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24
votes
8answers
794 views

Is one allowed to smoke?

Nowadays, since there are studies that show that smoking is dangerous to health, is one allowed to smoke or is it violating "Venishmartem Meod Lenafshosechem"?
21
votes
3answers
300 views

Must EMTs and others rend Kriyah each time they see a patient die?

I was looking at Yoreh De'ah 40:5 (יו"ד סימן ש"מ ס"ק ה) and Moed Katan 25b (כה עמוד ב), which require Kriyah (garment-rending) for all who are there at the time of death. It would seem to me that an ...
17
votes
3answers
679 views

Should one induce vomiting upon realizing s/he just ate non-kosher?

I've heard several stories of people who ate something, realized it was non-kosher, and therefore induced vomiting. Is this halachically required? Recommended? Does it accomplish anything? (If not, ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

If a pig was genetically modified to chew its cud, would it be kosher?

If they were to genetically modify a pig to chew its cud, would it be kosher?
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Is Exercise on Shabbos Allowed?

Is one allowed to do exercises on Shabbos? Are any types allowed? Some examples of different types: Lifting weights or heavy items Jumping jacks Taking a walk (long, but without Techum issues) ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any sources that prohibit childhood vaccinations?

The consequences of depressed childhood vaccination rates in some American communities, in the form of a building measles outbreak, have been in the news lately. All public schools and most private ...
16
votes
1answer
733 views

According to Halacha, does one have to bury teeth?

Is there a halachic obligation to bury teeth that have fallen out, just as one buries other body parts that become detached? If not, why? Does the same apply to detached skin? Or hair? Related: Do ...
16
votes
2answers
381 views

What's the leading medical explanation for the “woman whose husbands keep dying” (“katlanit”) phenomenon?

The Gemara says that if a woman gets married, then her husband dies; then marries another guy and is widowed from him; then once more; we then assume something about her is causing her husbands to die ...
14
votes
2answers
475 views

Orthodontics and period between eating fleischig and milchig

Since orthodontics often impose many artificial little crevices and wires and generally make one more susceptible to having bits of food stuck in the mouth for extended periods of time, is it ...
14
votes
1answer
472 views

In case of diphallia, how is brit-milah affected?

Diphallia is a rare medical condition in which a male infant is born with two penises. Does brit-milah requires both penises to be circumcised? Is there any reference in the litterature about such ...
14
votes
1answer
230 views

Woman with 2 wombs in regards to pidyon haben

There is a medical condition known as "Uterus didelphys". Wikipedia describes it as follows: Uterus didelphys (sometimes also uterus didelphis) represents a uterine malformation where the uterus ...
14
votes
2answers
813 views

Morning After Pill in Halacha

Is the morning-after pill considered an abortion in Halachic terms or does it have another status, and, if the latter, may it be used?
14
votes
3answers
890 views

Returning after driving someone to the hospital on Shabbat

If a man needs to be brought to the hospital on Shabbat due to a life threatening situation, another man may bring him there even by violating biblical Shabbat prohibitions (e.g. driving a car). Which ...
14
votes
2answers
845 views

May a man become a gynecologist?

Is there any discussion among the halachic authorities as to whether or not a man can choose to pursue a medical career in gynaecology? The issue that I would presume exists is that unlike other parts ...
13
votes
3answers
609 views

Nose Job in Halacha

Is a nose job allowed Hallachicly? Not all cosmetic surgeries, but rhinoplasty in particular, as I heard that rhinoplasty is allowed because we see by a Kohen that having an abnormally long nose is a ...
13
votes
2answers
424 views

Transgender erva

Men's Health magazine has been in the news lately because of a contest in which people can vote on who will be on the magazine's cover. Currently leading in the voting is a transgender person who was ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Do surgically removed body parts require Kevurah?

If one has surgery (may it never be necessary) that requires the removal of an organ of the body (e.g. a gallbladder or appendix), is burial required? Or can the body part simply be discarded?
12
votes
2answers
706 views

May a lady take a pregnancy test on Shabbos?

Are there any issues with taking a pregnancy test (non-electronic) on Shabbos?
11
votes
2answers
170 views

Which kidney should you donate?

All things being equal medically, if a person is going to donate a kidney is there halachic or hashkafic reason to presume donating one kidney would be better than the other?
11
votes
4answers
581 views

DNA and Jewish Law

Why isn't DNA seen as a valid source of Halachic decision making? Is it because it's too small for the naked eye? A margin of error problem? What? Normally, physical evidence is plenty of information ...
11
votes
2answers
432 views

When saying the Mi SheBerach prayer for a sick amputee, do you say “for his 248 limbs”?

The standard text of the Mi She-Berach prayer for the sick asks that G-d send healing "to his 248 limbs and 365 sinews." What if someone, G-d forbid, lost a foot a few years ago; and now prayers are ...
10
votes
2answers
146 views

What was the dietary source of calcium in Talmudic times?

The Mishna in Ketubot Chapter 5 describes the basic diet of a working-class woman at the time (around the year 200): ה,ז [ח] המשרה את אשתו על ידי שליש--לא יפחות לה מקביים חיטים, או מארבעת קבים ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Are Jewish women permitted to use birth control that stops menstruation?

Is there any reason that a Jewish woman who has permission from her Rabbi to use birth control could not choose a pill that stops her from menstruating? Although certain birth control pills are ...
10
votes
2answers
318 views

May a woman freeze her ova?

Is a woman allowed to freeze her own ova if she is coming to the later years of her life and is afraid she will miss her opportunity to have her own children naturally or otherwise, or is that frowned ...
10
votes
3answers
143 views

What to do before death

If a doctor tells a person that he is certain to die shortly (e.g., within one hour), what should that person do during his remaining minutes?
10
votes
1answer
206 views

What is the “Kos Shel Ikrin,” a potion that renders one infertile?

The Talmud discusses the "Kos Shel Ikrin" (Cup of the Barren, or Cup of Roots), a potion that rendered a woman or man infertile. The recipe for this potion is on record in tractate Shabbos and there ...
10
votes
3answers
195 views

What side does someone with Situs inversus bang

For tachanun, al cheit, twice in selach lanu etc, we bang on our heart. My question is: if someone has Situs inversus, a condition where the heart is on the right side of the body instead of the left, ...
10
votes
3answers
240 views

Can one use a sinus rinse on Shabbat / Yom Tov?

This sinus rinse is manual. You fill the plastic bottle with water and add a small packet of saline powder and mix it. Then, you insert the bottle tip into your nostril and squeeze the bottle so that ...
10
votes
2answers
413 views

Are sex change operations prohibited for non-Jews?

In very specific situations some halachic decisors have permitted sex change operations, such as for infants born with some types of genital anomalies. However, the consensus seems to be that they ...
9
votes
5answers
344 views

Sonogram (ultrasonography) on Infant for Gender

It seems there are some people who specifically don't want to know their baby's gender before birth. Is there any halachic basis to this, or is it just superstition?
9
votes
1answer
180 views

Beracha on Intravenous

There Gemara Berachot 35 says "anyone who enjoys from this world without a Beracha is stealing." Does one make a Beracha on intravenous feeding?
9
votes
1answer
621 views

May we violate Shabbos to administer morphine?

Morphine has been widely used as a pain reliever for a very long time (according to Wikipedia, it's been in use at least since 1804!). It's even listed (twice!) on WHO's list of essential medicines. ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Doctors working on Shabbat

What are some general guidelines regarding the halakhic permissibility for Jewish doctors to work on Shabbat? I know that saving lives generally overrides Shabbat, but I am curious about less black-...
9
votes
1answer
258 views

Yom Kippur - nicotine patch

Is there any problem with wearing a nicotine patch on Yom Kippur or any other fast day? (sources please)
9
votes
1answer
350 views

Is a homosexual male obligated to try everything to change his orientation?

Given that homosexual relations is a biblical sin, I would like to know if a Jewish male homosexual has an obligation to try to change his sexual orientation (as opposed to just not acting on his ...
9
votes
1answer
172 views

are bionic abilities legal for shabbos

Today the world is high in technology; many medical fields are experiencing breakthroughs in artificial limbs and what not. What are the legalities of these in Jewish law? For example, a pace maker ...
9
votes
1answer
449 views

May a woman with artifical metal legs wear a short skirt or pants?

May a woman (or a man) wear immodest clothing over an artificial part of her body? (Lets assume that beged ish is not a consideration) i.e. if she has artifical legs, may she wear short shorts? ...
8
votes
3answers
447 views

Halakha and Spiritual Healing?

What are the halakhic guidelines and limitations for using psukim from the Torah to heal illness? Does it make a difference if the psuk is being used to heal a "spiritual" malady which is believed to ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

If Consuming Blood is Prohibited Can Jews Accept Blood Transfusions?

According to Leviticus 7:26-27 Jews shouldn't consume blood. So why can Jews accept blood transfusions in non-life threatening situations? Is the act of inserting blood via arm not considered "...
8
votes
3answers
192 views

Loshon hara to a therapist

Is saying things that would otherwise be considered loshon hara permitted in the context of mental health therapy? I am not familiar with the details of therapeutic schools, but I understand that ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

If a woman cannot have children, can she marry?

I've been doing some research, and I found a lot of references to the rule that if a marriage lasts 10 years and does not produce any children, the couple must divorce and remarry in a new attempt to ...
8
votes
1answer
236 views

Where does Ramban discuss OCD and the mikvah?

I was told that the Ramban writes regarding women who have awful problems using the mikvah because they keep worrying they're not clean enough -- in today's terms, we call that obsessive-compulsive ...
8
votes
1answer
174 views

Pharmaceuticals and Kashrut

To what degree does medicine need to be kosher (not regarding pesach)? Most medicines are a random series of active ingredients with little meaning to the non medical professional - but what about "...
8
votes
2answers
842 views

Can a man who has undergone a sex change give his wife a Get?

There have recently been some very high-profile cases of men refusing to give their wives Gittin (plural for "Get", the Jewish divorce document required to free a woman to remarry). Reading about one ...
8
votes
3answers
752 views

Why does the Talmud assume a woman cannot get pregnant on the first act of intercourse?

There is a rule in the Gemara (Yevamot 34a) that אין אשה מתעברת בביאה ראשונה. The question is why the Talmud assumes that a virgin cannot conceive on her first act of sexual intercourse if the hymen ...
8
votes
1answer
474 views

Retention of urine causing infertility?

In several places in the Gemara (Yevamos 64b, Bechoros 44b) it is stated that holding back urine for an extended period can cause a man to become infertile. In the latter place the Gemara gives a ...
8
votes
1answer
70 views

Experimental drug testing (e.g. for cancer)

Are there any sources discussing (both l'kula and l'chumra) experimental drug studies? Two reasons this would be halachically problematic: Drugs assigned based on animal studies have a small chance ...
8
votes
2answers
116 views

Yom Kippur and IV drips

This is a somewhat silly question, but I'm sure it has a good answer and I'd like to know what it is. Unfortunately, I was hospitalized recently and I ended up being in hospital over Yom Kippur. (...
8
votes
2answers
497 views

Is human placenta kosher?

There is, apparently, something called placenta encapsulation which means making pills out of a placenta postpartum for the purpose of digesting placenta. People claim that these pills offer unique ...
8
votes
1answer
87 views

Performing a C-section in the Time of Chazal

The Mishna (Bekhorot 8:2) refers to two children born to the same mother, the first by C-section and the second by regular delivery. The Rambam famously comments that it seems exceedingly strange to ...