Would you marry someone like this?

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    Would you marry someone who is a carrier for all of:

    Tay-Sachs disease

    Familial dysautonomia

    Cystic fibrosis

    Canavan disease

    Glycogen storage disease (type 1)

    Fanconi anemia (type C)

    Bloom syndrome

    Mucolipidosis (type IV)

    I mean, your kids won’t have the disease, but they are going to be carriers of of many diseases.

    And that will constrain who they can marry, since they won’t be able to marry someone who is a carrier of any of those. Do you really want to constrain your kids like that? Isn’t the shidduch market hard enough?

    And there may be some people who aren’t carriers, who may choose not to marry your kids, because they ARE worried about constraining their kids shidduch prospects. Are you worried about that?

    And there may be some people who aren’t carriers, who may choose not to marry your kids because they are concerned for the other non-carriers who won’t marry because of the other people who won’t marry. Are you worried about that?

    Nah, it’s all narishkeit. Why worry? It’s just your kids shidduchim. And probably it won’t be a problem. We’ll just rely on the probable, right?


    Sure it’s a problem. And that’s exactly why it is kept a secret.


    How about relying on Hashem? I don’t think rejecting someone with recessive genes is normal hishtadlus, although if they both do, then it is normal hishtadlus.


    how bout checking on their personality?


    I wouldn’t mind marrying someone like that as long as they didn’t use paper on Shabbes.


    Nonikname, would you say that if they were both carriers?


    I wouldn’t mind marrying someone as long as they aren’t you with that attitude.

    It’s all min ??.

    It won’t accomplish anything to worry about things that are far off and in Hashems hands.

    Chas v’shalom- one might STILL have a ill child or grandchild even if you hand pick using in-vitro:

    Hashem wouldn’t give you a test you can’t pass.


    DY, that is an overly idealistic, unrealistic answer. Is this really less than Davar Meguna?

    Menachem Melamed

    If you have an understanding of biology and medicine you would know that most people have at least 1 or 2 significant genetic defects. It is quite possible that the person who shuns a carrier has a more serious defect himself.

    Menachem Melamed

    Incidntally. I highly doubt that there is anyone in the world that carries ALL 9 of those genetic defects.



    To me it is. If there was a 5% chance of an affected child, saying I’m relying on Hashem might mean I’m being unrealistically idealistic. But there’s a 0% chance.


    DaasYochid- yeah i would.. before all of this testing people got married to people because of their personality and I think a lot of the way things go with jewish dating is wrong.. like a resume is this a job interview?


    PBA, my point on the other thread was that they have the genes whether or not other people (or even they themselves) know about it- anyone who discriminates based on that would just be ignoring the fact that they probably have the same number of these mutations.

    However, to prevent this thread from turning into the last one, I’ll sit back let the scientific reality get mangled.

    Okay, looking back on the responses, Menachem Melamed knows his stuff. This is a moot point.

    Chances are, whoever you marry (if he/she an Ashkenazi Jew by heritage, even on one side) has at least one of these mutations. They don’t affect you. They only have a 25% chance of giving a disease to each of your kids in the worst case scenario.

    You’re turning these into bogeymen.


    You have to trust in Hashem! Of course you should do your hishtadlut, but you can’t start being worried that you’ll restrict your KIDS’ chances of getting shidduchim!

    Speaking of which, you know how around sukkos, pesach time all the magazines add these huge “literature books”?

    So I’m not sure if it was the Binah, Mishpachah or Ami magazine, but one of them had a story about a sheltered bais yaakov girl and how she got involved with a “no goodnik” (lol i can’t think of another word, sorry!) but she only broke up with him because he refused to take seriously that they weren’t a “genetic match,” and at the end of the story you see her happy because she married someone who didn’t carry those diseases and she was able to have healthy kids.

    That story rubbed me the wrong way. Does anyone know what story I’m talking about?


    It wasn’t Mishpacha, because I didn’t read it, but why did that rub you the wrong way? I guess I’m missing something.

    Like I said in the other thread, though, having a lot of genetic mutations of this kind probably indicates yichus. Just a funny thought, because that would mean it would HELP shidduchim. Not practical, but weird.


    It would have to factor into the decision. I’m happier not knowing.


    It would have to factor into the decision.

    It really shouldn’t

    I’m happier not knowing.

    Since there are people who think the way you do, I agree that it’s better that it’s unknown.


    Hi i am a bachur with crohns and i would just like to let every1 know one thing..WHATS WRONG IF YOUR KIDS HAVE CROHNS?? I thank hashem all the time for giving me crohns, it make you appreciate and enjoy the little things in life so much more. Plus it has made me so strong i can honestly say i am a better person by 10 times since i had the zechus to fight crohns…So u ask will u date some1 like me? I answer, if u have to debate i wouldnt want to marry YOU…


    BachurTzvi – awesome answer! I feel the same way.


    Thank u..


    BachurTzvi: +1!!

    Many years ago, many people died or suffered tremendously from these diseases. Most (if not all) of these diseases came about due to both parents being a carrier. Hence, Dor Yesharim was born. Although there are still a large number of people affected by the diseases mentioned above, many many many more have been avoided due to the work of Dor Yesharim.


    I believe that getting checked is necessary hishtadlus. I also believe that if you think that the reason you are getting checked is to “make sure” that you have healthy children then your belief in Hashem is sorely lacking. So is your understanding of physiology.

    The little I know

    Heard from a surgeon who is a baal teshuvah:

    “I refrain from performing elective plastic surgery because I feel that I am tampering with Hashem’s creation. Hashem granted us the scientific advances that allow us to treat illness and injury. But to alter the existing because of preference is outside of my domain due to my belief in Hashem.”

    Following this logic, past generations that lacked the ability to identify recessive genes required only bitachon in Hashem. Today, we must do the hishtadlus for which He gave us the capability.

    I think refraining from testing is foolish, and entering those shidduchim with known incompatibility is not bitachon but sheer idiocy.


    Sure u have to get tested..but every1 has issues so if ur not gonna marry some1 that has a genetic desiese that doesnt danger ur life is foolish..


    SyagLchochma and The little I know: I’m sure almost everyone believes that one should get tested (at least I hope) However, you dont have to know what you are a carrier for. Doing your hishtadlus could very well mean having the blood test and going though an organization like Dor Yesharim to see if both sides are compatible.

    On the flip side, I always had this question: When someone does check to see if both the girl and boy are compatible, wouldnt this be considered a lack of bitachon? Then again, we cant just sit back and tell ourselves that ‘its ok to marry someone even if we are both carriers’ if we have the tools to prevent sick children or miscarriages or children dying at a young age. ???


    I don’t belive you shouldnt marry someone just because they are a carrier, even more so if you arent a carrier and they are you are giving the other person a chance to have kids who aren’t. And frankly, you arent cutting your children’s chances of finding a shidduch down because now they won’t be compatible with a certain group of people. Hashem has an ultimate goal. I would marry them if they were a good person. We all have flaws, is that to say your wouldn’t marry me, because my parents are less frum than I am?

    It is a silly thing, and it took me a bit to realize that, but it is. Hashem has a greater plan.


    Two thoughts to ponder –

    1) by reducing the number of marriages between two carriers, we are increasing the number of children who are carriers and

    2) many genetic disorders are prevalent to a particular ethnic group or geographical origin, so the healthiest combinations may be between more distant groups, ie European and Syrian, Moroccan, Ethiopian.



    1) I don’t understand why that would be the case, but even so, it’s irrelevant as long as we keep testing, and infinitely better than the alternative.

    2) Why limit ourselves to that when we have, b”H, genetic testing?


    DaasYochid – no, I was not suggesting that testing doesn’t help. As for the second, if the only goal is avoiding genetic mishaps, a more diverse population can only improve things.

    But back to the original topic, testing, screening, and family questionnaires to make decisions about marriage. You can expend a lot of effort looking for a partner with no history of problems, but there is never a guarantee. Most important is who you will share your life with.


    if the only goal is avoiding genetic mishaps, a more diverse population can only improve things.

    Why would anyone suggest that that’s the only goal of shidduch or marriage? It’s just one detail, albeit an important one.


    DY, dor yesharim increases the carrier rate since it minimizes the chance of 2 carriers marrying each other and ending their line. Lets take Tay sachs as an example. Once upon a time in a population where by some estimates 1/25-30 is a carrier for tay sachs some would marry each other and have several of their children die Rch”l taking the “defective” gene with them. Now however virtually all carriers go on to reproduce succesfully, this however (over time)leads to an increase in the gene frequency rate.

    statistically half of a carrier’s children will be carriers as well, all will survive. If the carriers dont marry other carriers the carrier rate frequency will increase over time.


    Ubiquitin, I know that, but I hope farrockgrandma didn’t really consider that worth pondering.


    Building on the same discussion, would you marry someone who:

    Could be a carrier for which a genetic marker hasn’t been discovered yet?

    Has relatives who are dumb?

    Has a 100% chance of losing hair with age?

    Has a family history of Alzheimers?

    Has a family history of being poor?

    Wears fashionable clothing, which has a 25% chance of going against the rabbonim?

    May have once done something they didn’t tell you about?


    It is important to note that until there is an effective treatment or cure, genetic testing is more vital with every succeeding generation.

    old man


    Regarding your first point, researchers from a major Israeli university developed a mathematical model to predict the future carrier rate of the Tay Sachs’ gene in the case that no two carriers ever marry. The result was that yes, the carrier rate will increase , but will take at least 500 years for it to be worth any consideration, and even then the effect will be miniscule.

    Regarding your second point, you are absolutely correct, diversifying the gene pool is extremely helpful in reducing the incidence of genetic diseases.


    more important…do they have an i phone?

    that is the deal breaker


    Regarding your first point, researchers from a major Israeli university developed a mathematical model to predict the future carrier rate of the Tay Sachs’ gene in the case that no two carriers ever marry. The result was that yes, the carrier rate will increase , but will take at least 500 years for it to be worth any consideration, and even then the effect will be miniscule.

    This is correct. Genetic testing does not increase the carrier rate enough to have a significant effect on genetic disease.

    Even if it did, having one recessive gene often confers health benefits.

    Carriers of Cystic Fibrosis are more resistant to cholera, typhoid, and tuberculosis.

    Carriers of Tay-Sachs and muscular dystrophy have a higher IQ.

    Carriers of some genes for deafness are more resistant to bacterial infections and have better cell repair.


    T613, that’s fascinating. So the question really should be, “Would you marry someone who is NOT a carrier?”.


    Carriers of Tay-Sachs and muscular dystrophy have a higher IQ.

    Than the general population, or than the population which is known to have high incidences of tay-sachs….


    Carriers of Tay-Sachs and muscular dystrophy have a higher IQ

    I don’t know if that is true or not but coincidentally the children I have worked with who have MD have all been very bright kids.


    DY – I had the same thought for a minute there.

    I would much rather marry someone who is a carrier than marry someone who is a jerk. Any testing being done for that?


    T613: I read a really interesting book that postulated very similar things about the origins and even benefits of many recessive mutations. It’s called Survival of the Sickest. Great book and very interesting.

    (Funny thing, after reading it I was talking to a doctor about it and we agreed that it was shticky, derivative and not exactly “scientific” but he confirmed that the information was scientifically founded. So I think of it as kind of Malcolm Gladwellish in that vein. Still a fascinating read, as are, admittedly, Malcolm Gladwell books.)

    The fact is that there are only a few rare diseases that manifest themselves at all in carriers. Some, actually, as T613 says even benefit the carrier- according to that book, carriers for sickle cell anemia have a greater chance of surviving malaria than non-carriers.

    ubiq: As everyone else said, if it is true that 1/25 are carriers and there’s a 25% chance that a child of two carriers will have Tay Sachs, then the odds of any one family (two carrier parents, 1/25 x 1/25) having a Tay Sachs child (1/4 per child) were still pretty remote on a global level. On an individual level it’s obviously terrible, which is why we test at all, but in the long run, as you picture it, there’s really not much of a difference.


    My Rav Paskens that it’s Assur to get genetic testing (Bimchilas K’vodo, it’s the only ridiculous Shittah that I’ve heard from him). The first thing I did when my Rav told me I can Pasken most Shailahs for myself is get tested.


    If someone is a potential carrier for a disease that WILL, if inherited as a disease, subject his/her child(ren) to pain and suffering from birth, that person needs to think long and hard about getting screened and ensuring that the spouse is not likewise a carrier. It is completely irresponsible and CRUEL, IMO, to knowingly bring a baby into the world to suffer, IF that suffering can be avoided by NOT MARRYING the carrier of the same genetic disease that you carry. Clearly our Jewish leaders agree, or Dor Yesharim would not exist today.


    So everyone agrees with me that it’s a factor that should be taken under consideration.

    Sure, being heterozygous might be an advantage, but you have to weigh that against the effort and expense of checking every possible child in law. And there are better ways to get those advantages. I’d rather my child marry someone who is smart and not a known carrier of Tay-Sachs, for example.

    Basically, I think our current system is optimal. We prevent the expression of disease without letting it factor into the decision.

    writersoul: There’s plenty of evidence for this. PubMed is a good resource for finding studies, or one can google heterozygote advantage to read it in a more entertaining format.


    Being a carrier of genes is less worse a problem than carrying bad middos. If the guy has a good heart, and a clear torah head, then yes I would marry them. Life is short, chances of cropping up a kid with genetic deficiencies are slimmer than not. Hashem is in charge. You just pray.


    So everyone agrees with me that it’s a factor that should be taken under consideration.

    No, I do not agree.


    T613: Yes, I know, I was just recommending that particular book :). And I wasn’t clear- when I said only a few diseases manifest themselves in carriers, I meant only a few diseases manifest themselves *negatively* in carriers. Many do provide a heterozygous advantage.

    DY: Why?

    ARWSF: The chances of picking a random guy off the street who has the same carrier status as you is, as you say, somewhat slim. However, if you do marry a guy who, against the odds, IS a carrier, that’s a 25% chance that EACH kid will have the disease.

    Rabbi Ekstein founded Dor Yeshorim after four of his kids were niftar from Tay Sachs. They test only for debilitating and life-threatening diseases, and if the odds are really so slim that the guy you want to marry will have the same carrier status as you, then what’s the harm in checking?


    Torah613, I most definitely do not agree with you!

    In fact for a while it bothered me that Dor yeshorim doent disclose information, They have a virtual monopoly on genetic testing in the heimishe community and then insure their survival by withholding information that I believe I have a right to know. I could not understand the harm in revealing carrier status to the carrier. Do they think we are that stupid that we cant understand High-school level biology?

    But from you response I see how wrong I was, so thank you


    WS, au contraire, why should recessive genes be taken into account if they’re not both carriers?

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