Is tampering with G-d considered halachically acceptable?

With the advancement of medical technology and research, different possibilities for fertility treatments have come about, such as IUI, GIFT, ZIFT, IVF, ICSI, egg donations, surrogacy etc. Different ethical schools of thought and religions began to respond to the question of acceptability of these methods. One objection was that you are tampering with nature in the same way as surgery is tampering with G-d. Judaism negates this approach. Whenever we are given the knowledge to be able to help people, this is a gift from G-d; and as long as the method is permitted according to Halacha, one is permitted to apply it. 

Sanctity of Jewish family

The main premise on which IVF and similar methods are permitted according to Halacha is to ensure the sanctity of the Jewish family. Therefore, the sperm and the egg should come from husband and wife; and a Halachically acceptable independent supervision must ensure that nothing was replaced, and no mistake was made.

The supervision ensures that at every stage of the process the sperm, eggs, embryos, culture, medium etc. are either within the sight of the supervisor or sealed. A female trained Shomeret (supervisor) oversees the egg collection and embryo transfer.

Fertility issues

In Australia, Rabbi Ulman of the Sydney Beth Din is the Rabbinic authority in all matters related to fertility. All Halachic (sanctioned by Jewish law) fertility treatments are under his guidance. Fortunately, many fertility clinics in Melbourne and Sydney (and potentially elsewhere across Australia) already have specific processes in place to accommodate the Rabbi and supervisors, which is required by Halacha. 


All issues concerning donors have Halachic concerns including the Jewish status of the child. Rabbi Ulman, regularly advises and counsels couples on issues such as these, including conversion of the child, when necessary. 

Other fertility matters

Rabbi Ulman (Sydney) and Rabbi Greenbaum (Melbourne) offer Halachic perspectives on what to do with frozen embryos in case of death of either of the parents, divorce etc., the method of producing a sperm sample and many other issues.

Couples who wish to access fertility treatment or who have further questions concerning Halacha can contact Rabbi Ulman or Rabbi Greenbaum who are always happy to explain the whole process. 

Rabbi Ulman: 02 9365 2777 or by email: [email protected]

Rabbi Greenbaum: 0403 490 434 or by email: [email protected]