# 3108 Life From the Dead?


Q. The Johnson & Johnson Coronavirus vaccine is about to become available in some locations. Since it relies on the use of material derived from human fetal tissue, which is prohibited, since one may not derive benefit from the dead, can one use it?
A. Interestingly Non Jewish religious conservatives tend to avoid them, since they use material derived from human fetal tissue — something they have spent years fighting against their use.
While Pfizer and Moderna used these cells during preliminary laboratory testing months ago, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine uses the cells as part of its existing manufacturing process — raising especial “moral concerns,” for conservative Catholic leaders. (ABC News – March 3/ 21).
On question 2895 regarding the selling of places in a columbarium for storing the cremation ashes of the Gentile dead, we wrote: Poskim disagree if the cadavers of Gentiles are included on the prohibition of deriving benefit from the dead. Shulchan Aruch (Y. D. 349: 1) rules that they are, however, Hagr’a quotes Rashba and Tosafot that they are excluded from the prohibition. Pischei Teshuva (ibid. 1) cites opinions that they are only Rabbinicaly prohibited. (See also question 1008 regarding a male member transplant from a non-Jewish uncircumcised cadaver source).
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that since the cells although of human origin, have certainly undergone extensive physical changes and reactions. until they can be implemented in the finished vaccine, it may not be considered anymore from the Halacha point of view as human material. The above may be similar to the permit of the Achiezer on consuming gelatin from non-kosher animals or using a similar type of soap.
Therefore the Rov maintains that one can in need be lenient and use the vaccine.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a


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