Photo Credit: Jewish Press

As of my writing this column, over 100 heroic Israeli soldiers have perished protecting the people and land of Israel from a sadistic, ruthless enemy, whose goal is to destroy all Jews. Some of those whose lives were taken from them were reservists, in their upper 20s and 30s or older, yet many were smooth-cheeked teenagers who had not begun to live adult lives. Looking at their photos, one can only be fully distraught over the loss of such sweet boys, radiating chein and youthful exuberance with their lives ahead of them.

Recently, I saw a video of the mother of a young soldier who selflessly had his organs donated when he died from his severe injuries. She had been invited to hear the beating of her son’s heart that had been implanted into a man who desperately needed one. The grieving mother was so appreciative and said that since her son was young and left no children, she was comforted in knowing a part of him was still alive and giving life.


Seemingly unrelated is the birth a few months ago of a baby boy whose single mother (I am acquainted with her parents) had years earlier frozen her eggs. In her mid 40s, she had used a donor and modern day technology to get pregnant.

Years ago, I had met several women who had gotten a halachically green light to have a baby through artificial insemination while they were still fertile enough to have one. This was before freezing eggs was a viable option. I asked one woman I knew why she had gone this unconventional route. She was divorced with no children and her brother had intermarried. She wanted a baby so that her ancestors would have Jewish continuation.

I also heard of a childless widow who won a court battle to have her brain-dead husband’s sperm retrieved and frozen. The issue was that the hospital needed consent from the donor but he was on life support so they said they could not legally do what she asked. She told the court that her husband had definitely wanted a child. She wanted the option of having his child if she chose to.

I had previously touched on this subject after visiting the famous Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, and seeing, under a glass showcase, a chalitza shoe that was hundreds of years old. A childless widow had thrown this shoe at her husband’s closest male relative who would not marry her, freeing her to remarry halachically.

With these real life happenings in mind, I want to suggest that people consider an unusual arrangement that is a win-win for all potential participants as a solution to a complex and emotionally difficult situation.

Since October 7, as I mentioned, young IDF soldiers and reservists sacrificed their lives in defense of Medinat Yisrael. Many parents are heartbroken and devastated that their beloved son will not father children.

But with advances in medical technology, they actually can, their “co-parent” being single women who desperately want children.

I want to suggest that single men entering military service, or even married men who haven’t fathered children, should consider having their sperm frozen. How amazing would it be for a woman longing to become a mother to have her eggs inseminated by a young soldier who died al kiddush Hashem. He would have a child, his legacy perpetuated. There would be lifestyle options that both his family and the future mother could agree to. As a single mom, she might welcome her donor’s family into her life; her child could have grandparents, uncles and aunts, and cousins who would embrace him or her into their lives, and provide offer emotional and physical, and even financial support. With halachic and legal oversight, this arrangement could be mutually beneficial for the bereaved parents mourning the death of their son, and for a single woman who could become a pseudo “daughter-in-law.”

If the mother preferred to raise the child on her own, with no attachment, she could be matched with a donor whose family did not want a connection for whatever reason, or a mutually limited one. The familial parameters would be set by all parties involved.

In terms of a childless widow, the need for chalitza could be eliminated, as her late husband would have a child to carry his name and be his inheritor.

During the Yom Kippur War, the son of my mother’s cousin was killed when his tank was blown up. About seven months later, his widow gave birth to a baby girl. This child would be 50 now. I remember being relieved that my very secular relative had a baby, as I doubt his brother and widowed sister-in-law would have agreed to do chalitza. Because this child, Davida, born months after her father David was niftar, there was no halachic impediment for her mother to remarry whomever she chose.

I would also suggest that childless female soldiers freeze their young, healthy eggs. In case of death, the eggs could be inseminated by a soldier who had died, and implanted in a surrogate. Upon a successful birth, the child could be raised by its maternal and paternal grandparents, or any agreed upon arrangement.

Each case would be unique and under intense halachic and legal scrutiny.

There would be no mandate for any individual to have their reproductive tissue frozen and preserved. It would solely be a personal choice. But I see this as a way to “bring back” to life those who tragically have perished, and bring a measure of solace and comfort to grieving families, their communities and Am Israel.

Hashem gave scientists the knowledge to create generations after death. With rabbinic and halachic guidance, this can be a life enhancing reality.

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