Do modern day Jews take blood transfusions

by MsMcDucket 10 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • MsMcDucket

    I would love to hear from a Rabbi his take on God's commandments on blood and how it relates/or not to blood transfusions.

  • stevenyc

    My understanding is that the rules don't apply when your life is at threat. A Jew can eat a shrimp if its the only way to survive.


  • blondie

    And the Bible indicates that too when the Israelites ate meat with the blood and were not put to death.

    Notice how the WTS brings part of that but then makes an application that is untrue.


    w04 6/15 pp. 22-23 Be Guided by the Living God ***
    The Bible is clear that a person obedient to God would not eat unbled meat. That was so important that even in an emergency when Israelite soldiers ate unbled meat, they were guilty of a grave wrong, or sin. (Deuteronomy 12:15, 16; 1 Samuel 14:31-35) Still, questions might have arisen. When an Israelite killed a sheep, how quickly did he have to drain its blood? Did he have to slit the animal’s throat for drainage? Was it necessary to hang the sheep by its hind legs? For how long? What would he do with a large cow? Even after drainage, some blood might remain in the meat. Could he eat such meat? Who would decide?
    Imagine a zealous Jew facing such issues. He might have thought it safest to avoid meat sold in a meat market, much as another would shun meat if there was a chance that it was once offered to an idol. Other Jews might have eaten meat only after following rituals to extract the blood. (Matthew 23:23, 24) What do you think about such varied reactions? Furthermore, since God did not require such reactions, would it be best for Jews to send a multitude of questions to a council of rabbis to get a ruling on each one? Though that custom developed in Judaism, we can be happy that Jehovah did not direct true worshipers to pursue decisions about blood in that way. God offered basic guidance on slaughtering clean animals and draining their blood, but he did not go beyond that.—John 8:32.

    But isn't that exactly what JWs, "send a multitude of questions to a council of rabbis to get a ruling on each one"?

    Notice how they dance around it here:


    w94 4/15 p. 31 Questions From Readers

    When Saul’s soldiers ate meat along with the blood, why were they not executed, since that was the punishment set out in God’s Law?

    These men did violate God’s law on blood, but they may have been shown mercy because they had respect for blood, even though they should have been more diligent about showing such respect.

    Consider the situation. The Israelites under King Saul and his son Jonathan were at war with the Philistines. At a point when "the men of Israel themselves were hard pressed" in battle, Saul rashly took an oath that his men should not eat until the enemy was defeated. (1 Samuel 14:24) Soon his oath created a problem.

    His men were winning a hard-fought battle, but the strenuous effort was taking its toll. They were famished and exhausted. What did they do in that extreme situation? "The people began darting greedily at the spoil and taking sheep and cattle and calves and slaughtering them on the earth, and the people fell to eating along with the blood."—1 Samuel 14:32.

    That was in violation of God’s law concerning blood, as some of Saul’s people told him, saying: "Look! The people are sinning against Jehovah by eating along with the blood." (1 Samuel 14:33) Yes, the Law said that when animals were slaughtered, the blood had to be drained before the meat was eaten. God did not demand taking fanatical measures to drain the blood. By taking reasonable steps of drainage, his servants could manifest respect for the significance of blood. (Deuteronomy 12:15, 16, 21-25) Animal blood could be used in a sacrificial way on the altar, but it was not to be eaten. Deliberate violation was punishable by death, for God’s people were told: "You must not eat the blood of any sort of flesh, because the soul of every sort of flesh is its blood. Anyone eating it will be cut off."—Leviticus 17:10-14.

    Were the soldiers of King Saul deliberately breaking the Law? Were they showing absolute disregard for the divine law on blood?—Compare Numbers 15:30.

    We need not conclude so. The record says that they were ‘slaughtering the animals on the earth and eating along with the blood.’ So they may have been making some attempt to drain the blood. (Deuteronomy 15:23) Yet, in their exhausted, famished state, they did not hang up the slaughtered carcasses and allow adequate time for normal blood drainage. They slaughtered the sheep and cattle "on the earth," which could retard drainage. And they quickly cut meat from carcasses that might have been lying in blood. Hence, even if they had in mind obeying God’s law, they did not follow through in proper ways nor to an adequate extent.

    The result was that "the people fell to eating along with the blood," which was sinful. Saul recognized this and ordered that a large stone be rolled to him. He commanded the soldiers: "Bring near to me, each one of you, his bull and, each one, his sheep, and you must do the slaughtering in this place and the eating, and you must not sin against Jehovah by eating along with the blood." (1 Samuel 14:33, 34) The guilty soldiers obeyed, and "Saul proceeded to build an altar to Jehovah."—1 Samuel 14:35.

    Slaughtering animals on the stone probably effected adequate blood drainage. Meat from the animals would be eaten away from where the slaughtering occurred. Saul may have used some of the drained blood on the altar in seeking God’s mercy toward those who had sinned. Jehovah extended mercy, apparently because he knew what attempts the soldiers had made even though they were very tired and hungry. God may also have taken into account that Saul’s rash oath had pressed his men into that desperate situation.

    This account does show that an emergency situation is no excuse for disregarding divine law. It should also help us see the need for careful thought before taking an oath, for a rash vow can cause problems for us personally and for others.—Ecclesiastes 5:4-6.

  • Alana

    A few years ago I attended a BRCI conference in Chicago and Peter Gregerson gave a wonderful talk about the blood issue (I wish I had the transcript of that talk!). He actually discussed this issue with a prominent Jewish Rabbi and in a nutshell the response was that if a life was to be saved, that the Law could be broken...that the sanctity of life was the most important.

  • blondie

    You can order the tape on the BRCI website.

  • TD

    First: Jews don't see any connection whatsoever between the eating of blood and the transfusion of blood

    Second: The blood restriction is part of Kashrut and therefore considered important, but not a life or death matter

    Third: Even if this weren't the case, Pikauch nefesh trumps all other considerations when life is in jeopardy

  • carla

    Being unclean in relation to use of blood in the OT, didn't they just remain unclean until sundown after properly cleansing themselves?

  • RodentBoy

    This is under the assumption that a practicing Jew even considers a blood transfusion to be the equivalent of eating unbled meat. I have never heard any Jewish theologian ever claim that the two acts have anything at all in common. The blood issue is a load of malarckey, a quote-mined and warped passage from the Bible that the WTBS has, for whatever reason, put its back up against the wall. Like the 1914 prophecy, the abject crap being spewed during the Rutherford era and even the celebrating of birthdays, the whole purpose has always been to find some line in the sand to keep the sheep in line. Simply put, the WTBS has no theological system at all, no real doctrinal way of determining the morality of any particular action.

  • YoursChelbie

    The Jews did not consider life itself to be less important than the rule against eating unbled animals.

    I found this interesting also:


  • belbab

    From a Jewish perspective:

    3/ (And this one to me is the essential problem) If we place the
    importance of blood over and above sustaining life itself, then what
    are we saying about life? For to allow a person to die because of a
    lack of blood, then life must be the secondary to blood. Rather than
    celebrating birth and death we should be mourning over every bleeding
    cut and shedding tears everytime we defecate. Birth and death are
    penultimate, blood is supreme. According to your Christian faith, when
    a person sins, is it his life that is required of him or his blood?
    For heaven's sake blood is for life, not life is for blood.


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