The Jewish Week is always here for you.
We need your support now.
Your contribution will help us bring you vital news
and frequent updates about the impact of COVID-19.
Rabbi Tendler Is Exhibit A In Brain Death Dispute

Rabbi Tendler Is Exhibit A In Brain Death Dispute

Purim Spoof 2011

Petach Tikvah, Israel — Following an unusual experiment The Ben Gurion Institute of Shaggy Barbers and the Israeli Ministry of Religion today announced that they had conclusively proved that brain stem death is not a valid proof of death, according to Jewish law.

The prominent group of rabbis and scientists temporarily removed Rabbi Moshe Tendler’s head as he berated them for their ignorant refusal to acknowledge that severing the brain stem is the very definition of the absence of life.

Rabbi Tendler’s head continued this diatribe for a full halachic hour (72 minutes), insisting his colleagues knew nothing about medical science and lacked the scientific powers of observation.

His body applauded from across the room and announced that next week he will lecture on “The Halachic Implications of Eating Ice Cream Too Fast,” or, in halachic terms, “Hilchos [the laws of] Brain Freeze.”

Rabbi Tendler then left the proceedings for Hollywood, where his head has been commissioned to star in a remake of “The Exorcist.”

Meanwhile, the Rabbinical Colleagues of America, led by Rabbi Victor E. Izours, better known as RCA Victor, said that after being intimidated for years by the Chief Rabbinate in Israel and their right-wing peers in the Agudath Israel, his group had taken a collective course in asserting themselves more effectively.

“I can proudly say that we are going to speak our minds now without fear,” said Rabbi Victor, “and tell the Chief Rabbinate what we really think of them — if it’s OK with them.”

RCA Victor also ruled that Jews may be the beneficiary from non-Jews of organ transplants, such as kidneys, lungs and late-model foreign cars, but are not permitted to donate their own organs.

Asked if such a ruling would incense non-Jews troubled by the seeming asymmetry, Rabbi Victor shrugged, “they’re not so crazy about us to begin with.”