Kidney transplant rabbi speaks

Prosecution closes case against rabbi responsible for rescuing hundreds of Israelis. 'It was a very, very difficult time.'

Mordechai Sones ,


Matan Chaim organization Chairman Rabbi Yeshayahu Haber, who encourages people to donate kidneys to save lives, is being interviewed for the first time since hearing that the investigation file against him has been closed.

"It was a very, very difficult time," Rabbi Haber told News 2. "The great difficulty in this period was mainly the insult felt by the kidney donors."

Rabbi Yeshayahu Haber
Eliran Aharon

The suspicions against him were serious. He was accused of receiving donations from kidney patients and assigning priority according to size of donation. "People were extensively interrogated, and it was clarified beyond any doubt that there was no monetary compensation," the rabbi said. "I knew who was behind it. I could go around with a grudge and claim I was wronged. Just think, there are people who earn a million shekels on kidneys in Third World countries, and I give them away for free."

With the news of the case's closure Rabbi Haber ended a year of worries and opens a new one when his goal will be one: To help as many people as possible receive a kidney donation and start a new life. "Our affair began one day after Rosh Hashana last year and ended two days before Rosh Hashana," he said.

"Nothing could be bigger than that, so it really gives us a reminder of the trial before us. I hope that we and the entire Jewish people will emerge victorious from the judgement."

Kidney haemodialysis

Bahawalpur, Pakistan: Mohammad Khalid (L), Mohammad Ijaz (C) and Liaqat show scars left on their bodies after they sold their kidneys in Bhalwal area of the Sargodha district. Unlike many parts of the world, including neighboring India, there is no law in Pakistan banning trade in organs. Picture credit: Reuters

Human kidney cross section