Sunday, May 22, 2016

Does he need a new Bris Milah? Does She?

The relevant articles:  Here and here

If the transplanted organ has an orlah, is he obligated to make a bris? And if it is already mahul, but from a gentile, would it need hatafah? If it is done on a woman, is she now chayeves in milah?

Just Rashei Perakim, (a particularly appropriate expression.)

I think the answer to the first question is yes, even midoraysa, and to the second, no. I base this on the dual aspects of the mitzva of milah, the maaseh milah and the obligation to not be an areil. (This can be restated as a gavra/cheftza issue. The most famous source for the idea that there is a separate mitzva to "not be an areil" is the Maharach Ohr Zarua 11, bringing a raya from the story with Dovid Hamelech in the bath house, Menachos 43a.) As for the third question, I believe it is not as absurd as it sounds, but the answer would be no for two reasons. First, because there is a befeirisheh miyut (Kiddushin 29a) for women (especially the way it is learned by the Ramban and Ritva there,) and I don't believe that a transplant changes the halachic gender. Additionally, because it's only an orlah when it is where it would naturally grow. An orlah on her ear would not have a din orlah, and this is essentially the same.

I think it is obvious that the sugya of ילדה שסיבכה בזקנה in Nedarim 57b and Sotah 43b (branch from a young tree, with Orlah fruit on it, that is grafted to an old tree,) and the Rambam's (MS&NR 10:10) Yerushalmi (fruit-tree-species branch grafted onto a non-fruit-bearing tree,) are, despite the coincidental homonym, utterly irrelevant both regarding the "Orlah" issue and even as far as the issue of a transplant being subsumed into the host. This is sufficiently self evident that I feel no need to discuss the Gemara in Shabbos 108
מניין למילה שבאותו מקום, נאמר כאן ערלתו ונאמר להלן ערלתו, מה להלן דבר שעושה פרי, אף כאן דבר שעושה פרי, אימא לבו, דכתיב ומלתם את ערלת לבבכם, אימא אזנו דכתיב הנה ערלה אזנם, דנין ערלתו תמה מערלתו תמה, ואין דנין ערלתו תמה מעלת שאינה תמה... כתנאי מניין למילה שבאותו מקום, נאמר כאן ערלתו ונאמר להלן ערלתו, מה להלן דבר שעושה פרי, אף כאן דבר שעושה פרי, דברי ר' יאשיה, ר' נתן אומר אינו צריך, הרי הוא אומר וערל זכר אשר לא ימול את בשר ערלתו, מקום שניכר בין זכרות לנקבות. 

If you are not convinced, please follow this link.

One should also be aware of what it says in Sefer Shmiras Haguf Ve'hanefesh from the Chelkas Yakov Chelek 2 siman 40 regarding blood transfusions, vehameivin yavin.

Thank you, Reb Shmuel Weldler and Reb Harry (Asher Hanzel) Friedman, for accosting me with these questions Shabbos morning.

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