יום שני ט"ז בתמוז תשפ"ד 22/07/2024
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  • The Mission Continues

    As in the past so it remains today - we were and still are under the selfsame commitment to adhere to the directions of the Gedolei Yisrael, who stand guard against breaches of purity threatening our camp. When we were required to ask – we asked. When we were instructed to depart – we left. The moment we are summoned back to raise the flag, every other consideration is pushed to the side and we answer: We are ready!

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בראי היום

  • Harav Yisrael Friedman zy”a, the Rebbe of Husyatin

    מוטי, ויקיפדיה העברית

    The ancestral chain of Harav Yisrael Friedman, the founder of the Husyatin chassidic court, originates with the holy Baal Shem Tov. The Husyatin chassidus has its roots in Galicia and eventually came to Tel Aviv, during the turbulent years between the two World Wars.

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  • Maccabi'im Gravesite

    In honour of Chanukah, we will discuss a fascinating, ongoing investigation attempting to establish the place of burial of Mattisyahu Kohen Gadol and his family.

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In News

The Gaon Rabbi Eliyashiv to Rabbi Litzman: "That was a Kiddush Hashem"

During a visit to the gaon Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv, shlita, Rabbi Litzman was told by the gaon in reference to the case of the brain death affair, "That was a Kiddush Hashem, to uphold the halacha."

David Shmueli 06/12/2009 12:07

Deputy Minister of Health, Knesset Member Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, recently visited the home of the leading posek of the generation, Maran the gaon Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv, shlita, in Jerusalem, to discuss with the gaon various halachic issues that apply to medical care, and that Litzman deals with in his role as Deputy Minister of Health.

During the conversation between the two, the issue of brain and respiratory death was raised, as it has been the focus of the medical community quite recently. Litzman wrote a letter, with the authority of the Ministry of Health, stating that in cases where the family holds that brain death does not constitute final death, then doctors should not issue a death certificate if the patient's heart is still beating. That position is supported by halacha, and by a clause in the Israeli law defining when a doctor can confirm death.

Rabbi Litzman explained to Maran Eliyashiv, shlita, that many members of the medical and political community to not approve of his position on the matter, even though it is clearly supported by the law. Maran Eliyashiv, shlita, praised Rabbi Litzman for his determination to ensure that halacha is observed, and offered him words of encouragement in the wake of the numerous verbal attacks he has suffered in the media and inside the Knesset. "That is a Kiddush Hashem, to know and uphold what is set down by halacha – that no act may be performed to shorten the life of a dying individual, for that is considered murder," said the gaon Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv, shlita.

Maran, the gaon Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv, shlita, asked the Deputy Minister to provide him details regarding the unfortunate case of the baby who was niftar on Friday – Tamar Kahanovitch, a"h, from Rechovot. Little Tamar had been hospitalized at the Schneider Children's Hospital in Petach Tikvah, and her doctors wanted to disconnect her from life support after she was declared to be brain dead.

Both chareidi and secular newspapers and news sites publicized the details of the affair, after Rabbi Litzman caused an uproar in the medical community by demanding that Tamar's doctors refrain from disconnecting her from life support. That demand was based on a personal request from the family for Rabbi Litzman to intervene on their behalf, and on the psak halacha issued by gedolei hador, headed by Rabbi Eliyashiv, shlita. The psak halacha states that a person is not dead until the heart stops beating. The baby who was declared brain dead lived for another two weeks on life support, as her heart continued to beat. Her case was a tragic one, but important as it raised the issue of brain death to a level of widespread public awareness.

During the conversation between Rabbi Litzman and Maran Eliyashiv, shlita, during which the chasson of Maran Eliyashiv, shlita, the gaon Rabbi Azriel Aurbach, shilta was also present, the issue was raised of the conflicts between chareidi Hatzolah volunteers and Magen David Adom. Litzman said that he is drawing up a general agreement to present to both organizations, in order to clarify points of contention. Particular attention will be given to issues regarding Shabbos Kodesh, and other halachic issues that affect the Ichud Hatzolah volunteers in the field.