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. In this recording, I say the prayer in memory of my wife Ami z”l, who was an organ donor in her death. 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),
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 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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