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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23
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2answers
459 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
462 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 ...
28
votes
7answers
3k views

Are you allowed to save a non-Jew's life on shabbos?

Is a Jew allowed to violate shabbos to save a non-Jew's life?
7
votes
3answers
338 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 ...
30
votes
1answer
672 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
580 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 ...
-1
votes
4answers
382 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
193 views

Is sky-diving forbidden because of the risk to one's life?

Is sky-diving forbidden since it might be considered a risk to once life and is not a necessary activity (like e.g., driving a car would be)? The Torah says (Dvarim 4:15) "guard your souls" and ...
17
votes
3answers
679 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?
6
votes
2answers
289 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
195 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
834 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
903 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
406 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 for ...
10
votes
1answer
228 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
241 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
votes
2answers
348 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
328 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
259 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
votes
4answers
1k views

If my home is on fire on Shabbos or Yom Tov, what can I do?

G-d forbid, but let's say that my house catches fire either on Shabbos or a Yom Tov. Can I call 911 or must I find a non-Jewish neighbor to call? We have an eruv. Can I take my car keys, cell phone ...
9
votes
1answer
268 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
857 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
464 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
166 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
275 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
654 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 non-...
15
votes
1answer
368 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
156 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 issue....
9
votes
3answers
147 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
403 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
194 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)?
8
votes
1answer
224 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
364 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
118 views

Acceptable to receive transplant of organs grown inside pigs?

If scientists could grow human organs inside of pigs, would it be halachically acceptable to receive a transplant of such an organ? A recent article in National Public Radio about US and British ...
6
votes
1answer
447 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
186 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
390 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
439 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?
3
votes
3answers
193 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
461 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
111 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
134 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)?
0
votes
2answers
128 views

Driving in a Blizzard after Shabbat Begins

Someone is driving and stuck in a blizzard on the highway when Shabbat begins. It would most likely be life threatening to leave the car on the side of the highway and walk in a blinding blizzard. It'...
0
votes
2answers
122 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 ...