Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

In Memory of an Organ Donor

donate_life2_300This is a Yizkor prayer for those who have become organ donors in death. The last sentence is the classic ending of a Yizkor prayer. To listen along, click the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

In Memory of an Organ Donor
G-d of endings and beginnings,
G-d of past and future,
G-d of death and life,
Grant a perfect rest to ______________________ (name in Hebrew or your native tongue),
Whose death brought new life and new hope to others
Through the gift of his / her [vital] organs.
May those who received these gifts live lives of health and service,
Reflecting the love and devotion,
And the highest ideals,
Of our/my [father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one].
Bless our family with peace
Knowing that the hour of his / her death
Became a moment of life for others.
May this act of generosity echo through the generations,
A source of hope and comfort.
May his / her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and http://www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See two related prayers “For Organ Donation” and “On Waiting for an Organ Transplant,” as well as two memorial prayers: “For Bereaved Children” and “For the Bereaved.” In 1991, the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America approved organ donations as permissible, even required, from brain-dead patients. Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist scholars and rabbis support and encourage donation. In 1992, a revered ultra-Orthodox rabbi ruled that organ transplantation is permissible. Please see the Halachic Organ Donor Society for Jewish resources. Here’s a resource on how various religions view organ donation.

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Photo Credit: Donate Life Organ and Tissue Donation Blog

 

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7 Responses to “In Memory of an Organ Donor”

  1. Michelle Abraham

    Dear Alden – Last week an 11 year old girl in our congregation went in to sudden heart failure. Today, she lays recovering – alert and alive – with a new heart beating in her chest because of the generosity of you and others who made this difficult choice in their moment of grief. My husband, Rabbi Joel Abraham, and I has been giving lots of thought in the last few days to how we honor those who gave life to others. This prayer is a beautiful way of doing that. Thank you. May your wife’s memory forever be a blessing.

    Reply
  2. Donna

    Alden,
    Thank you for writing this prayer for Ami z”l – my sister. She is much loved and missed by us all. I remember the time we spent with her in the hospital during the last hours of her life; and the joy of those who received the news that an organ was now available due to the compassion Ami z”l had for the lives of other human beings.
    ~ Donna

    Reply
  3. Cynthia Barnard

    Please see the Halachic Organ Donor Society at http://www.hods.org for some wonderful resources. Thank you very much for contributing beautifully to our understanding of how organ donation honors life and is a deeply Jewish action.

    Reply
    • tobendlight

      Thanks, Robert. I am happy to know that many other families made the same choice and it is also sad that many more have not. Let’s get the word out!

      Reply

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