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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 ...


18

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


17

Short answer: NO. Long answer: also NO. Here's why: Rabbi Yosef Karo writes (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 328:2): מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ חֹלִי שֶׁל סַכָּנָה, מִצְוָה לְחַלֵּל עָלָיו אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת; וְהַזָּרִיז, הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח; וְהַשּׁוֹאֵל, הֲרֵי זֶה שׁוֹפֵךְ דָּמִים Someone who has a life-threatening illness is commanded (מצוה) to violate ...


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 ...


15

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 ...


15

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


12

First, G-d's omnipotence does not preclude free will, as the statement you bring clearly states. Omniscience 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. ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

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 ...


11

At least with regards to hilchos Shabbos, you should choose the derabannan. See שמירת שבת כהלכתה לב:כז-כח*, who writes that if there is no difference in speed or quality of care, that one should choose to do a rabbinically prohibited action, instead of one that is Biblically prohibited. I don't know if this is Shabbos-specific, or if this rule applies ...


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 ...


9

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 ...


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 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 ...


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

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

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

I don't understand the question. The statement that a person who saves one life, saves the world is an aggadic statement, not a halachic one. Halacha does not allow you to sacrifice one life for the sake of many. If you save a life, that is a great and wonderful thing. If you think you are saving a life, but don't actually do so, it doesn't take away 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

In lieu of an authoritative source which directly addresses this question I will offer the following hypothesis: It seems to me that the status of a "כלי שמלאכתו לפיקוח נפש" (a utensil used for cases of pikuach nefesh) is dependent, in part, to the disagreement whether cases of Pikuach nefesh means Shabbos is הותרה (the action is permitted) or whether ...


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. ...


6

Bottom line on top: you should violate Shabbos for all cases of suicide on Shabbos. (R Moshe Feinstein, Tzitz Eliezer); with one (very rare, practically non-existent) exception according to R Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. Rabbi Moshe Halevi Spero explores this issue in his article in The Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, vol. 3 (Spring 1982). I ...


6

In Judaism (as codified in the earliest of sources - the Mishna Ohalos (7:6) (HT Double AA for the English link)) the mother's life comes first, no matter how late in the pregnancy. Only once the baby is out enough to be considered independent does another Jewish value kick in - we can't pick between the relative importance of one life and another, and can't ...



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