Through the comparison of Jewish ethical arguments about surrogacy and ethnographic data from surrogacy in Israel, this article argues that normative Jewish ethics does not respond to the contemporary lived experience of surrogacy. On the ground, some normative Jewish ethical concerns are resolved easily, and yet we will find that the lived experience raises issues not even addressed by Jewish ethicists. This article looks at questions of maternal identity and the exploitation of surrogates through the comparison of normative Jewish ethics with ethnographic data. In the conclusion it considers how to improve the methodology of Jewish ethics to better reflect the reality on the ground.

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