Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

From organ donation discussions I learned that some don't view brain death as death and only view the cessation of the heart's beating to be death.

According to that, if someone's heart was stopped and then resumed, must he remarry his wife and must his brother do halitzah?

share|improve this question
Does he wait 13 more years to have a bar mitzva? – Double AA Jul 7 '14 at 4:08
Incidentally, from organ donation discussions what you should have learned is that there are various opinions in Halacha about brain death. – Double AA Jul 7 '14 at 4:09
according to the one that says one must wait for the heart to stop beating. – Clint Eastwood Jul 7 '14 at 4:33

My understanding of the view that the heart has to stop beating for the person to be considered dead, is that it requires a few factors simultaneously:

  • No heart beat
  • No breathing
  • Doctors saying that those functions cannot be revived

As long as any one of those three are in place, the person is not considered Halachicly dead.

Not remembering where I read that, as it has been a while.

Therefore, if he is revived by the doctors after the first two have happened, he was never dead, and it is considered that he lived the whole time, uninterrupted.

I have seen some discussions around bonified Techiyas HaMeisim. In that case, the marriage is dissolved, I believe was the conclusion (with all the attendant considerations). But that has nothing to do with Halachic death, Techiyas HaMeisim is a different category (see here and here).

share|improve this answer
Ok. so say that this happens. Must he remarry his wife and must his brother do halitzah? – Clint Eastwood Jul 7 '14 at 15:42
@ClintEastwood, no, he didn't die. – Yishai Jul 7 '14 at 15:47
What if the doctors gave up hope? – Double AA Jul 7 '14 at 15:54
@DoubleAA, and the person spontaneously revives? – Yishai Jul 7 '14 at 15:55
Sure. 10 minutes later. Stranger things have happened. – Double AA Jul 7 '14 at 15:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.