Made To Order Babies

The choice is yours.

Comments (27)

(27) Elliott Alhadeff, March 17, 2009 10:56 AM

Encourage Defective Babies?

If your wife was pregnant with a defective embryo that could be cured by science, would you allow science to do so or would you require "love" for the life-long defective result? Your unqualified assumption of what God wants is as valid as the scientist developing the procedure. You have not suggested a single adverse consequence of a family selecting the qualities of their child. Families recognizing the selective character of our society for whatever reasons are not only exercising their responsibility to their child for a healthy social life but helping to make that child even more effective in contributing to that community. We should all be very wary when someone claims to know "what God wants..."

(26) Anonymous, March 16, 2009 3:42 PM

Have you heard about the couple who couldn't have children. It turned out that the man didn't produce viable sperms.The doctors suggested IVF with the woman's egg and a donor sperm, kind of like half-adoption. The man was worried, because he was a cohen, and the child, if a boy, wouldn't be a cohen, so he wouldn't go up with his father to bless the congregation, & everyone would know. With the agreement of some rabbis, the couple used this technology to select for a girl, thus eliminating the problem. Right? Wrong? Who can judge?

(25) Penina, March 14, 2009 3:38 PM

Anna, firstly the rabbi is talking about before the child is born, and making him look as perfect as possible as if that's the purpose of life- The purpose of life is to get close to G-d and fulfill his commandments- G-d commanded to do brit milah- If he commanded to make sure that our children are born with blue eyes- the we would do it! If you dont want to hear what the rav is saying then it might sound like a mixed message but if you look at it unemotionally then its perfectlly logical

(24) Ruth Rachel Anderson-Avraham, March 13, 2009 6:28 AM

Preserving Life...

There is no conflict between science and Judaism in terms of understanding G-d's design for the world. However, there can certainly be conflicts between science and Judaism in terms of how we use scientific means, techonology. We are commanded by Torah to preserve life. We are commanded by Torah, to appreciate the beauty of the world, and all that surrounds us... There is a reason that genetic diversity exists in the world, including not only the diversity which results from children born with certain physical characteristics, but also that which results from children born with certain handicaps or illnesses, particular physical illnesses...who also bring love and beauty into the world, and have a divine purpose in this world... The use of such technology is sliding down a slippery people the option of destroying genetic diversity, the diversity of G-d's creation, rather than helping them to preserve life, in all it's unique beauty, unique forms...

(23) Anonymous, March 13, 2009 1:49 AM

Mixed Message

The Rav initially mentioned, in passing, that PGD was designed for preventing genetic disease, but spoke the rest of the time about aesthetic issues. He then spoke on the topic of our job to function in and improve an imperfect world. It is not clear from this mixed message whether the Rav even approves of PGD for genetic diseases - is he saying that we should not try prevent such diseases but instead allow sick children to be created as they can then be a vehicle for our personal growth? I doubt that this is what he is saying, particularly as PGD is approved by almost all halachic authorities, but the message the the Rav gave was not clear.

(22) Anna, March 12, 2009 11:40 PM

If what the Rabbi says is true. . . then why is it that Jew's believe in circumcision ?? None of us have the right to change what God has Created !!! You can not agree on one thing and not the other..

(21) G, March 12, 2009 12:30 PM


The nazi's said if you dont have blonde hair and blue eyes than you don't belong here. If you are not perfect you don't belong. G-d Loves each and everyone of us on how we give from our heart soul and effort not how we look in the mirror. I wish you all peace, love and happness. Good Shabbos to all:)

(20) Betty, March 12, 2009 11:46 AM

How horribly selfish is that ? A child born out of love of 2 parents, with or without perfections is the most perfect child one can have. Taking science & technology to that extent is abuse.

(19) Anonymous, March 12, 2009 11:34 AM

G-d as designer

It is bad enough for Jews "keep up with the Steins". Are we thin enough, wealthy enough, are we at the right school, at the right shul? Designer homes, Designer kids! Hashem designed my children for me and my husband. Is a doc going to improve on that? We davened for them, and they are so beautiful to us. Any imperfection is there to teach me, or them to be better. They are beautiful from the inside out. Is it the Jewish way to put so much value on the outside? Isn't it our job to look for the beauty and value in everyone? We want so badly to have "perfect children" that we seem to loose our emunah in Hashem and imagine that popular culture and style know better.

(18) Jeannette Zipes, March 12, 2009 10:01 AM

Good Advise

Yes you are correct that God is perfect and we are not. Accept what ever child you get because it is a gift. If there is a handicap child then shower more love and teach them how to accept themselves G-d loves all and everything has a perpose and meaning in life. G-d Bless you Rabbi

(17) MOSHE, March 11, 2009 3:06 PM

We shouldn’t be so selfish!

How can one choose an eye color etc. for someone else? Maybe that someone will hate your choice? I think that this type of act is extremely selfish. The best gift you can give others is to be altruistic.

(16) Ernest, March 11, 2009 2:34 PM

What is science

We are worshiping science these days. However, is science playing G-d? King David said that G-d rules everything. Therefore science “discoveries” comes from G-d, He allows this to happen. The real problem is—how do we use it.

(15) Miriam, March 11, 2009 11:07 AM

the most poignant line

To me, the most important line is "God made this world imperfect so we can perfect it." In this case it is NOT about the end but about the means--it is the process that we benefit from. Making things better, whether it is our service of God, how we treat others, and most importantly how we treat ourselves, is about self-introspection and evaluation...two uniquely Jewish concepts. Use of PGD in this case is contrary to this fundamental of Jewish philosophy.

(14) Anonymous, March 11, 2009 11:00 AM

Preventing some pain to the next generation.

If we are able select certain facial features in our descendants, thus reducing future pain to the next generation, it it well worth it! In this crazy video age, where the good looking and healthy get preferred treatment in all aspects of life, by Jews and non-Jewish alike, it is hypocritical not to include the physical and superficial into the narrator's view of "perfecting the world." We would be closing our eyes to our reality. I personally would give anything not to look the way I do, as to prevent the painful experiences of having to listen to Jews as well as non-Jews analyze my less than perfect nose. I am constantly being treated as a less than desirable person, and I would give anything to prevent that pain to the next generation. With that said, we must remember, in this world, there is always a price to pay. In the case of pre- choicing a blue eyed, blond child. I am greatly increasing their chances of contracting cataracts, and deadly skin cancer, so choose wisely.

(13) Avrumi, March 11, 2009 9:14 AM

Repectfully disagree with the Rabbi

The bottom line is that in this world ones physical appearance can have drastic impact on one's life...why is it that a kohen who had one long eyebrow (uni-brow) was not allowed to do the avodah? did this impinge on his capabilites? if Gd has decided to make this medical technology available and it does not have serious risks/etc. than I see nothing wrong with it. We all know that in general taller people command more respect and studies show that all things being equal, "more attractive" people, have easier times with obtaining jobs and shidduchim. Obviously there are exceptions...but a person still has to make moral choices and improve their characters whether they are given blonde hair/blue eyes before they are born or not.

(12) Anonymous, March 11, 2009 9:13 AM

to anyone out there interested in this procedure: Would you want your parents controlling everything in your life including what you look like? letting a child enter this world as G-D intented only ads to their uniqueness and individuality and let them be who they truly can be

(11) Sisi, March 11, 2009 5:45 AM


People have long "shopped" for babies via adoption, now they have science to help them shop. Meanwhile millions of healthy and beautiful babies and children languish in orphanages with no one to love them. How many people have gone overseas and spent a small fortune to adopt a child. The fact of the matter is that most people would simply not adopt a child who is too dark. ITs a sad commentary on our society that people who ache for children would sooner die childless than adopt a baby with darker skin. Asian babies have become "socially acceptable", but otherwise many couples opt to spend a fortune to go to Eastern Europe or to find light skinned South American babies. Before we start injecting ourselves with hormones, creating lives in petri dishes, and doing all sorts of other bizarre things to get pregnant let's do somehting about the millions of wonderful children out there who desperately need a home. Stop shopping for the perfect traits and start looking at what truly makes up a family, its not perfect hair and skin... its love and respect that build a family.

(10) ata, March 11, 2009 4:40 AM

i really agree!!! whatever position i am in, i must always remember that is is Hashem who put me here for a reason. if you understand this concept, then it can remove all jealousy in our lives- how can we be jealous of what someone else has if we have the constant awareness of the fact that Hashem gave me exctly what i personally need to fulfill my job here on earth?

(9) Bill, March 10, 2009 12:27 PM

Yet another example...

...of good and helpful science taken to the Nth degree and turning into something disgusting. I think there's nothing wrong whatsoever with using the process if you have a genetic disposition to something potentially dangerous for the child, by all means, a child should be healthy, but infant customization is just sick.

(8) Batsheva, March 9, 2009 2:08 PM

not all pgd is created equal

Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. There is a place for pgd when it comes to screening for genetic syndromes that are recessive. This science can provide some couples the opportunity to have a family. As with everything else, it can be a powerful tool when used with halachik guidance.

(7) Lisa, March 9, 2009 5:59 AM

PGD can be very useful

There are many couples where pgd is their only alternative for a successful outcome in a pregnancy. And, when you're that desperate, you'll take ANY baby. PGD can help with repeated miscarraiges, and can rule out genetic defects/illnesses in certain couples if they should have boys or girls ( talk to my friend whose child merely died from kidney disease) due to certain genetic illnesses. PGD does have a place in our world, and EVERY child comes from Hashem- God gave the tools and the abilities to the shaliachs to use PGD as a viable tool that can give hope to many. So, don't write it off if you don't know the whole story. It's not just about eye color...!

(6) Clifford (Chaim Tzvi) Felder, March 9, 2009 2:27 AM

I would never have been born.

Shlomo, had pre-selection had been used on my embryo, I as an Aspergers would never have been born, and many others with such defects as well. Yet my condition allows me a unique perspective and understanding the Torah and world that lets me make my own special contribution to this world that nobody else can.

(5) chavi, March 8, 2009 10:17 PM

I can just see 8-year-old Calvina Klein yelling at her mother:"I HATE blond hair and blue eyes! I wish I could have black hair and dark eyes like my friend Tzipi. And I hate being tall/short/skinny/fat! Why didn't you think before you made me like this?" And you know what? Mom isn't going to be able to answer, "Hashem made you like this, and so you are perfect." Very, very sad.

(4) Anonymous, March 8, 2009 8:52 PM

Woow!! I never thought of that because I never saw anything wrong with it but now you opened my mind to see the deeper meaning of society and how science isn't always right.thank you

(3) Yael, March 8, 2009 8:39 PM


it's one of those things we know its wrong because we know it and we can't put it in words. One time I was in a shir and a girl asked the Rav "how do u know that u really really exist?" and he said "the question alone is a mishigaz. I know because I know, I might not be able to prove it to you, but I dont need to prove it to myself" Same goes with this, it's meshuga but we can't exaplin exactly how we know that

(2) Michael Bennett, March 8, 2009 4:08 PM

Designer Babies

Well said, Rabbi Salomon. This is science in its worst light. Arguing that somehow they are making the world better in so doing (a rationalization of course as the true motive is profit), these doctors are treading down a path that logically leads to the destruction of what may be deemed "imperfect" life. And we heard that refrain 60 years ago. More immediately troubling, however, is the culture that this fosters and the negation of the ideals that you enunciate so well. Doctors who are not committed to the ideal of healing first, last and always betray their creed and have no place in medicine or science. Bless You!

(1) Moshe Rosen, March 8, 2009 10:48 AM

anticipating what our children will be

Whenever I have children, I don't really care whether they'd be either a boy or girl - just as long as they understand and practice the Jewish sages. Ergo, I would seek this out through the natural course of time to find the Jewish woman who I decide to marry where she accepts. Judaism overall comes natural to me because of my Jewish soul/neshema.


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