Situations in which a life is threatened; most (though not all), Jewish laws are suspended in order to save a life.

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46 views

May one say a prayer while driving?

In the vein of this question How to say Tefilas HaDerech while on the road alone -- I am wondering whether it is appropriate to say a prayer or make a brocha while concurrently operating a car. ...
5
votes
2answers
890 views

Mosaic Law and ISIS

Recently I had a conversation about ISIS with a friend who is Catholic by faith, he said that ISIS should be stopped but that we (The US or any other foreign power) should not kill them, whereas I ...
3
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1answer
157 views

How to say Tefilas HaDerech while on the road alone

My question applies to circumstances in which one is driving an extended distance by oneself. They also apply primarily--though not exclusively--to people who do not have the Tefilos HaDerech ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

What are the opinions on carrying medicine/medical devices on Shabbat?

Specifically, I'm curious about situations where it's not immediately apparent that it'll be necessary. For example: you don't know whether or not you'll need an epipen when you leave the house, but ...
2
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1answer
40 views

Who first said “You're being machmir on pikuach nefesh”?

I've been hearing the phrase "This is not being meikil1 on Shabbos, this is being machmir2 on pikuach nefesh3" for a long time. I've heard it quoted from R' Chaim, from the Gra, and from various and ...
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2answers
110 views

Is it permissible to live in California (or similar places) that have an earthquake risk?

I'm from a place that usually never gets an earthquake, I want to move to California but it sounds dangerous because of the earthquake possibility (soil turning to liquid, no warning, etc)... Is ...
3
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0answers
28 views

Is it mutar to kill a gentile to save one's life? [duplicate]

I know that it is forbidden to kill another Jew to save your own life, as it says in Sanhedrin 74. Does this law extend to a gentile?
4
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3answers
60 views

Saving an innocent person from being wrongly executed by a Beis Din

There is already a question on this site asking about saving a person from being executed (fairly) by a beis din, as well as a question regarding the criminal himself, if he may/must attempt to save ...
9
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2answers
838 views

Self-defense in a street fight?

I was in a situation where someone basically approached me indicating he was going to fight me, squared up with me, stared me down etc. pushed me twice, and then I thought to myself, "If he raises a ...
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0answers
15 views

Where can I find “Mishnas Pikuach Nefesh”?

Not sure if this kind of question is allowed on here. I've been looking for a specific sefer for a long time and I cannot find any seforim store that has it or that has even heard of it. The sefer I ...
7
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1answer
80 views

Pikuach Nefesh and different levels of Halacha

Here's a theoretical: if someone has to save a life and has two equally easy options, both of which violate halacha, one d'oraita and one d'rabbanan. Should he choose the d'oraita or the d'rabbanan?
7
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1answer
61 views

Making a bracha on food which is normally assur, but allowed due to pikuach nefesh

In general, one eating forbidden food does not make a bracha. In certain cases, foods which are usually assur are allowed to be eaten out of a concern of pikuach nefesh -- danger to life. For ...
6
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1answer
398 views

Medical treatment for pregnant woman that jeopardises pregnancy

I ran into an article about a woman who died shortly after refusing cancer treatment in order to be able to carry out her pregnancy. This isn't an uncommon scenario — I can think of at least three ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

Violating Shabbos for a suicide emergency

Y'all should know by now that we violate Shabbos to preserve human life. If you're still not sure, see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 328, Rambam, Hilchot Shabbos 2 (English), and a few other sources ...
7
votes
1answer
203 views

Killing gentile under threat of death

If someone points a gun at Reuvein's head and tells him, "Kill this Jew or I'll kill you," the halachah is that Reuvein must let himself be killed. What if someone points a gun at Reuvein's head and ...
5
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1answer
167 views

How to check blood sugar on Shabbos

Diabetes is a חולי שיש בו סכנה, an illness that poses a danger to life1. As such, everything necessary for caring for diabetes must be done on Shabbos, even if it includes איסורי תורה. (see Shulchan ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Is “pikuach nefesh” on shabbos “hutrah” or “dichuya”?

Whenever two mitzvos come into conflict with each other, and one is given precedence over the other (such as in the case of מילה on Shabbos, or any עשה דוחה לא תעשה), there is usually discussion over ...
10
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1answer
204 views

Can I choose not to violate Shabbos for “pikuach nefesh”?

According to the Gemara (Yoma 85a-b) and Poskim (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 328, Rambam, Hilchot Shabbos 2 [English Rambam]), one is allowed to violate Shabbos in order to preserve his life. This is ...
11
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1answer
135 views

Tahara procedure for a body with an infectious disease

I've heard that one vector for the spread of Ebola is ceremonial contact that family members have with the body of their deceased relative. That led me to think about how Judaism deals with this ...
6
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1answer
307 views

Buying non-Kosher food for home Emergency Kits

The United States federal government, American Red Cross, and surely countless other governments and NGOs recommend that families have Emergency Survival Kits in their homes in case of a natural or ...
0
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1answer
90 views

Can I use a firearm to protect my home on Shabbos?

Do the laws of Shabbos preempt my choice of methods to protect my family in the case of a break-in or attack on my home on Shabbos? Also is the the use of a biometric safe to access the weapon ...
12
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4answers
1k views

Why is a woman allowed to get pregnant?

This should be taken as a bit of a light hearted question (but not a Purim Torah by any means, I am looking for a real analysis), inspired by a discussion in chat. Why is a woman allowed to get ...
3
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0answers
289 views

How hungry does a Jew have to be to eat non-kosher food?

I understand that Jews are allowed to eat non-kosher food in order to save their lives. My question is, how long does a Jew have to be deprived of food, before he or she is allowed to eat non-kosher ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

Taking a pill on Yom Kippur

What factors go into determining the permissibility of taking a pill on Yom Kippur when there is no chance the patient will die if they fail to take the pill for 25 hours? The case here is not one of ...
5
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0answers
56 views

During the nine days, can we do something “slightly dangerous” in order to fulfill a mitzvah?

During the nine days, many hold that we refrain from activities that are considered even slightly dangerous; for example, air travel. However, I have read that R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (who ...
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1answer
132 views

Volunteering for certain harm

During the Fukushima nuclear disaster elderly people volunteered to work in high radiation environments to fix the problem, because they felt less concerned about dying. Either they were more ...
6
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2answers
563 views

Can a couple have relations during dangerous times?

May a couple, living in Israel during a war or when Israel is under a constant barrage of rocket and other types of terrorist attacks, engage in marital relations? May a couple living outside of ...
9
votes
3answers
123 views

Does learning Torah or doing Mitzvos protect others from enemies?

I know from the gemarah Bava Basra 7b-8a that learning (being a talmid chacham) or doing many mitzvos can protect oneself from enemies (such that when a city is taxed for a wall that was built to ...
5
votes
2answers
138 views

May a surgeon who needs to do surgery on Shabbat correct the time on his watch?

According to the various sources mentioned in this article one is not allowed to set a stopped watch on Shabbat. Suppose that a surgeon is scheduled to operate on a patient on Shabbat afternoon. ...
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0answers
128 views

How should a Jew behave if kidnapped by a non-Jew?

If a Jew is kidnapped by a non-Jew that he suspects may kill him, according to halacha how should he act? Meaning, should he try to escape or not?
3
votes
2answers
216 views

Can one go on a boat during the 9 Days?

I had heard that one should not go on a boat during the 9 Days because going on the water is dangerous and one should not go on a dangerous trip during the 9 Days. Is there any truth to any ...
4
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1answer
73 views

Melacha vs breaking a fast on Yom Kippur

If a person is in a life threatening situation and can be saved by either doing a melacha or eating/drinking on Yom Kippur, what should he do?
3
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1answer
136 views

To what extent would a 17th-century observant Jew purposefully violate Halacha to save lives?

I’m writing an alternate-history story set in the 1630s and this topic touches on one of the plot points. My character is attempting to avert the various massacres of the 17th–20th centuries by ...
2
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0answers
120 views

Are there sources that permit or prohibit co-ed learning of self-defense?

Learning self-defense in a co-ed environment could be considered prevention of problems that could lead to pikuach nefesh (danger to life). Prohibiting a co-ed environment could be considered placing ...
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1answer
45 views

Pekuach nefesh by causing mortal injury in a non-rodef

A beam is going to fall on top of two people. When it does so, its weight will be distributed evenly over their two heads, injuring both but not killing either. Had that weight been distributed over ...
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1answer
149 views

Can a deep-cover agent on active assignment violate kashrut to blend in with targets?

I have no idea whatever what the Mossad's practices are when collecting human intelligence, but I would be certain a small percentage of people in CIA would have to be Jewish owing to ...
4
votes
2answers
353 views

Saving a non-Jew's life on Shabbat

I understand that, as per the halakha, a Jew is absolutely obligated to save the life of a non-Jew, even if doing so requires of him that he desecrate Shabbat. (See, for example, this answer.) My ...
3
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0answers
58 views

Two people but only one kidney

if there are two patients about to die of kidney failure and there is only one kidney available, does the halacha have a way to choose who gets the kidney? (such as lottery) (assuming both cases are ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

Halacha and danger to life

Suppose there is an halachically prescribed, commonly-practiced action, which has been demonstrated scientifically to lead to death of the action's object and/or subject with a certain low probability ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Can two siamese twins be separated by killing one if that one would die anyway and the other would live

In two Simaese twins where the first will definitely die soon, whereas the second has a chance of life if the first stops being a 'drain' him. Like if there is only one heart. Can one kill the first ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

Should one living in Israel leave?

The Torah commands us, ‘Venishmartem meod lenafshotechem' ['You shall take care exceedingly of your lives' — Deut. 4:15). It seems anyone living in Israel is in grave danger due to the recent ...
9
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1answer
185 views

Does a Rabbi have to sink with his ship?

There is a famous story (mentioned in his wikipedia article) that R' Elchonon Wasserman visited the United States before the war. He had the option to stay, but he refused since (as I heard) "A leader ...
2
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2answers
134 views

Is it a mitzvah to save someone from execution by Beth Din?

I am wondering how the laws of pikuach nefesh might apply to a situation of mitath beth din. Would bystanders be obliged to save the condemned from his lawful execution? What about members of the beth ...
5
votes
1answer
190 views

At what cost must one perform a mitzvah?

To what lengths must one go to fulfill a positive commandment, or avoid transgressing a negative one? Obviously, with few exceptions, one must not go so far as to die in order to fulfill a ...
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0answers
92 views

Turn yourself in for a capital offense?

This question assumes that one should accept his punishment after being convicted of a capital offense. Should one turn himself in to (Jewish) authorities after committing an offense for which he ...
8
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1answer
102 views

Should someone who is falsely convicted by a relgious court attempt to avoid the death penalty?

This question discusses whether one may attempt to escape the death penalty imposed by a Beis Din for a capital offense. The answer to this question seemed to be that the person should not try to ...
7
votes
4answers
227 views

Is it a mitzvah to escape the death penalty from a secular court?

This question addresses whether it is a mitzvah to attempt to escape the death penalty if it is imposed by a Jewish court. The answer to this question seemed to be that it is not a mitzvah to attempt ...
4
votes
1answer
270 views

Is it permissible to be mechalel Shabbos to save the life of an animal or pet?

Is it permissible to be mechalel Shabbos to save the life of an animal, such as a family pet? Could minchag, chumras, and/or purely Rabbinical prohibitions be relaxed in such a situation, and to what ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

Cholim she'yesh bahem sakanah

Are there rabbinical sources on what qualifies someone as a choleh she'yesh bo sakanah - a sick person whose life is in danger? Is it strictly a medical decision? Are there circumstances in which ...
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1answer
57 views

Mitzva of Tzedaka for Pikuach Nefesh

Let's say one has a relative/parent who needs a life saving operation but does not have the financial means to pay for it or even get a loan, is one required to sell his property to help them?