones life, or you spoke out abouts GOds words stood firm and followed his ways, till your death reciting the shema, as many of Gods true faithfull followers did during the inquisitions and holocost, this is different. do you know what i mean rabbi?
anyways, i share my thought with you. I love our creator, and study his word daily. thank you for listning...
here is a free music site me and my husband have wrote songs for hashem and share them with his people...
shalom catherine manna
I responded:
Life is the most important concept and thus life supersedes any commandment in the Torah. Maimonides writes (Laws of Foundations of Torah, Ch. 5) that the Torah is something by which one is supposed to live, not die. Therefore, in order to save a life, even for a short amount of time, all prohibitions and commandments are suspended. Therefore, even if the prohibition of consuming blood included a blood transfusion, violating this prohibition would be REQUIRED in order to save an individual's life. Furthermore, the prohibition not to consume blood, only means not to eat/drink blood anyways, it does not include other forms of consumption. Remember, the prohibition includes even your own blood (so if, for example, you finger is bleeding, you are not allowed to suck on it).
Please forgive me for not expanding thoroughly on the topic like I usually attempt to do because my grandfather's sister died earlier today (interestingly, her name was Katherine, like yours) and I delivered a eulogy, and then I went to visit my cousinwho is terminally ill in the hospital.
Good Luck on your quest towards Truth...
Reb Chaim HaQoton

On 7/31/07, dt catherine taylor manna <> wrote:
Im sorry to hear that your sister has passed away. thank you for writing to me. I understand, but is it allright if i choose to disagree with Maimonides on this one, and still become a convert? I agree with everything else, just not this one.
respectfully yours

I responded:
She was my grandfather's sister, not mine. She was 93 years old, I visited her hours before her soul returned to its Creator...
I cannot possibly understand your position. How can you be so inhumane? Saving people's lives is one of the basic tenents of Judaism, the Torah itself says you MUST save someone's life even it means you wil be committing a sin in doing so, because such a sin is not considered a sin, rather it's a Mitzvah of saving someone's life. In order to be a Jew, one must possess the attribute of mercy, what type of mercy is it to not save someone because you think that a certain prohibition about consuming blood applies to a blood transfusion? The prohibition only applies to eating/drinking blood, and that's it. Surely, for the above two reasons there is nothing wrong with a blood transfusion according to Torah Law. Perhaps before converting to Judaism, you should do a lot more research on how Torah Law, called Halacha, works, because one does not simply "choose to disagree with Maimonides" on a certain law. Maimonides' rulings are based on the Talmud, which is the essential book of the Oral Torah which was given at Mount Sinai. I have the contact information for a Rabbi in Los Angeles who specializes in conversions, if you would like, I can give you his synagouge's phone number and address.
On 7/31/07, dt catherine taylor manna <> wrote:
THank you sure i would love the contact information of the rabbi speciallizing in converstion. can you also tell me where it says in the tanak that you can break the torah laws if it is to save someones life? Its not that i am being inhumane, its just that i see in the passages of Lev 17-10 how God feels so strongly about the consumption of blood and of course they didnt have the technology such as blood transfusions back then, so I personally feel that i dont want to violate Gods ways and i dont quite understand living by the law and not dying for it.
I thought Moses said, directed by God, Today I put befor you the blessings and maledictions, if you are carefull to follow all my ways, i will bless you, I will be your God you will be my people, and i will defeat your enemies, and not put the diseases that are put upon the rest of the people {who dont follow his ways, and laws?} After doing my own research on the subject of blood transfusions, theres a major risk involoved in this proceedure too, its not guaranteed save either. and it makes sence, the blood of all of us has everytihing in it. so when we take this that belongs to someone else, we become like someone else, so is it really saving your life? or is it actually killing you? How does God feel about this? is this really a clean thing for his people to do? everyone does it, but i dont care about everyone I care about his people and i feel i am one of them.
I think it is an offence to God, to play with lives like this. the blood of every living creature, belongs not to us but to God, he gives specific instuctions on what to do with blood, to pour it on the ground, you must not partake of it, in any way consume it...what if your wrong, will God forgive this? Or does he expect us to repent and turn back to him. and to trust him, in everything including this one. I personally think that Gods people should be discusted in this practise and i personally view this as Pagan. If I was God and im not, i would be very hurt over my people doing what the rest of the nations do. WHen are Gods people going to listen to his word and actually have respect for it. Life is a gift, and we have lost something in the process of it. but i believe its never too late. I beleive he loves his people Israel, and i do too. Im not here to condem or argue with you Rabbi,. in fact I dont even know at times why Im where I am at. but i say what i feel, and its from my heart.
sincerly, Catherine.
I responded:
According to your reasoning the following should be true: Since it is forbidden for one to drive through a red light or a stop sign without stopping, even if one is driving an ambulance with a critically ill patient, one should not be allowed to drive through without stopping because the law says not to do it and anyways, it's not a guaranteed fact that you can save the critical patient. Is such a conclusion true? Obviously not. The laws were given to apply under normal circumstances, when circumstances are extrenous, then the laws do not apply and certain things which could normally be forbidden could become permitted and even obligatory in order to save the life of a fellow human being.
And anyways, the prohibition of consuming blood applies specifically to eating/drinking blood, other forms of consumptions (including, for example, annointing with blood or even transfusing blood) are not included in the prohibition of consuminh blood.
When the Torah tells of a law, it is not our job to figure out the reasoning behind the law, rather it is our duty to merely carry out what the Torah tells us to do, without analyzing WHY we are supposed to do it. Accordingly, your explanation of the prohibition of the consumption of blood (that one cannot take something from someone else and if he does he becomes like that someone else) might be a nice explanation, but through your explanation you are changing around the actual law by applying it to cases where it doesn't apply, and not applying it in cases where it does apply.Why then do we fulfill G-d's commandments? G-d is the Master of the Universe and the King of the World, so just as when a king would command you to do or not to do something, you would never dare question the reasoning behind his commandment (WHY the king commanded you to do so), so too when G-d commands certain laws, one is not supposed to ask WHY one should fulfill them, rather one should simply fulfill them as he would fulfill any edict commanded by a king. Ignore the WHY, the WHY is irrelevant.
With your permission, I would like to post this to my website to ask other peoples for their opinion on this matter. By the way, I am not a Rabbi, so please do nto refer to me as such.
She then wrote back:
Thank you for your time and reply.
I would be honoured if you would post my letter for discussion.
I would like to know if there is anyone else that thinks the way i do?
I think its good to talk about spiritual things, Gods laws and ways, we could help each other and in the end become closer to the almighty.
I read everyday on I love there writings and participate very much there.
Like I said i am a Torah observer and student and I am loving it!
Iv never felt closer to God ever, and I thank his people that have guided me in the wright direction. I feel there is so much that i didn't know about our creator. but now i have the opportunity to learn from the best, his people!
I love the Torah, I love his people and I love Him. I know that no one is perfect, and even Gods people can make mistakes, but the difference is, he chose one people for his name, and no matter what...he will always keep his promise and they will always be his people, even if they make mistakes , he always has and always will correct his people when there wrong because he loves them, just like a father loves his children, and like a child loves his father, we will eventually see his way.
That's the way history was, and is today.
God has a theme, a message he sends to his people, Faithfull "Israel", 1/ repents 2/ changes or turns back to him, then 3/ he forgives them...but what must Israel need to repent of?
What is His people guilty of, if anything?
Do we need to take a look at ourselves and question what we are doing , how we are living and is it according to Gods ways or someone elses?
Is that not a part of Judaism? To question everything? To make sure we are not being like the nations that are all around us.? That practise Idolatry, and pagan customs?
Gods people. Are a clean people, that stand out in this world, they always have, and yes they have been persecuted for it many times over, atrocities, inhumane crimes, all because they stood up for Gods name, they didn't bow down to anyone, they didn't forsake there God.
Don't you think these ones well be remembered by God and that he will bless them for it ?
How many stories have we heard of faithful Jews, who died, because they wouldn't kiss the cross. or accept Jesus as there God or convert to pagan religions? That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.
They really loved God with there whole heart,they didn't care what was being done to them, even till there agonizing painfull death, they would rather die in this temporary life, knowing that they loved there God, whole heardedly, the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, Moses and Joshua, Ezekiel, and Isaiah, they would rather die, than disappoint there creator, who is all knowing all power full and almighty.
There is nothing more pleasurable than having a close relationship with God. I believe that.
Shalom! See you at the wall someday! where Gods presents Shekina, is and awaits us all there.


Catherine Manna said...

Iv noticed your blog and im pleased. thank you for posting.
You definitely have courage. I have been doing more research on the blood issues. this is what i found so far.;jsessionid=YJTIXNPKPCFJWCQPCCEGU3AKB2IIWTT1

also interesting enough, i visited today and some great articles on Torah portion this week, Rabbi SHagra Simmons said, ill quote him. have a look here,the link awesome article, but heres the paragraph,
"THE prohibition against idolatry is mentioned 44 times in the Torah - more than any other Mitzvah. It is one of the Ten Commandments. It is one of the Six Constant Mitzvot. It is one of the 7 Laws of Noah that all non-Jews are instructed to uphold. And it is one of the Big 3 Mitzvot for which a Jew is expected to give his life, rather than transgress.

after reading this, i said to myself, that's not what Maimonides said, "live by the law not die by it" correct? but Shagra Simmons said the opposite. What Rabbi Simmons said is more to what the truth is, because its the written Torah, Gods spoken word, and that supersedes oral Torah, any day.

Gods word or Mans word? this is what we all in our walk with God, must ask ourselves, who do we believe?

Who by far has the wisdom that we need now to help us toward our goal of Walking with our God more than anyone?

God himself. He is our King! and he has given us what we need to live in harmony with him. His Ruah Ha kodesh speaks to us through people like this Rabbi, through you through me, even if we don't know it at the time, we have to think, why things are put before us...and everything is done for a reason.

Everything comes from God, he puts before us the blessing and the maledictions, we have to make our own choices, good or bad and we have to live with the consequences,either way, he already told us what they were, life and death.

We already know we are born to die, but, what about the after life, if we are carefull to follow Gods ways, we will continue to live. that's what he said to the Israelites 3 thousand years ago, and it applies to today. We have to make sure, we are not part of Idolatry, something God hates. anyways, thought I'd share.....
God speaks through to us, different ways, to teach us, to guide us and help us because he really does love his people, i believe that.
Shalom and God bless you...Catherine Manna

Catherine Manna said...

Hi again!

here's another article, image those rates in china!!

just imagine how we, here can get some sort of sickness from these people, just like the bird flu?
It comes from one end of the earth to another, like we create these things and illness? How strange is that?
Manufactured human sicknesses? What a surprise? not really, what do we really expect when we don't follow Gods way?
and listen to him and his word?

Take a look at the symbol of the blood donor? Its a red cross isn't it? A Idolotry symbol...Hmmmm, see something wrong with this picture yet?
What does this cross represent? Christ Jesus? and whats with the red? symbolize blood? Is this somehow a {old pagan}, aka, christian practise? or perhaps just Pagan?, are we to partake of the "Drinking of the blood of Christ" like they do too!! is this all a mere coincidence? or is it? Lets really think about this, we owe it to our creator, don't you think?

Shalom Catherine Manna

Catherine Manna said...

Hi, i just had to comment on your comment and example...
No i don't believe with this example that you have given at all!
If you have a critically ill patient in a ambulance, it would make total sense that you would in fact drive as quickly and urgently to the nearest hospital for help, as i will later explain why i say this and what happened {interestingly} in our own family just shortly after our discussions on this blog..

I personally had an incident that involved my son.
And have experienced closely to what you had given as an example..
Let me explain and relay my story, I will share, this true story as an example of how my experienced was handled in a critical situation.

Last Wednesday, I had dropped my children off at the pool centre for a swim as i went and did the paper rout for them and was going to go back shortly after.
As i was on the rout, my husband had called one of the customers on my list and tracked me down to tell me that my son, had an accident and was bleeding and needed to go to the hospital. and that it was serious that he needed stitches
..I immediately dropped the phone , ran to my car, and drove like an ambulance very urgently to get to the pool centre to take my son to the hospital.
On the way, beeping frantically at cars to move out of the way, {they slowed down } passing stop signs, breaking the Law because i had an emergency situation thinking my son was bleeding to death!

On the way I was crying and praying at the same time, pleading with God to help my son. my children mean more to me than anything and that i would do anything God had asked of me, pleading with him,
But also as i was driving to get there as fast as i could possibly go, i was very aware and alert as to not to put anyone Else's life in danger including mine in the process!
In other words, i was very much alert, as a result no one was run over or hurt, everyone got out of the way, and i was there in a Minuit!
When i arrived i looked at my son, and he had a deep gouge to the head it looked very serious and more importantly the bleeding had totally stopped when i arrived, and "WE" took care of it.

I'm very happy to say that its healing very nicely, I thank God for that. Maybe it was my prayer.
I told my son that God made us with a built in feature, our bodies were made with the ability to heal itself even when we have cuts, wounds, God made us with this built in feature to repair itself by our own immune system, our blood and tissues working day and night, trying to make a mends and repair what is damaged.
.I told him even if you break a bone, it will heal in time.
Is'nt that amazing? And he agreed, God is amazing. He does the healing and he makes everything new, or just like new.

TO make this story even more interesting and unique, I honestly have to say that our creator, Hashem, gets all the credit because there were no interventions, no needles, not shots, no stitches, nothing.

Good is great and Good, I believe that with my whole heart and whole very being and so do my children.
The words of God are impressed in our hearts. we trust him and his mightiness. We remember him and what he has done, his mighty power, his ability to save his people in bondage, we remember how he freed his people in the past, that were oppressed from the pagan world, its ways, its practises, idolatry.. we understand that its only him that can help us, save us, teach us through his Torah laws, and ways, we accept that, and more importantly we show our creator in our actions, the way we live our lives the choices that we make, that we Honor him and his laws, and way, everyday, and everyway..

We show him we love him not with just our words, we show him by what we do. That's what i teach my children, the most important life lesson we can give our children is the knowledge of God, This is my favourite scripture....
Deuteronomy 6
Love the LORD Your God
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16 Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the LORD's sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers, 19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the LORD said.

20 In the future, when your son asks you, "What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?" 21 tell him: "We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Before our eyes the LORD sent miraculous signs and wonders—great and terrible—upon Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household.

23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers.

24 The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.

25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness."

Gods word supperseed mans word! It is writen for us, already.
And thats the truth!
I believe! In Gods way, just like it is writen, in our hearts.

Ecclesiastes 12:12
12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
Shalom! and God bless you!

Catherine Manna said...

I do care about everyone and Gods chosen too! Everyone is a product a creation of God! Not everyone appriciates that though. I'm sorry that i said i didnt care about everyone,else. Thats not the truth. The truth is i do care about everyone, all people, every living creation. The question is..
Do you care? Do you care about Gods and his creation? Do you care about life and people, and everything he made for you and has given to you?
I have only one thing more to say at this time, but not the final word, its this...are you ready?
"PROVE IT"! Prove that you love God!! Prove that you love his creations, prove that you love life and all that was made for "YOU"!!
Show your appriciation, dont hide. What good is it if you hide your "thank you" or your "Gift" offering if you hide it, how can it be appriciated? after all, God gave you the gift of life and your enjoying it arnt you? SO now is your time to shine, and give something back to "your" creator. Show him you care, give him the greatest gift you can give. He is allways ready and there for you. He loves you and he cares about you, and so do I. God bless you.
Shalom, Peace Catherine Manna
"If you believe in what you do, all your dreams can come true"
Believe in God first. Trust in him with your whole heart, not upon your own understanding,,he will make your path striaght!!HE will make your dreams come true. Follow him and his ways, they are the ways of Love! perfect in everyway!As he is! Amen!!

Anonymous said...

I also found another article about mad cow disease. That it can be transmitted through blood transfusions and its worth the read.
This proved that blood testing is not acurate, to disease testing. It can actually be tainted,even if its tested ok when it was donated, it can change in time, it will devolpe or come out, because it was lying dormant in the body, and it cant always be detected because of this. Once reading this i realize that
Blood transfusions are definitly risky. They can actually kill you instead of saving you. And after reading and understanding the scriptures in Lev 17 and 10, it makes more and more sence that God would have already have known that. Insight and wisdom is devine! Thank you
Thank you.

Miss Catherine Manna said...

iv found a stie by rebbe l"Chaim, that i have subscribed to for weekly torah portion,he says in his article, entitled L'Chaim
July 9, 1999 - 25 Tamuz, 5759 "Some Things Never Change"
Especially when we're whining about a problem that doesn't seem to go away, we complain "Some things just never change."
One thing that is changing, though, is the world. And anyone who says that the world hasn't changed, and changed phenomenally in this decade alone, is out of touch with reality.
Take surgery, for instance. Medical problems which a decade ago could only be corrected through traditional operations are now being dealt with on an out-patient basis through laser surgery. And with bloodless medicine becoming more popular, state-of-the-art techniques minimize a patient's blood loss before, during and after treatments for many illnesses. Who could have imagined such advances just a decade ago?
The world of medicine is really changing.

I am happy to have found this site, that i have subscribed to daily articles as well as weekly. So i can learn more about God, and great sages. Daily Rambam
Holiday Guides,Explanation on Pirkei Avos ethics of our fathers, and more...this was all a great experience for me iv learned alot. And the fact that there is a hospital called Maimonides Medical Center, and that Maimonidesis is also the Rambam. I also learned that I dont have to argue to get my point across. I learned Judiasm is all about being humbled. If im going to convert formally,then I will have to learn to apply these very qualities, or I wont have any friends. Thanks for being here and the experience.
Shalom Miss Catherine Manna

Catherine Manna said...

We need Hospitals and Surgeons like this in Israel for the Prime Minister has stated on September 18Th,2007 that this was a problem in Israel! Dr Shander is an Israeli Born Physician he says Other factors make bloodless surgery increasingly attractive. Transfusions can suppress the immune system, for example, leaving a patient open to infection, slower healing and a longer recovery time. "Also, banked blood, after it's cooled and stored, doesn't have the capability of fresh blood to transport oxygen," says Shander. "We're just beginning to understand what it is we do when we give a transfusion." Shander says, "Medicine is very conservative," "which can be good, since it protects doctors against going along with "every unproved technique" that comes along. The quest for a blood substitute reaches back to the 17th century, when scientists tried to transfuse animal blood and other products into humans. Several blood substitutes are undergoing clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe, and one, which seems to carry oxygen like its genuine counterpart, has been tested successfully in heart-surgery patients in Europe. Dr Shander, "When we're challenged, we extend ourselves," he says. "Some of my colleagues have adopted bloodless medicine purely as a technique. Others have learned that it also has an impact on ethical and humanistic values. I feel that once you become philosophically committed to practicing bloodless surgery, the benefits to patient and physician alike become more and more apparent. Those are my greatest rewards."

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