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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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 ...
3
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2answers
95 views

Is an on-call doctor allowed to read non-emergency text messages on Shabbat?

My shul has a few doctors who carry their cell phones with them. When their phones buzz (B"H, they are smart enough to put the phones on vibrate mode while davening.) with a text message, they, of ...
4
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2answers
116 views

Halachic issues with using a frozen river as a mikvah

One hears a lot of legends about women who went to extraordinary lengths to go to mikvah in difficult times. One popular story is about a woman who would make a hole in a frozen river and tovel in the ...
5
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3answers
136 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 ...
7
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1answer
87 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 ...
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1answer
75 views

Marital relations if pregnancy is potentially life-threatening?

A while ago, I was poking around the Catholic section of Reddit, since I was curious about how the topic of birth control might be handled within it. In a comment to one post, someone stated that his ...
2
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3answers
167 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 ...
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1answer
109 views

Is there any obligation for a Jew to save a gentile's life?

Does "al taamod al dam rei'echa" refer to only Jews? Does anyone interpret it as meaning a gentile (who is not an idoloter)?
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1answer
210 views

Water left unopened

According to this article from the Kof-K one is obligated in covering water bottles, but we dont practice today as snakes are not common, but what if i lived in a desert like city, like Phoenix ...
6
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1answer
226 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
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0answers
335 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 ...
3
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1answer
53 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. ...
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2answers
920 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 ...
20
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2answers
279 views

Rockets from Gaza while praying

I live in Beer Sheva, Israel where there are presently ongoing rockets fired at us from Gaza. We are warned of an impending rocket by a loud siren that gives us less than a minute to run to a bomb ...
3
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1answer
169 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 ...
2
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1answer
45 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 ...
3
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1answer
61 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 ...
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2answers
113 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 ...
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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 ...
4
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3answers
67 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 ...
10
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1answer
232 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 ...
3
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0answers
31 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?
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2answers
847 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
17 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
89 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?
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1answer
205 views

Is Chayecha Kodmin a Chiyuv or a right

If one is presented with a case of either save himself or his friend, he is permitted to save himself. Does he have to? I saw this thread which set my mind going, are the usual airplane guidelines ...
8
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1answer
174 views

Is a person endangering others always* a Rodef?

Does a person endangering others inherently* have a Din of a Rodef? Related: Is a speeding driver who causes damage exempt from paying due to his status as a Roidef? *Leave aside for purposes of the ...
23
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2answers
411 views

Is it a mitzva to escape the death penalty?

If someone is being led to his death by bes din (a Jewish court), is he supposed to try to escape, since, in general, saving one's own life is paramount? More: normally, we say that if someone is out ...
6
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1answer
421 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
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1answer
129 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
365 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 ...
14
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3answers
757 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 ...
8
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1answer
235 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 ...
15
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2answers
224 views

What is the status of a Kli Shemelachto LeIssur that's only used for Pikuach Nefesh?

What is the status of a kli (object) whose primary use would be forbidden on Shabbos, but it is only used in a case of Pikuach Nefesh (danger to life, where all Shabbos restrictions become allowed) -- ...
8
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2answers
175 views

Is it permissible to be mechalel shabbos to save a fetus?

Is it muttar to set aside the rules of shabbos to save a fetus? If so, how is it possible to reconcile that with the permissibility of killing a fetus (abortion)?
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1answer
167 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
votes
2answers
149 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. ...
11
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1answer
148 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 ...
4
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1answer
78 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?
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3answers
318 views

Why do Jews look before crossing streets?

If Jews claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, why do we look before we cross the road? I'm a Jewish man myself and personally never look before crossing and have ...
0
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
4
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2answers
397 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 ...
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7answers
3k views
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2answers
583 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 ...
5
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0answers
94 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 ...
8
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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 ...
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3answers
141 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 ...
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134 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
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2answers
420 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 ...
3
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1answer
148 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 ...