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27

Yes. To quote R' Moshe Feinsten, "A refusal to treat a non-Jew on the Sabbath would be totally unacceptable... (Igrot Moshe, Orah Hayyim 4:79; Additional sources below for this ruling can be found below.) There are several reasons: The one that is most cited is "to prevent the Gentiles from hating and persecuting us (מישום איבה)," for if it happened that ...


17

If Pikuach Nefesh pushes off the restrictions of Shabbos, all the more so it pushes off those of Tefila.


16

This issue is discussed practically in Shut MiMa'amakim 2:4. (Shut MiMa'amakim (lit. "from the depths", cf Psalms 130:1) are the responsa of Rabbi Ephraim Oshri written between 1941 and 1945 in the Kovno Ghetto.) He writes that on the cold, rainy day of the Great Action when all the Jews were being rounded up for inspection, a Jew named Eliyahu הי"ד from ...


14

A famous halachic rule of thumb: If someone has to ask his rabbi on questions of ordinary halacha (not murder or the like) vs. any matter of life or limb, shame on the person asking (duh, go save a life!), and shame on the rabbi who should have made that abundantly clear long ago. So let's get this straight. If a question comes up about violating ...


14

The reason one "becomes fleishig", i.e. cannot eat dairy after eating meat, is because of remaining meat in his mouth or esophagus which he cannot have with milk. Now, the Shach and Taz (and Baer Hetev after them, all at 87:3) say there's no meat-and-milk prohibition on eating milk with pork (or other non-kosher animals), so I'd have to assume there's also ...


13

There is an interesting Gemara in Avodah Zarah (31b) which provides a partial answer to your question: אמר ליה שמואל לחייא בר רב בר אריא תא ואימא לך מילתא מעלייתא דהוה אמר רב אבוך הכי אמר אבוך הני ארמאי זוקאני דהוו שתו גילויא ולא מתו איידי דאכלי שקצים ורמשים חביל גופייהו Said Samuel to Hiyya bar Rav: "O son of a scholar, come let me tell you a ...


12

About your second question, defending himself by killing his executioners: Mishneh Lemelech (Hil. Rotze'ach Ushemiras Nefesh 1:15) implies that no. He says that in cases where extrajudicial killing is permitted (e.g., a goel hadam pursuing a murderer, or a zealot attempting to kill a Jew consorting with a gentile woman), then the intended victim may indeed ...


10

In the words of the esteemed sage Jerry Garcia: Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil. I'd advise the individual to get out of the situation as best as he can. There's a similar legend has it regarding Ridbaz, who was a rabbi in Chicago in the early 1900s. He found himself "accidentally" locked into a freezer when ...


10

A home on fire is a danger to life. You can, halachically, do very nearly anything necessary to preserve human life, including violating all the Shabas or yom tov prohibitions, and thus including calling an emergency number or doing what you can to extinguish the fire. The second it takes to grab your keys or wallet is a second of risk, which would mean you ...


10

The laws of a home fire on Shabbat are discussed in Shulchan Aruch OC 334. In a case where there is a fire which is not even possibly a danger to human life, one may not extinguish it on Shabbat. Moreover, by rabbinic decree one may not remove his possessions from the house, lest he become overwhelmed, forget that it is Shabbat, and come to extinguish the ...


9

First, G-d's omnipotence does not preclude free will, as the statement you bring clearly states. Omnipotence does not mean that everything is decided already, only that G-d knows what you will choose to do, even if you don't know yet. But it's true that certain things are decided in advance , so the question still stands, albeit on slightly altered legs. ...


8

Summary: Many believe that when it comes to applying halacha on a level that will affect the general public, we must be far more conservative in our concern for the welfare of others. In a modern sense, we would call this an application of the Law of Large Numbers, whereby we are concerned for far reaching cases of pikuach nefesh such as the general economic ...


8

The Shulchan Aruch (YD 157:1) discusses the issue of when one must (or may) martyr himself, know in Hebrew as קידוש השם - The [Ultimate] Sanctification of God's Name. If someone threatens your life if you won't break some rule: If you are alone (or in the presence of less than ten adult Jews): If he is doing so for his own personal benefit: If it is one ...


7

Rabbi JD Bleich discusses it in Tradition 39:4 (2006). In summary, and again, these are all theoreticals: If we are positive (?) that this person is a rodef, i.e. actively trying to kill innocent people, then we can use any force needed to stop him, including lethal force. Is torture worse than lethal force? This is debated by the Rishonim, but it ...


7

Per Sanhedrin 74a there are three things a Jew is supposed to be a martyr for. Avodah Zara = idolatry, Gilui Arayos = sexual immorality, Shefichas Damim = being forced to kill another. So yes the right thing to do would be to get killed in such a situation. In a Shaas HaShemad = a time when the Jews are not allowed to keep the Torah, per the Rambam Hilchos ...


7

The Gemara says that if a pregnant woman is desperately craving food, she can eat it even on Yom Kippur if needed. The Rishonim there discuss that this is firstly out of concern for her own safety; furthermore, if not having this food may harm the fetus, it's a lot riskier to the mother to deliver a stillborn than it is a live baby. But beyond that, the ...


7

Rabbi David Zvi Hoffmann, in Melamed le-Ho'il 42, was asked: At this time, in all places where Jews reside, [at the command] of the king and state every able bodied man has to enter the military and serve for one, two, or three years, and he will be compelled there to violate Shabbatot and Yamim Tovim. Is a Jew who fears God's word and observes all the ...


7

The Talmud (Taanit 11a) proscribes marital relations during a famine. (See Tosfot and Rambam regarding if this is an obligation or supererogatory.) The Shulchan Aruch rules this way in OC 240:12 and 574:4 (exceptions are given for childless couples and on the night the woman goes to the Mikvah) and the Rama there extends the law to other times of pain ("שאר ...


6

There are many different views on this topic, Gil Student cites some of them here. Below is my personal opinion on this weighty topic. I think such an exchange is forbidden. While the mitzvah to redeem captives is extremely important, the Mishnah says they cannot be redeemed for more than their value. The gemara gives 2 explanations for this - either ...


6

Mishnah Berurah 550:4 says that one who is ill (choleh she'ein bo sakana, meaning that the illness is severe enough to make one bedridden, or it affects one's entire body) is exempt from fasting, and is actually forbidden to fast.


6

The gemara actually asks (basically) your question. A few lines later, Rava asks R. Simeon ben Menassia: based on your reasoning I understand why we break Shabbat when it will for sure lead to more net Shabbat observance. But how do you learn that we break Shabbat even when it is only doubtful that there will be more net Shabbat observance? Rava (and the ...


6

Point 1: See Mishnah Brurah 104:25 that says it is forbidden to speak unless one is an Oines. Point 12: See Mechabar 104:5 that says if the hefsek took as long as it takes to finish the Tefilla then one must start over, otherwise one starts again from the Bracha that he was in the middle of. For more complicated details look at the Mishnah Brurah there. ...


6

"Rama, Orach Chaim 656:1, rules that one must spend up to one-fifth of his assets on order to fulfill a positive mitzvah and his entire fortune in order not to violate a negative commandment." (source) As for negative commandments that are violated by passivity--such as the commandment that you may not allow someone else to die--there is dispute about ...


6

Answer to the question in the title: Yes. To directly save a life, a Jew is allowed to violate Halacha. In fact, according to some opinions, a Jew is supposed to violate Halacha to directly save a life, even if a non-violating method is available, in order to emphasize the sanctity of life and the extent to which saving a life should be expedited. ...


5

The Lubavitcher Rebbe told a story about his father, the Rov of Dnepropetrovsk: "The city in which my father was a Rov, was in southern Russia [Dnepropetrovsk, now Ukraine] which had many wheat fields, which supplied the whole Russia with grain. Since he was one of the bigger Rabbonim, the hechsher on baking matzos was always under his hechser. When the ...


5

R. Ephraim of Vilna writes (http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1405&st=&pgnum=94, bottom of left column and on) that "apparently, it appears to say that sometimes we find that it is appropriate to turn over an individual, even to be killed, in order to avoid some damage to the public...to prevent any stumbling block or difficulty for the ...


5

Lethal force is only authorized for the civilian bystander to prevent a rape or a murder. Not property damage. This assumes that whoever's attacking my property has a big sign on his forehead that says I'm here just to damage property and I definitely won't hurt any people. The reason that we acquit someone who kills a home intruder is we assume the robber ...


5

Agreed that a person found guilty should accept their sentence; here's a different source. There are several different Midrashic explanations to Deuteronomy 25:11-12, involving a woman trying to save her husband. Several say the phrase to save her husband from his fellow excludes either saving him from an agent of the courts (carrying out the death ...


5

The earliest source I know of is Mishna Chullin 8:4, which says one is allowed to cook (and derive benefit from) meat from a non-kosher animal in kosher-animal milk, or meat from a kosher animal in non-kosher-animal milk. Meat from a kosher animal (say, cattle), even if the meat itself is not kosher (e.g. it was not slaughtered) may not be cooked with milk. ...


5

The general rule of thumb for shabbat is that any action required for security related reasons (operation of jeeps, radio check ins, patrols, etc) during the week should be performed on shabbat as well. I.E. you shouldn't be lowering the level of security because it's shabbat. There are standing orders at all levels in the IDF which prevent the giving of ...



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