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Brooklyn, NY - Over 50 Rabbis Attend First Conference Of 'Chayim Aruchim' Org. (video)

Published on: November 3, 2011 03:53 PM
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Dr. Yashir Hirshaut, a prominent oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital addressing the Rabbis. Photo: Shimon GifterDr. Yashir Hirshaut, a prominent oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital addressing the Rabbis. Photo: Shimon Gifter

Brooklyn, NY - What began as an effort to create a sound legal document that would protect the religious rights of gravely ill Jewish patients has now evolved into a full-fledged organization that offers a full array of assistance with end of life issues.

Chayim Aruchim, a relatively new division of Agudath Israel of America, was officially created approximately one year ago to simplify dealing with end of life issues by having a network of doctors, poskim and advocates available with a single phone call.  They have also drafted a halachically correct medical directive, giving control over a patient’s end of life issues to the family instead of allowing doctors or hospital administrators, who might be motivated by financial constraints, to make those decisions for them.

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“The government and insurance agencies have decided to solve the problem of old, sick and medically fragile patients using costly medical resources by pushing hard to stop treating them and putting patients into hospices, which are designed to let people die,” Rabbi Berish Fried, Associated Statewide Project Coordinator of Chayim Aruchim, told VIN News. “Every single case has to be analyzed by rabbinical and medical professionals before a Yid can ever be allowed to be placed in such a setting.”

As New York State Law requires health care facilities to accommodate the civil and religious liberties of every patient, “Having a Halachic Medical Directive will ensure that those religious rights are made known to the hospital and are protected”.  The five page Halachic Medical Directive, which was prepared by a team of Agudah lawyers and community Rabbonim, is legally valid in sixteen states and Quebec can be downloaded at http://chayimaruchim.com/?page_id=84.  

Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, vice President of Agudath Israel hopes to have every Orthodox Jew over the age of 18 sign the five page document.

Over Fifty Brooklyn Rabbis attended Chayim Aruchim’s first ever meeting yesterday at Kahal Chassidim in Borough Park.  The purpose of the asifa was to make community poskim aware of the end of life issues that are being faced daily, and to launch a campaign encouraging every member of the Jewish community to have a signed Halachic Medical Directive.

Speakers at this event included Harav Hershel Ausch, Dr. Yashir Hirshaut, a prominent oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, Agudath Israel Rabbis, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger and Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz.

Online:
chayimaruchim@agudathisrael.org 

Video of the event by Shimon Gifter.

At the event, Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, Karlsburg Rabbi, Rabbi…. Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, Novominsker RebbeAt the event, Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, Karlsburg Rabbi, Rabbi…. Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, Novominsker Rebbe
 Halachic Medical Directive Halachic Medical Directive
Atteding the event (L-R) Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, Rabbi Gedaliah WeinbergerAtteding the event (L-R) Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger

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1

 Nov 03, 2011 at 05:17 PM A_Simple_Chussid Says:

The Rav in the center of the 1st picture (between R' Yechezkel Roth and the Novominsker) is R' Lazer Eichler, the Boyan'er Dayan...

3

 Nov 03, 2011 at 05:50 PM belzer gabbai Says:

interesting why we don't see any of the leading poskim attending this conference. after all, if they want to get something out of this, shouldn't they make sure that the big rabbonim attend?

4

 Nov 03, 2011 at 06:16 PM yos719 Says:

Does anyone know the phone # for this organization?

5

 Nov 03, 2011 at 06:50 PM Oldtimer Says:

As an attorney with 30 years experience in this field, you don't need this to "give rights to the family" - that can be accomplished with a simple health care proxy. However, this document gives certain rights to the designated Rabbi or religious organization who will determine whether you are being treated in accordance with Halacha. I guess this is fine if you want it. Count me out.

6

 Nov 03, 2011 at 07:16 PM Just another mentch Says:

I don't know who the poskim in monsey are, But here in bp, 1)Reb Cheskel Roth is probably one of the biggest in these issues, And yes, rabbi hager is also consulted with, same goes for the twerskys (who are actually go betweens with dr.s). Not knowing the rabbis by the table, and not seeing 3/4 of the attendees and still posting. Let me tell you, Reb Cheskel Roths kollel IS one of the biggest poskim kollel. I have used them, I know many people who do asked their end of life "issues" by them.

#3, Guess you wanted to see, satmar, bobov, belz, munkatsh, viznitz, lubavitsh, Olshin, shustel, etc etc etc. attending. Anybody less than those are not "big rabbonim" enough? Let me enlighten you, Most of these here are true ovdei hashem, torah devotees! they are much bigger than us for us to level them out and place our preferred above them. (I might not either like everything these rabbonim say, but too bad for me! My rabbi is very holy, and that doesn't in any way negate these rabbis prominence.

7

 Nov 03, 2011 at 08:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
belzer gabbai Says:

interesting why we don't see any of the leading poskim attending this conference. after all, if they want to get something out of this, shouldn't they make sure that the big rabbonim attend?

Are u blind? Did u see who were there? Lots of big poskim and rebbes there. Even from those who wouldnt usually support something from agudah

8

 Nov 03, 2011 at 10:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Just another mentch Says:

I don't know who the poskim in monsey are, But here in bp, 1)Reb Cheskel Roth is probably one of the biggest in these issues, And yes, rabbi hager is also consulted with, same goes for the twerskys (who are actually go betweens with dr.s). Not knowing the rabbis by the table, and not seeing 3/4 of the attendees and still posting. Let me tell you, Reb Cheskel Roths kollel IS one of the biggest poskim kollel. I have used them, I know many people who do asked their end of life "issues" by them.

#3, Guess you wanted to see, satmar, bobov, belz, munkatsh, viznitz, lubavitsh, Olshin, shustel, etc etc etc. attending. Anybody less than those are not "big rabbonim" enough? Let me enlighten you, Most of these here are true ovdei hashem, torah devotees! they are much bigger than us for us to level them out and place our preferred above them. (I might not either like everything these rabbonim say, but too bad for me! My rabbi is very holy, and that doesn't in any way negate these rabbis prominence.

A) Agudah is only one organization that has already proven they go about things the way they want to. They do not represent all Jews.
B) 50 Rabbanim from Brooklyn..... Why is everything based on the false assumption that NY and furthermore, Brooklyn is the epicenter of Jewery. There are many very reputable Poskim all over the world. This was obviously not put together to accommodate Poskim in other states and Countries.
C) As a nurse and a Frum person, I reiterate what the lawyer said above. This is a bunch of bunk. Yes there are Halachos related to end of life issues .... but no organization needs to draw up some document to protect a Frum family as they deal with these issues. I say all this not having read the document, but I would not sign anything that pretty much makes Agudah lawyers and their chosen Rabbanim, power of attorney over cases with signed documents.

9

 Nov 03, 2011 at 11:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Are u blind? Did u see who were there? Lots of big poskim and rebbes there. Even from those who wouldnt usually support something from agudah

Why wouldn't "big poskim and rebbes" support a well thought out from Agudah?

10

 Nov 04, 2011 at 03:59 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

A) Agudah is only one organization that has already proven they go about things the way they want to. They do not represent all Jews.
B) 50 Rabbanim from Brooklyn..... Why is everything based on the false assumption that NY and furthermore, Brooklyn is the epicenter of Jewery. There are many very reputable Poskim all over the world. This was obviously not put together to accommodate Poskim in other states and Countries.
C) As a nurse and a Frum person, I reiterate what the lawyer said above. This is a bunch of bunk. Yes there are Halachos related to end of life issues .... but no organization needs to draw up some document to protect a Frum family as they deal with these issues. I say all this not having read the document, but I would not sign anything that pretty much makes Agudah lawyers and their chosen Rabbanim, power of attorney over cases with signed documents.

im not sure what your problem is. As you can see in one of the picture this document is for new york state not the United states. Second the pictures shows an incredible achdus. Many of the rabbonim in the picture do not usuall support Aguda. Most important, I guess you aren't familiar with some of these rabonim. Although each shul may have his own posik, Rav Chaskel roth and Rav katz are the most well known poskim in the chasidishe world (in new york)

11

 Nov 04, 2011 at 06:45 AM Rach... Says:

And as a frum hospice social worker, I agree with the nurse and lawyer who posted earlier. The patient's doctor and medical team, including hospice staff, cannot make end-of-life decisions for anyone-it's against the law and a conflict of interest. It is vital- CRUCIAL- that we make our end-of-life wishes known before, G-D forbid, our families are forced to do so when we can no longer speak for ourselves. Health care power of attorneys/ proxies can be amended simply by putting pen to paper and writing in what it is you do and don't want (e.g., consult with my rabbi, do not withdraw life support, etc.) I'm pleased that the issue is being discussed, but honestly, you could write your wishes down on a napkin and have it be legal and binding.

12

 Nov 04, 2011 at 09:08 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

im not sure what your problem is. As you can see in one of the picture this document is for new york state not the United states. Second the pictures shows an incredible achdus. Many of the rabbonim in the picture do not usuall support Aguda. Most important, I guess you aren't familiar with some of these rabonim. Although each shul may have his own posik, Rav Chaskel roth and Rav katz are the most well known poskim in the chasidishe world (in new york)

If you click on the link you will see that this document was written up for many States as well as Quebec.

"Most important, I guess you aren't familiar with some of these rabonim."

That is my point exactly. Yes I am very familiar with the big names in that room, but the point is that Agudah is attempting to create a Halachic "idea" under their auspices and for many states without any inclusion of big name Poskim in the other states.
There is something called "advanced directives" that anyone any religion anywhere can put together with a lawyer and can also indicate a Rav of their choice or family member etc.... to be "power of attorney" and they can include stipulations based on Halacha.

I think this is created because some families are not all the same level of observance and now one member can choose an Orthodox Rav to jump in and replace next of kin in decision making. Some decision making is pure Halacha ie ... not being cremated upon death, but some is dependent on the Rav of choice ... ie brain death and organ donation. That is when there will be problems with Rabbeim getting involved.

13

 Nov 04, 2011 at 08:26 PM RachelJD Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

If you click on the link you will see that this document was written up for many States as well as Quebec.

"Most important, I guess you aren't familiar with some of these rabonim."

That is my point exactly. Yes I am very familiar with the big names in that room, but the point is that Agudah is attempting to create a Halachic "idea" under their auspices and for many states without any inclusion of big name Poskim in the other states.
There is something called "advanced directives" that anyone any religion anywhere can put together with a lawyer and can also indicate a Rav of their choice or family member etc.... to be "power of attorney" and they can include stipulations based on Halacha.

I think this is created because some families are not all the same level of observance and now one member can choose an Orthodox Rav to jump in and replace next of kin in decision making. Some decision making is pure Halacha ie ... not being cremated upon death, but some is dependent on the Rav of choice ... ie brain death and organ donation. That is when there will be problems with Rabbeim getting involved.

As a committed Jew and lawyer with a passionate interest in end-of-life care issues, I ask all--PLEASE make sure that you have these advanced directives and health care proxies done in advanced to avoid family disputes, tensions, and having one member of the family choose a course of action and force their observance on the patient. Each one of us will ultimately be the patient some day. Put your wishes in writing and make sure your lawyer and rabbi have copie

14

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