Moshe David Tendler
Rabbi Dr. Moshe David Tendler
Courtesy of Yeshiva University
Position Rabbi Synagogue Community Synagogue of Monsey Position Rosh Yeshiva Yeshiva RIETS Personal details Nationality United States of America Denomination Orthodox Residence Monsey, NY Spouse Shifra Feinstein Occupation Rabbi Isaac and Bella Tendler Professor of Jewish Medical Ethics and Professor of Biology at Yeshiva College Alma mater New York University, Columbia University Semicha RIETS
Moshe David (Dovid) Tendler (born February, 1927) is the rabbi of The Community Synagogue of Monsey. He is a senior Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University's RIETS and the Rabbi Isaac and Bella Tendler Professor of Jewish Medical Ethics and Professor of Biology at Yeshiva College. He has a Ph.D. in Microbiology and is noted as an expert on Jewish medical ethics and their relationship to Halakha.
Tendler is the son-in-law of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, a world renowned posek. Indeed, many of Feinstein's "Iggerot Mosheh" responsa are addressed to his son-in-law Tendler prefaced with the accolade "HaRav HaGa'on R. Moshe David Tendler", illustrating the great reverence with which Tendler is held. His wife, Shifra (child of Feinstein), died in October, 2007.
Tendler received his B.A. degree from New York University (NYU) in 1947, and a Master’s degree in 1950. He was ordained at RIETS in 1949, and earned a Ph.D. in biology from Columbia University in 1957.
Tendler was frequently asked by his father-in-law, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, for information and advice concerning medicine and Jewish law. Tendler has written and lectured widely on medical ethics, with an emphasis on Feinstein's viewpoint. Tendler translated various medical oriented responsa of Feinstein into English. Because of this Tendler has been accused of going against Feinstein's wish that his responsa not be translated. In response, Tendler explained that because many people had not listened to his original request, Feinstein asked Tendler to translate certain responsa to ensure clarity and accuracy 
Tendler is one of the leading experts on medical ethics as it pertains to Jewish law, and is the chairman of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) Bioethical Commission, and chair of the Medical Ethics Task Force, UJA-Federation of Greater New York. Tendler has been one of the most vocal and adamant supporters of Jewish organ donation. Tendler, based upon his father-in-law’s responsa, strongly advocates the theory that complete and irreversible cessation of function of the entire brain renders a person “physiologically decapitated”, and is considered legally dead according to Jewish law. Tendler asserts that once organ donation has been deemed permissible under the given conditions, it is indeed mandatory, falling under the rubric of the legal obligation of Jews to preserve the lives of others. In addition, Tendler has written extensively on euthanasia, infertility, end of life issues, organ donation, and brit milah (Jewish circumcision). Tendler has been a strong advocate for the use of a tube when performing metzitzah, suction of blood during circumcision,. Serving on an RCA panel on stem cell research, Tendler expressed respectful disagreement with the Bush administration's position.
Tendler has been a past President and is the posek for the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists.
Selected articles by Tendler
- So One May Live - On the separation of Siamese twins.
- Dental Emergencies on the Sabbath written with Dr. Fred Rosner.
- Halakhic death means brain death - Explaining Tendler's position on the Jewish definition of death.
- Rav Moshe on Organ donation - Tendler's analysis of Moshe Feinstein's positions on organ donation.
- Molecular Genetics, Evolution, and Torah Principles - written with Dr. John D. Loike.
- How Should a Torah-Observant High School Biology Teacher Teach the Origin and Diversity of Species? - The Sixth Miami International Conference on Torah & Science, Excerpts of the Panel Discussion, 13 December 2005
- Erev Pesach that occurs on Shabbos
- Moshe Dovid Tendler. Pardes Rimonim: A Marriage Manual for the Jewish Family. KTAV, 1988. ISBN 0-88125-144-5.
- Dr Fred Rosner, Rabbi M.D. Tendler. Practical Medical Halachah. Jason Aronson, 1997. ISBN 0-7657-9990-1.
- Responsa of Rav Moshe Feinstein: Translation and Commentary KTAV , 1996. ISBN 0-88125-444-4
- ^ a b "Rabbi Dr. Moshe Tendler of Monsey, NY To Be Honored For Unique Contribution to Jewish Life". http://www.ou.org/oupr/1999/rabbis6.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- ^ "Community Synagogue of Monsey - History". http://comsyn.org/history.php. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- ^ "Pew Forum: Rabbi Moses Tendler". http://pewforum.org/events/0503/tendlerbio.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-10. [dead link]
- ^ Igros Moshe Y"D vol. III s.91. This was addressed to R. Shabtai Rappaport, the grandson of Feinstein and son-in-law of R.Tendler
- ^ Responsa of Rav Moshe Feinstein, Pages 23-27
- ^ a b Breitowitz, Yitzchok A.. "The Brain Death Controversy in Jewish Law". http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/braindead.html. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- ^ "video interview". http://www.hods.org/English/videos/video_RMosheTendler.shtml. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- ^ Weiss, Steven I. (2005-03-18). "Rabbi Targeted After Call for Bris Change". The Forward. http://www.forward.com/articles/3099. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- ^ Weiss, Steven I. (2004-05-21). "O.U. Keeping Quiet in Stem Cell Debate". The Forward. http://www.forward.com/articles/5686/. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- ^ . 2010-04-14. http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/744027/Rabbi_Moshe_D._Tendler/Hilchos_Aveylus_Shiur_19_-_Y'D_370_-_At_What_Point_Does_Death_Occur. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
Roshei Yeshiva of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University
Rosh HaYeshiva: Norman Lamm • Dean: Yona Reiss • Dean Emeritus: Zevulun Charlop • Mashgiach Ruchani: Yosef Blau • Roshei Yeshiva: Elchanan Adler • Assaf Bednarsh • Eliyahu Ben-Ḫaim • J. David Bleich • Yitzchok Cohen • Menachem Genack • Ozer Glickman • Meir Goldwicht • David Hirsch • Dovid Horowitz • Aharon Kahn • Elyakim Koenigsberg • Aharon Lichtenstein • Zvulun Liberman • Dovid Miller • Yaakov Neuburger • Hershel Reichman • Michael Rosensweig • Yonason Sacks • Hershel Schachter • Ezra Schwartz • Eli Baruch Shulman • Baruch Simon • Zvi Sobolofsky • Moshe Tendler • Mayer Twersky • Joseph Weiss • Jeremy Wieder • Mordechai Willig • Gershon YankelewitzFormer Roshei Yeshiva: Avraham Eliezer Alperstein • Nisson Alpert • Yosef Leib Arnest • Samuel Belkin • Yehuda David Bernstein • Abba Bronspiegel • Ahron Dovid Burack • Avigdor Cyperstein • Solomon Drillman • Henoch Fishman • Yerucham Gorelick • Michael Katz • Shlomo Nosson Kotler • Yaakov Moshe Lessin • Dovid Lifshitz • Moses Meir Matlin• Shraga Feivel Paretzky • Yehuda Parnes • Shlomo Polachek • Moshe Ahron Poleyeff • Elazar Meir Preil • Bernard Revel • Shimon Romm • Melech Schachter • Moshe Shatzkes • Shimon Shkop • Ahron Soloveichik • Joseph B. Soloveitchik • Moshe Soloveichik • Ephraim M. Steinberg • Shmuel Volk • Shalom Elchanan Yaffe • Mendel Zaks
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