Jewish Views

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What is Judaism?

Judaism is a set of beliefs and practices originating from the saga of the ancient Israelites, as embodied and codified in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), as later further explored and explained in the Talmud and other texts. Judaism presents itself as the covenantal relationship between the Children of Israel (later, the Jewish nation) and God. As such, many consider it the first monotheistic religion although many aspects of Judaism correspond to Western concepts of ethics and civil law. Judaism is among the oldest religious traditions still being practiced today, and many of its texts and traditions are central to other Abrahamic religions. As such, Jewish history and the principles and ethics of Judaism have influenced various other religions, including Christianity and Islam. (Boyarin, Daniel (1994). “A Radical Jew: Paul and the Politics of Identity Berkeley”)

Adult Stem Cells

Jewish individuals support adult stem cell research. Most feel that it is the biggest and most promising medical breakthrough of our generation. Even adult stems have a promising future in medicine. They feel these adult stem cells are a convenient and non controversial way to begin pursuing further stem cell research. (Daniel Eisenberg, MD, Stem Cell Research in Jewish Law)

Embryonic Stem Cells

According to Jewish Law, life does not begin at conception. They feel life begins at gestation, a process that occurs in the embryo about forty days after conception. Any time before gestation the embryo lacks “humanity” and therefore is not a viable life form. So because the destruction the embryo occurs fairly quickly after it is created Jews do not feel that it is unethical or morally unsound. So because Jewish Law does not oppose the destruction of the embryo, embryonic stem cell research is widely supported by the Jewish community. (Daniel Eisenberg, MD, Stem Cell Research in Jewish Law)

Cord Blood Stem Cells

The donation of Cord Blood Stem Cells from the umbilical cord of newborns is a common practice among Jewish mothers. Like most religions Judaism has no problem with the donation of these cells. They feel it could be a wise investment and it does not violate any of the religions moral obligations. (Daniel Eisenberg, MD, Stem Cell Research in Jewish Law)