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A natural reaction when cutting oneself (e.g., on a finger) is to suck out the blood. However the Torah writes (Vayikra 17:12-14 and other places)

"עַל־כֵּן אָמַרְתִּי לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כָּל־נֶפֶשׁ מִכֶּם לֹא־תֹאכַל דָּם וְהַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכְכֶם לֹא־יֹאכַל דָּם׃ "

Therefore I say to the Israelite people: No person among you shall partake of blood, nor shall the stranger who resides among you partake of blood.

Is it forbidden to suck a wound? Is that considered "eating the blood"?

  • It is not about sucking, it's about swallowing I think. Sucking and spitting is OK. Add this to your answer. – Al Berko Mar 6 at 14:13
  • Sucking and spitting might still be an issue of marit ayin if people don't see you spit. And frankly it is not so common nowadays to spit things. I am really asking if it is permissible to suck knowing most people will then swallow rather than spit – mbloch Mar 6 at 15:04
  • BTW what's the benefit of sucking? If it's purely medical it overrides the Maris Ayn. So sucking and spitting is just right. – Al Berko Mar 6 at 15:06
  • I can't speak of others but for me it is to avoid having blood over my fingers and putting it all over the place afterwards – mbloch Mar 6 at 15:07
  • So that would be Maris ayn vs what? If it's as worthy as I proposed that would be allowed. I think MA only applies for common practices. Sucking blood is not so common, at least here in Israel. – Al Berko Mar 6 at 15:10
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This happened to me recently so I looked (post facto) for the answer.

R David Sperling gives background here

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 66:10) states that human blood, after it has left the body, is forbidden. This is not because the human blood itself is forbidden to us from the Torah, but rather because someone might think mistakenly that it was non-human blood and therefore forbidden (marit aiyin).

So, if one bites an apple and finds that blood has come out of one's gums onto the apple, the blood spots must be removed from the apple before taking the next bite. However, continues the Shulchan Aruch, blood inside one's mouth is allowed, and so if one has bit their cheek, or has bleeding gums, the blood inside the mouth may be swallowed, and one does not need to spit it out.

There are two opinions regarding blood from a wound:

  1. Some (following Tosafot, e.g., Orach Mishor, Kaf Hachayim), say that it is permissible to suck it as it is clearly human blood that has not separated from the body
  2. Others (following Rashi, e.g., Nachal Eshkol, Minchat Yaakov) rule strictly that only blood inside the mouth which others cannot see can be swallowed

For more details and sources see here from Eretz Chemda and Nishmat Avraham vol. 2, p. 16.

Of course, consult your rabbi before implementing anything you learn here. Mine ruled strictly that one shouldn't suck it once it has left the wound and is visible to others.

  • Why don't you mark your answer as "accepted"? – Al Berko Mar 6 at 13:16
  • Because I don’t want to discourage others who might have better answers – mbloch Mar 6 at 13:23
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    I was always looking for this Tosfos you quoted from Krisus when i was learning Kesubos, and ive finnaly seen it thanks to your research – user15464 Mar 6 at 15:23

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