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Oct 26, 2008

cloning and stem cell research in the parsha

NOTE: the following should not be taken as a halachic decision or be used for halachic guidance. I do not know what the halachic and/or rabbinic position on these matters is. I consulted no rabbis when writing this, and the following words are simply my thoughts on the subject.

We say that we are supposed to emulate the ways of Hashem. "מה הוא חנון, אף אתה חנון וכו" - "Just as He is slow o anger, so to you should be slow to anger. Just as He is merciful, so to should you be merciful, etc." so the gemara says.

In parshas Breishis, which we just read, Hashem decided there was a need to create a woman to be with Adam. He could have snapped His fingers, so to speak, and said "Let there be woman", and created her just llike He created man. But He did not.

He put Adam through surgery, with a general anesthesia (ויפל תרדמה), and then cut Adam open, removed a rib (or whatever bone or piece you might define צלע to be), and then formed the flesh and the whole woman around that bone.

To me that sounds like God preferred to not go through the process of creation again once it had been completed. And it would be immoral for us to take the place of God and "create" through science.

But on the other hand, it would also seem that cloning, and stem cell research should be ok. Those are the methods used by God to form Chava, post-creation, and it would seem that it should be acceptable for us to study and use these methods as well.

What do you think?

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