This Year’s Best Chanukah Gift: Life

23 Dec 2011

What did you receive for Chanukah this year? Clothes? A new watch? A check?

How about a kidney?

Last Monday, a mother of three from Israel received this priceless gift from an American married man with children who had been moved by a Jewish Action story that ran in 2010. Without this kidney, the mother was facing death.

Editor of Jewish Action Nechama Carmel hoped to inspire when she featured “Kidney Doctor as Kidney Donor,” as did Bayla Sheva Brenner, senior writer in the OU’s Communications Department, when she wrote the companion piece “Meet the Kidney Matchmaker” about kidney donor Chaya Lipschutz. “Nevertheless,” Carmel says, “it still amazes me that people can be so altruistic.” For the 86,000 people nationwide who are waiting for a healthy kidney (according to statistics in the story, obtained from the United States Department of Health and Human Services), there could have been no greater gift this holiday season.

Chaya Lipschutz of Brooklyn, NY, is the creator of, an organization she founded after she donated her kidney to a New Jersey mother of two. The donor told Chaya that his decision to donate the kidney was because of the Jewish Action story.

In transplant and recovery terms: so far, so good. The donor is doing very well and the recipient, though she requires a much longer recovery time, is responding positively to the new kidney, Chaya Lipschutz reports. “More lives can be saved with stories on kidney donation,” she believes.

Here’s to future Chanukahs of great joy, great gifts, and pure greatness. One anonymous man has already delivered on all three.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.