The Human Blueprint: Jewish Perspectives on Modern Genetics
Fourth Family Fuld Medical Ethics Conference
B’Reshut Roshei Yeshiva, honored speakers, and esteemed guests. Hello and welcome tothe Fuld Family Conference, The Human Blueprint: Jewish Perspectives on ModernGenetics.I am Sam Weprin – “and I am Tali Bauman”-, and as co-presidents and conferenceorganizers, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your participation andsupport in the YU Student Medical Ethics Society’s 4
annual conference. We hope thattoday’s presentations will enrich your understanding of the medical and ethical issues inmodern genetics as they relate to Jewish law and Torah values.Before we begin today’s program we would like to take a moment to thank the Fuldfamily whose generous gift has made today possible.Rabbi Dovid and Mrs. Anita Fuld are founders and supporters of the Shaare Tzedek Zohar PGD laboratory in Israel, which Tali and I had the unique privilege of visiting over Succot. There we were greeted by world class experts in the field of reproductivegenetics who assist families in Pre Implantation Genetics Diagnosis.The Fulds’ generosity has enabled over 400 participants here today as well as those joining us in Israel via webcast to partake in this unique event. We are especially honoredto have the Fulds joining us through this webcast. We would like to take this opportunityto express our profound hakaras hatov for making today possible.
Yesterday, we read Parshat Bereishit, which discusses the creation of man. In perek aleph pasuk caf zayin, it is written: HEBREW Man was created in the image of G-d. Later, the Torah writes, G-d created man “afer minhaadama”, from the dust of the ground. This however is a seemingly simplistic view of the makeup of man. As science has proven, each and every one of us is composed of anintricate pattern of genetic information which makes us unique. One way to understandthe significance of man’s holiness as a tzelem elokim is to explore and delve into theintricacies and details of the human body. “Lo Machsevoti Machshetochaicham Ve’Lodarcaichem derachai” While We do not understand G-d’s thoughts and ways, what we doknow is that when G-d created man "V’henei Tov
and he was
good, asopposed to other creations which were merely good. Endeavoring to understand thewholesomeness of man through science and halacha allows us invaluable insight intowho we are as people formed in the very image of God.