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The Contemporary Use of Genetics in Jewish Law

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The Contemporary Use of Genetics in Jewish Law

A discussion regarding DNA testing in Rabbinical courts, including identifying someone as deceased, paternity testing, and proof of Jewish identity.
Rabbi Ofer Livnat - Genetics in Jewish Law
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Halacha, Agunah, Genetics; DNA

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S United Kingdom November 15, 2017

Respectfully Rabbi Livnat,

How would the overt discouragement of DNA testing within a marriage be applied if the child to be born was a male child. The first born male, entitled to inheritance?

Also, the official request of a DNA test, casting doubt on the female fidelity, as this could be purely the husband's inappropriate thinking (Numbers 5), a false accusation?

Thank you. Reply

Ofer Livnat January 8, 2018
in response to S:

Despite the various monetary ramifications of who the father as, such as inheritance or alimony, the preference is to avoid the DNA testing in such cases so as not to risk damaging the child so severely by having him or her being deemed a mamzer. Similarly, accusations of fidelity should be dealt with by other means, that do not pose a danger to damaging the child's status. Reply

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