Re: Cloning and Halacha

Daniel J. Pearson (dpears2@umbc.edu)
Sun, 4 May 1997 18:29:26 -0400 (EDT)

Yaakov Menken wrote in Torah-Forum V3 #37:
> My question is, does a clone get a neshamah [soul], or not? Perhaps a
> neshamah is only given to a human created by G-d in partnership with a
> father _and_ mother; but perhaps implantation is good enough. An
> interesting thought.

My first reaction to your question is: "Of course a clone has a neshama
like any other human being!" Even though this comes from the heart and
not from halachic reasoning, I still believe that it is simply morally
wrong to consider a clone to be less than a full human. A clone is
certainly no different physiologically or psychologically. If clones were
considered spiritually inferior, then some might feel justified in killing
a clone for the "spare parts," which is just reprehensible.

In regards to the point that the neshamot of human beings are evident in
their speaking ability, I am very puzzled as to why Rabbi Menken did not
use this as an argument that clones do have neshamot.

Daniel Jacob Pearson <dpears2@umbc.edu>