Re: Cloning and Halacha

Eric J Paul (epaul@juno.com)
Wed, 19 Mar 1997 21:47:15 PST

Ruth Zerwitz writes: What are your thoughts about cloning ?

At last we can all understand the idea of "Tchias Hamasim"-the
resuscitation of the dead which is a fundamental of Jewish faith in a
rational manner that could easily take place without supernatural or
miraculous means. This would be in line with the opinion of the
Rambam(Maimonides) that the messianic era will be very similar to the
era that preceeds it in most ways.

A student of mine tried to answer the question of how is it possible to
make the ashes of the red heifer that has been born in Israel recently
if many opinions require the mixing of the ashes of a previous red
heifer with it by saying all we need to do is clone this cow and mix
its ashes with the ashes of its clone(assuming of course that this would
not blemish the animal during the cloning process and that the
requirement for ashes are not from the last one that was used during the
Temple era-that would require some archeological assistance).

I recall seeing a poster for a lecture on the topic of cloning and
Halacha at Bar-Ilan University by Chief Rabbi Lau of Israel. Does anyone
know what he said?

Elisha Paul