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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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 ...
3
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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 ...
4
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1answer
279 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 ...
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 ...
1
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1answer
152 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 ...
9
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1answer
186 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 ...
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 ...
8
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1answer
178 views

Sharp sword on the throat

The Gemara says Berachot 10a אפי' חרב חדה מונחת על צוארו של אדם אל ימנע עצמו מן הרחמים Even if a sharp sword is resting on one's thought he shouldn't hold back from (asking for) mercy." Why ...
3
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1answer
220 views

Which rabbis forbade cars 100 years ago?

"Venishmartem Meod Lenafshoseichem" I heard that there were Rabbonim about 100 years ago who forbade cars, saying that they were dangerous. Does anyone know who they were?
2
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2answers
167 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 ...
8
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2answers
2k views

On “he who saved one life saves the world”

According to Talmud (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5; Babylonian Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 37a), Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it ...
7
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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 ...
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0answers
93 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 ...
5
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1answer
198 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 ...
15
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2answers
348 views

Can one join an army?

Is one allowed to join an army (let's say not the Israeli one) as doing so is putting oneself in a place of sakana? If one is not allowed to join an army in general, is one allowed to join an army ...
1
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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?
4
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2answers
142 views

Wearing reflective armband in place without an eiruv

In SA OC Siman 301 it's discussed many of the things a person can and can't go out with on Shabbos in a place where there is no eiruv. Is one allowed to wear a armband or wristband on Shabbos with ...
15
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3answers
565 views

Is Pork, Camel, and the like Fleishig?

If one somehow consumed meat of a non-kosher species such as camel or pork (e.g. life-threatening illness, or by accident), does s/he become Fleishig? Why or why not?
14
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3answers
772 views

Is Metzitzah B'peh a must?

There is a lot of talk in the news, etc., about Metzitzah B'peh that employs direct oral contact being dangerous. First: If it is dangerous, shouldn't pikuach nefesh push it off? Second: How ...
3
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2answers
73 views

Yaakov's Stone Pillow

Yaakov placed twelve stones around his head to protect him from animals. Why was he not scared that animals would attack the rest of his body and how would those small stones, which were small enough ...
9
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2answers
317 views

Does one make a blessing if preparing to die al kiddush Hashem?

If one is reasonably sure that he is about to die al kiddush Hashem does he make a blessing before fulfilling this mitzvah? What would the nusach (text) of this blessing be? Note: I realize that even ...
9
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1answer
329 views

Are “things we don't do because of danger” also dangerous to non-Jews?

There are some things that we don't do because of the danger. Things we do not do because of Danger has a list of some of them. Are these things dangerous to non-Jews as well?
5
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2answers
179 views

Firefighting on shabbat

Is one allowed to be a firefighter if he might be required to work on Shabbat? or is he allowed to, in order to save lives?
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1answer
217 views

Breaking Shabbos to keep future Shabbos(os)?

The reason we allow someone to violate shabbos to save a life is because of the principle "let him void one shabbat so that many future shabbosos will be kept". What are the parameters for this ...
2
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2answers
310 views

Saving a Jew's life on Shabbos if s/he does not observe Shabbos

(This question was inspired by my comment on this question - Are you allowed to save a non-Jew's life on shabbos? (The comment is quoted at the bottom of my question.)) R. Simeon b. Menassia is ...
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1answer
51 views

Why did those on the ship ignore what Yona told them?

If those on the ship asked (Yonah 1:11) and Yonah answered (1:12) as far as how to save them, why did they ignore his suggestion (1:13)?
7
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1answer
232 views

Is the prohibition of swimming during the nine-days because of danger or bathing for pleasure?

Is the prohibition of swimming during the nine days because of an increased danger during the nine days or is it because of the fact that you cant bathe for pleasure during the nine days? Or is it a ...
4
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2answers
137 views

Sacrificing one's life for another's

Is it permissible to sacrifice one's own life to save another? There are many noble examples that come to mind, such as donating your heart to save a child or throwing yourself on a grenade. Is this ...
8
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1answer
257 views

“Torturing for Information” in Halacha

Would torture to extract information to save lives (eg in the Ticking time bomb case) be permitted according to Judaism? What's the status of torture in Halacha? And if it is permitted in certain ...
7
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3answers
314 views

Saving a Life During Tefillah

If one is in middle of Shemoneh Esrei (which is the only part of Tefillah, I could think of where there might be a problem), and there is a life to be saved, is he/she allowed to interrupt the ...
6
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2answers
234 views

Can I defend my animals with lethal force?

We know that it is permitted, in self-defense, to kill one who is trying to kill you, and I have heard that this applies to other people too (I see someone trying to kill someone else and I ...
9
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2answers
383 views

Are Jews permitted to martyr themselves?

Are Jews permitted to martyr themselves? For example, if it is a question of converting or being killed, is the Jew permitted to sacrifice himself rather than convert? Separately: which would be ...
5
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1answer
342 views

Circumcision when danger to life, born Jews and potential gerim

In this post, Skylar refers to teshuvos from the Seride Esh and R. AY Kook which rule that a male non-Jew may not convert if he is unable to undergo milah. Does pikuach nefesh completely push off the ...
4
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1answer
72 views

Moving nails better than burning them?

It says in the Gemara that one who buries his nails is a Tzaddik (he did what he should, to avoid a pregnant woman from stepping on them) while someone who burns his nails is a chossid (Tosfos ...
8
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1answer
101 views

Whom does one save first?

As a follow up to the controversy regarding the Costa Concordia If a ship is in danger of sinking, is the captain allowed to save himself first, or must he be the last man off the ship? Do the men ...
27
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1answer
535 views

Setting aside Shabbat to answer the President's call

In an old MSNBC news story about Jack Lew, a Shabbat-observant Jew who was just appointed to be the new White House Chief of Staff, there's a story about his getting a call from President Clinton when ...
14
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1answer
326 views

According to Halacha, may we endanger many Jewish lives in order to definitely save one Jew?

For example, what does Halacha say about the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange? "Save" means "free from captivity," although in many cases it's the same thing as saving his\her life (e.g. if we didn't ...
5
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2answers
417 views

Under what circumstances may one eat or drink on a fast day?

When and for what health reasons should we break our fasts? (assume the person is not elderly or pregnant.)
18
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4answers
599 views

Does a Food Mashgiach have to Sacrifice his Life?

Suppose a Mashgiach of a food establishment is threatened to "keep quiet" about some of the questionable behaviors [for purposes of the question, consider both actual non-kosher, and possibly ...
4
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2answers
459 views

Which actions are prohibited even to save a life?

I know that many commandments, e.g. keeping Shabbat, not lying, etc., must be violated if doing so is necessary to save a life. For which commandments is this not true? Does it ever matter how many ...
3
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2answers
369 views

Shabbat restrictions in the Army

Are there any Shabbat restrictions in the army during basic training? If this is only basic training and not war-time is this still considered pekuach-nefesh?
2
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3answers
80 views

why rush to Achashverosh?

Someone related this question at the s'udas Purim: Haman's decree was promulgated on the 13th of Nisan and would not take effect until the 13th of Adar following. Yet, Mord'chay urged Ester to seek ...