Watch: You Won’t Believe How Many Orthodox Jews Donate Their Kidneys to Strangers


Orthodox Jews make up over 15% of the living kidney donors in the U.S. who give their kidney to a complete stranger. Here are some of those stories.




  1. People should ask a competent Rov before doing this. It is a great mitzva but is not without consequences for the donor. A woman who gave a kidney could probably not have another child.

    • You don’t know what you’re talking about. Donating a kidney has nothing to do with the donor’s ability to have children.

      • I heard from a reliable source that doctors told him that giving a kidney would reduce a person’s ability to have a child. Where did you hear otherwise? There may also be other health impacts. It makes sense to ask a shaaleh before doing this.

    • This is as far from the truth as possible. I personally know someone who gave her kidney to another women. They both had 2-3 children afterwards.

      • The kidney association says the following
        The risks associated with surgery and donation should be discussed with your transplant team, and include:

        Pain. Medication to relieve pain will be provided after surgery.
        Blood Clotting. Patient movement after the surgery will help stimulate blood flow to reduce this problem.
        Infection. If the surgical incision gets infected, it can be treated with antibiotics.
        Reaction to anesthesia. Some people may have an allergic reaction to the agent used to put them to sleep before the surgery. The doctor will take action to correct this problem immediately.
        Pneumonia. Any surgery increases the chance for pneumonia. Coughing and breathing deeply will help reduce this risk.
        Lung Collapse. Because the kidney is close to the lung, the space around the lung might inadvertently be opened during the surgery and the lung will collapse. A tube will be inserted and the lung re-inflated when this happens.
        Kidney Damage. There is a slight chance the donor’s kidney can be damaged during the surgery. Doctors will do all they can to minimize this risk including changing to an open surgery from a laparoscopy.
        Death. For living kidney donors, the risk of death is about 0.06% (about 1 death for every 1,700 procedures).
        Some possible long-term risks to the donor of kidney donation include:

        High blood pressure (hypertension);
        Large amounts of protein in the urine;
        Bloating or nausea in the abdominal area or bowels;
        Remaining kidney impairment or possible organ failure that leads to the need for dialysis; and
        In rare cases, death.

    • Not true, you are misinformed. I know several women who have had children after donating. As a donor, I only wish I COULD DO IT AGAIN.

  2. I am am a frum person and the recipient of a living altruistic donor kidney from a frum person. These donors are malachim, and my hakoras hatov is limitless.

    There is a frum organization in the US and one in Israel that assists and supports altruistic kidney donations.

  3. Torah comes first. Altruism is sometimes a faith. The value of being buried in all organs intact is Torah.

    One might consult a rabbi. Family needs might be realistic perhaps of course. I could not assume a Torah soul or a Torah family would be altruistic to help another person yet in poor fitness just by the right to be in a higher esteem perceived or even thought deserved.

    I give blood and blood products to find that I can be religiously altruistic to my community. I have done it enough so far I feel happy. I wonder if this is more realistic. One would like to hear more from the rabbis.

    None of the people in this video looked Torah strong. I guess it is a chance to either promote the idea of anyone to give a kidney or just the idea that the nice person can get it done for the good of his community.

    The trouble is a very important Torah discussion. Not exactly the ideal of “altruism”.

    • Where in the Torah does it state that the value of being buried intact is greater than the value of donating a kidney to someone who needs it?
      I searched the Torah and shas, but couldn’t find this.

      • Perhaps it is permitted. To give to any person other than family or close friend seems naive. Still, I would bet that it is done. There are many who are someone else’s hero. It is a right.

    • Trying to decipher your incoherent ramblings, I must say that you really don’t understand the situation. If you ask any posek, you will be surprised to find that they permit – even encourage – altruistic kidney donation under most circumstances.

Leave a Reply to tzoorba Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here