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Biblical Perspective


Jewish views on sperm donation are based on several passages in the Torah and other traditional writings. There have been recent rulings by respected Rabbinical authorities which do not always agree with each other. Extensive articles and programs have been presented addressing this issue. Some of the trends in the Jewish world are changing. The primary source on the topic is from the first book in the Torah:

Genesis 38:9-10

"And Onan knew that the seed would not be his; and it came to pass when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest he should give seed to his brother. And it was evil in the eyes of the Lord, the thing which he did."

The question can be asked, of what acts and intentions was the sin composed so as to earn him death at the hand of heaven? One thing that he did was to refuse to give of his sperm to permit a benefit to his deceased brother. A second thing was to spill his semen with the intention and knowledge that it would be wasted.

Current medical technology facilitates preparation and freezing of semen at the time of ejaculation so as to enable fertilization at another time and place.

We are able to try to repair the sin of Onan similar to our efforts to repair the sin of the golden calf.

By knowing the biological parents, the potential of Halachically forbidden sexual unions can be avoided.

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