Friday, December 25, 2020

Immorality of Human Cell Lines

With a heavy heart, I hereby
 protest the unspeakable public desecration of G-d's name committed by a prominent online website that purports to speak in the name of Chabad Lubavitch.

This site shockingly featured an article that sanctions using a vaccine containing a cell line cultured from aborted fetal tissue.

The article argues that getting the vaccine is in no way encouraging anyone to perform abortions to harvest their cells, since "scientists are still using a cell strain that was obtained more than 50 years ago from a fetus."

This assertion is patently false.

The author is woefully oblivious to the current state of affairs in which abortions are performed routinely for the development of new human cell lines. 

In fact, abortion is no longer the right term, but infanticide. Late-term viable babies are regularly delivered alive (in a horrific procedure called "water bag method") and dissected while their hearts are beating like laboratory animals. Live dissection without pain medication.

This odious reality is nothing less than a modern-day death cult.

By making use of any vaccine that contains a human cell line, one is effectively compensating the vaccine manufacturer for the past abortion while funding future abortions for the research and development of new cell lines, since those currently in use will not last forever.

In Torah law, such compensation is strictly forbidden. One who compensates a murderer for the murder he committed (or will commit) is morally complicit and is guilty of death in the heavenly court. [1]

Even with regards to early-stage fetuses, as was presumably the case fifty years ago, abortion is still akin to murder. [2] It is indefensible and morally intolerable. 

Furthermore, there is another problem involved as well, that of deriving benefit from any human cadaver. [3]

Making use of a pharmaceutical product that contains the genetic code derived from any human corpse constitutes deriving illicit benefit thereof. While this prohibition might be lifted to save the life of a living person, a vaccine does not constitute "pikuach nefesh" or "hatzalat nefashot" in this regard. [4]

While there might be grounds for leniency in his regard, but ideally one should avoid such halachically dubious benefit from the dead.

However, the most serious aspect of this article is its blatant disregard for the widespread frequency of abortions in contemporary medical research.

Utilizing products that contain human cell lines obtained from abortions verily constitutes collusion in, and encouragement of, a) the abortion itself, b) the countless other abortions committed in the process [5], and c) all future abortions that are perpetrated by this company on a regular basis.

This is no small matter. The Rebbe entrusted us with the holy task of teaching the laws of morality as commanded to Noah and his descendants, recorded in Genesis 9. Abortion is a grave violation of the Divine Code.

As representatives of the Rebbe, Chabad should NOT be condoning abortion in any way.

Jews and all humans of conscience ought to boycott all products containing human cell lines until this horrific practice stops altogether.

There is too much at stake.

I demand that this ill-advised article be retracted at once.


[1] Maimonides, Laws of Murder 2:2

[2] Genesis 9:6

[3] Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 349:1

[4] Preventing illness in the future is not considered a current exigency of pikuach nefesh. See Noda B’yehuda mahadura tinyono Yoreh Deah 210, cited by Mishne Halachos (Rabbi Menashe Klein), Mador Hateshuvos, 6:203, prohibiting autopsy of fetus (nivul hamais) even if it's to save a future life. See also Mahadura tinyono, 2:253.

[5] For example, some seventy plus fetuses were aborted and dissected by Dr. Stanley Plotkin in 1962 until two were selected for the development of the cell line used in the Rubella Vaccine.


Rabbi Daniel Green said...

Bravo for this excellent, eye-opening article.
Shocking. There are no words.
Whatever it's worth, here is the comment I left on that "Chabad" website, which I doubt they will post:
I condemn this article in the strongest of terms.
It conveys a lack of sensitivity and assiduity in reference to "the moral barrier preventing the research scientist or the manufacturer of pharmaceutical products from utilizing fetal tissue procured by means of induced abortion for purposes that are" NOT moral, to borrow the author's quotation of the rabbi/doctor whose words are most troubling, while conveying blissful oblivion to the sad reality of unscrupulous scientific research inspired by consumerism and capitalistic gain. Do the author and rabbi/doctor wishfully believe that "such utilization of fetal tissue does not involve collusion in, or encouragement of, the abortion itself," i.e. further abortions for the said purposes, as suggested in this article? While every author and rabbi/doctor are entitled to their opinion, I decry this article because it insinuates that it has the endorsement of the Chabad movement, or accepted Halachic authorities in the worldwide Chabad community.
This is not the case.

Elka said...

Dear Rabbi Green,
Gut voch. Thank you taking the time to address this issue.

It is disappointing to see Jewish leadership driving themselves into irrelevance... because whoever wrote this paper published on is either ignorant or shamefully lying...
If people would do their own research they would find that vaccine producers harvest cells from fetuses whose mothers had the disease they are aiming to vaccinate against (there is a lengthy, 9 hour testimony of Dr. Plotkin who accounts for all the necessary steps which he took in making the famous rubella vaccine)... also, there is enough evidence which has been brought forward in the recent past that body parts of aborted fetuses are being sold by American abortion clinics to research companies... Meaning this behaviour is encouraged and financially rewarded. Using products which result from this research supports the industry and as a consumer one cannot say one has no responsibility!
Also, it's very deceiving to say that most vaccines do not have cells of aborted fetuses... because the ones that do - rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis A are widely used for many, many children. When they say that majority of vaccines do not have the cells, it kind of suggests that we are not affected by the issue as much. But when we consider the vaccines which do contain the cells, we know that EVERY child who followed the vaccination schedule is/was affected.
A non-Jewish friend of mine has suggested that abortions are the modern day child sacrifice. Avraham Avinu lived in the society where children were killed for "greater good" (whatever it may be). One would think that we have come a long way since then. Yet, today, we are revisiting this behaviour justified by the 'great' causes, which feed the pockets of those who take no responsibility for the outcome. It is extremely sad that Jewish leadership, instead of objecting to these practices, acts in support of them.
May you continue to go from strength to strength.
Elka Leibovitch

Michael Zlab said...

Thank you very much Rabbi Green. I have been fighting this it seems by myself and hold your view as my own. Infitcide and it is horrible. You wrote well and I hope many see this article.
Thank you,

Michael Zlab

Michael Zlab said...

Rabbi Green Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing truth in a world full of misinformation and deception.