Re: Cloning and Halacha

Yaakov Menken (menken@torah.org)
Fri, 23 May 1997 00:04:22 -0400

"Daniel J. Pearson" <dpears2@umbc.edu> wrote:
>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!"

Actually, I'm trying to remember what I meant. In the paragraph which
followed, I wrote: "In any case, this does mean that if clones are actually
possible, a clone will have an entirely new neshamah, and would be fully
human in every possible respect."

So if I recall correctly, what I intended to say was the following: if a
clone were to have have intelligence and speech, then indeed this would
demonstrate that the clone has an entirely new neshamah [soul]. If HaShem
doesn't give a new neshamah to an implanted clone, then the clone will not
have intelligence and speech.

So indeed I think Kira Sirote (the mother of "identical" twins) has it
right - the identical genetics doesn't mean an identical soul, and thus we
all agree that a clone which demonstrates human intelligence would be a
normal human with a unique identity and neshamah.

Yaakov Menken