Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



The Baby Boomer

Rhona Lewis

Dr. Baruch Brooks, recently retired halachic supervisor and embryologist at Shaare Zedek Hospital’s IVF unit, and scientific director of Zir Chemed, is the first address for fertility issues in the Orthodox world. A scientist and Torah scholar, he has merited to use his wisdom in Torah and science to bring the joy of a child’s laugh into the silent lives of hundreds of couples.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

dr brooksMost people sleep through the night once their kids do, but Dr. Baruch Brooks still wakes up for babies — the unborn ones, the ones he helps bring to life.

Dr. Brooks — who sees himself as a shaliach, an extension of the father-mother-G-d triangle needed to create a baby — has spent the last two decades as embryologist and halachic supervisor atShaareZedekHospital’s IVF (in vitro fertilization) clinic. By night he is the scientific director of Zir Chemed, which offers counseling and medical services within a halachic framework to religious couples faced with infertility.

It wasn’t easy to reach the decision to leave his position at Shaare Zedek and take early retirement, but maybe now, at least, he’ll be able to get the sleep he’s been deprived of for years. Dr. Brooks has left his halachically run lab in good hands, and now spends his mornings in kollel. He still counsels couples at night, fusing on his vast knowledge of Torah with that of the complex and often confusing dimension of infertility. “I was longing to get back to serious learning, but knew I still needed to be involved with fertility issues. Bringing babies into the world has become an essential part of my life.”

Here in the unpretentious dining room of his apartment in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul neighborhood, many couples have sat, cried, and hoped, as he professionally but tenderly led them through the maze of options and treatments, any veneer of English reserve vanishing into warm, fatherly concern. His days in the laboratory might be over, but he’s still the first address when it comes to helping couples become parents.

Couples entering the foreign realm of fertility treatment face a confusing search for the right professionals and most effective procedures, accompanied by a palate of emotions from hope to fear to anxiety. For religious couples, there are additional challenges: which procedures are permitted by Jewish law and which are not? How long should a couple wait before beginning treatment, and where should they go?

Dr. Brooks’s wise, competent, and compassionate counsel is often the first stop on the journey.

“A doctor is obligated to give immediate treatment to the patient,” Dr. Brooks says, discussing his counseling approach. “As a scientist and halachic mentor, I don’t have this obligation, so I’m able to approach the problem differently and look at the issue as a scientific puzzle.” 

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without