The Guides:

Mazornet, Inc. is proud to present its newest guide to Judaism.

"Infertility - A Jewish Perspective"
Rivka C. Berman
Yael Rosenberg, Editor 

An attempt is made to present the perspective of the major streams of Judaism in an effort to deem this guide practical and its resources helpful to all Jews.



Jewish Regard for Infertility Therapies

The “God will provide” attitude is not a Jewish approach to medicine and healing. The rabbis of the Talmud advocated for medical intervention. Their support is based on certain passages in the Torah that describe the aftermath of an injury. If one person hurts another, with fists or stones in Bible speak, then compensation for lost work must be paid and “he shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.” (Exodus 21:19)


Rabbis in the Talmud Bava Kama 85a expound on this passage in the Torah and conclude that this is the basis for permitting doctors to heal. Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki ), the preeminent medieval commentator, explains that doctors need this text-based permission otherwise it may seem as though the doctors practicing medicine, are trying to circumvent divine decrees.

Interestingly, the Rambam (Maimonides), who was a physician himself, finds a different source for permitting medical procedures. He defines sickness as lost health and links a doctor’s obligation to heal to the command to return something of value to its owner (Deuteronomy 22:1-2)

Given the Jewish regard for children, infertility has been historically considered a disease worthy of a cure.

Great Rabbinic discussion and extensive research involving Talmudic Scholars in conjunction with Jewish scientists and medical experts have ensued and continue in the quest to ascertain the halachic permissibility of new reproductive technologies. Currently there is no uniform rabbinic agreement as to what is and is not permitted. Much depends on the rabbi, the couple, and the therapy.

When the sperm and ovum are from the parents there is widespread support for the fertility procedures, even among the most legalistic rabbis. While some Orthodox authorities worry about the potential wasting of sperm, a prohibition in the Torah, many prescribe techniques for getting around this obstacle. Reform rabbis see the sperm as being used for the expressed purpose of the mitzvah of procreation and therefore not wasted.


Conservative and Reform Rabbis differ in opinion from the Orthodox point of view.  Read more about the different therapies and the Jewish Perspective of the major streams of Judaism: