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21
votes
8answers
551 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"?
19
votes
3answers
237 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
499 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, ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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) ...
14
votes
2answers
390 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
376 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
274 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
529 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?
13
votes
1answer
478 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
504 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
1k 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?
12
votes
3answers
480 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
761 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?
11
votes
2answers
154 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
1answer
181 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
418 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
3answers
505 views

Returning after driving someone to the hospital on Shabbat

if a man needs to be brought to the hospital on Shabbat, and another man brings him, is the second man allowed to go back home by car?
10
votes
2answers
141 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
3answers
411 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
356 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
3answers
117 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
187 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
143 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, ...
9
votes
5answers
312 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
149 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
2answers
259 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
560 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. ...
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
1answer
174 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
3answers
567 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
201 views

Yom Kippur - nicotine patch

Is there any problem with wearing a nicotine patch on Yom Kippur or any other fast day? (sources please)
8
votes
2answers
771 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
309 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
133 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
414 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
277 views

Do “most leading Orthodox rabbis” really hold that brain-stem death is death?

According to a recent NYTimes piece on the new organ donation law in Israel, Most leading Orthodox rabbis -- as well as Israeli law -- agree that a person dies when his brain-stem stops ...
7
votes
1answer
389 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
286 views

Onot perisha with birth control

If a woman is using birth control pills (after consulting with a rabbi) with a longer-than-one-month cycle, when are her onot perisha? For example, suppose the woman becomes nidda every 3 or 4 months; ...
7
votes
2answers
152 views

Does use of bi-lateral cochlear implants eliminate the definition of a “cheresh”?

I have been reviewing Encyclopedia of Jewish Medical Ethics in the area that discusses people with partial hearing. I could not glean any answer regarding technological "fixes". The insertion of ...
7
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
328 views

Is the brain the seat of the soul?

There are disturbing ideas in the Feb 21, 2011 Time magazine cover article 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal. The article attributes to Raymond Kurzweil the prediction that within the next 25 years ...
7
votes
1answer
111 views

What is the Orthodox Jewish position regarding a criminal ban on abortion?

I know that many Orthodox Jews oppose abortion - presumably because they see this as a religious requirement - but does Orthodox Judaism see it as required or preferable to support a secular law ...
7
votes
1answer
199 views

Genetic testing before the first date?

Let's lay down assumptions: The shidduch dating system in which young men meet with young women to interact socially is permitted, and in fact practiced, only with the intention of potential ...
7
votes
3answers
370 views

Can you take vitamins on a fast day?

Can you take vitamins on a fast day?
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Prenatal testing

I've been hearing that some people are discouraging prenatal testing for halachic reasons but it seems pretty important to me. Does anyone know if there's actually something halachicly wrong about ...
7
votes
2answers
392 views

Is it actually forbidden to push a wheelchair outside of an eruv on Shabbat?

I have heard opinions varying wildly on the subject and am trying to make sense of them halachically. Is it illegal on Shabbat to push someone in a wheelchair, let's say, from their home to synagogue ...
7
votes
1answer
141 views

Spaying of female dogs

Is it acceptable to spay a pet female dog, or is there a prohibition against neutering a female dog like that of a male dog?
7
votes
1answer
272 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? ...
6
votes
3answers
290 views

Organ donations

Besides a kidney, are there any other organs that you are allowed to donate?