One of the first questions potential donors from the Jewish community ask is about how the procedure fits in with Jewish law. In one opinion after another, Rabbis from across the Jewish spectrum have agreed: kidney donation is not only allowable, it is akin to saving a Jewish life.
Rabbi Noach Isaac Oelbaum
Rabbi Yisroel Halevi Belsky zt"l
Harav Alexander Orenstein n”y and Harav Chaim Steinmetz n”y… have undertaken to work on behalf of our Jewish brothers suffering from kidney disease (may Hashem spare us), who require assistance and support until they will merit to return to good health and leave behind their suffering. These dedicated individuals have already seen much success in their efforts and have provided much assistance to others B”H, and they do this according to the ways of the Torah which glorifies those who go in its ways in the eyes of others as well.
Chaim Yaakov Yosef Tauber
Being that this is something which is life-saving for the recipient and there is no danger or injury to the donor, surely the merit of the mitzvah of attempting to save the life of another Jew is incalculable, as one who saves the life of another Jew it is as if he has saved an entire world.
R. Dovid Feinstein
Boruch Hashem, Renewal has already succeeded to return many sick people to good health. However there yet remains many who together with their families are looking towards Renewal to extract them from their distress with the help of Hashem. All those who assist in this exalted mitzvah should be blessed with all manner of good things.
Rabbi Yisroel Tzvi Brody
While it is impossible to halachically require one to donate one of his kidneys, on the other hand, it is also impossible to deny that one who does this is literally saving the life of a fellow Jew, and this is an indescribable and incalculable kindness.
Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler
Renewal … encourages our Jewish brethren in the matter of donating kidneys for transplantation to others, which is a lofty expression of dedication to charity and kindness. All those who assist them should be blessed with good health and clear counsel for many long and good years.
Rabbi Tzvi Halperin
Through the kindness of Hashem, there has been an innovation in our generation to offer succor and healing to those who have kidney disease, through the transplant of a healthy kidney from a different person. This operation is literally lifesaving for the recipient and a tremendous kindness by the donor, and the contemporary Halachic authorities have agreed that this is a great and dear mitzvah to literally save the life of a fellow Jew with one’s body, whose reward is incalculable.
Rabbi Yechezkel Roth
It is obvious that one whose kidneys are not operating, even if he receives dialysis, remains in danger, and eliminating this danger by transplanting a kidney is literally lifesaving. Since it was verified that the chance of harm to the donor is extremely negligible, therefore one who is medically able should certainly try to volunteer for this great mitzvah, and one who keeps a mitzvah will certainly not come to any harm.
Efraim Fishel Hershkowitz
Since it has been verified by experts that with current medical advancements, the danger to the donor is negligible, therefore certainly one who has the ability to do so should attempt to save his fellow thereby saving the life of a fellow Jew. Fortunate is one who does so, he will certainly merit long life with a healthy mind and spirit.
Rabbi Yechiel Michel Steinmetz
Now that it has been verified by expert doctors that there is not even a possibility of danger to the donor, and this does not enter into the category of placing oneself in a possible danger to save another, and those who are sick are in fact in immediate danger, it is certainly proper and correct to attempt to be involved in trying to save the lives of others in this manner which is a definite salvation to them.
Rabbi Yisroel Portugal
It is pleasant for me to speak out in support of the distinguished askanim… who are involved the exalted and exceedingly vital matter which relates to literally saving lives; assisting our Jewish brethren who suffer from kidney disease (may Hashem protect us). These distinguished askanim raise awareness of this matter, and encourage and support our Jewish brothers with advice and practical guidance in this great mitzvah…
Rabbi Yochonon Sofer
In our times there have been tremendous advancements in the available treatment for transplanting kidneys from the donor to the one who is sick, and the concern for the health of the donor is now negligible… the level of reward is great for one who saves the life of a fellow Jew, and one who keeps a mitzvah will not know any evil.