According to Leviticus 7:26-27 Jews shouldn't consume blood. So why can Jews accept blood transfusions in non-life threatening situations? Is the act of inserting blood via arm not considered "consuming."

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    related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/16145/…
    – Menachem
    Sep 17, 2014 at 5:02
  • Nonkosher food is only forbidden to eat k'darko, in its customary manner. you can eat totally spoiled nonkosher foods, IV lines are not usually a problem and feel free to stick some bacon up your nose.
    – LN6595
    Apr 12, 2019 at 17:56

2 Answers 2


Human blood is not included in the prohibition (Shulchan Arukh YD 66:10). There is a concern when consuming any permitted blood that no one think you are consuming forbidden blood. A classic solution to this is including fish scales in a cup of fish blood (ibid. :9). It seems to me that a transfusion bag serves this purpose sufficiently. Even were one to argue on this point the prohibition would remain at a rabbinic one and not a biblical one, and hence can be lifted for any seriously ill individual even if their life is not threatened.

Additionally, one is only prohibited from consuming forbidden food through the throat (Rambam MA 14:3).

  • if my translation is correct: "Do not eat any blood, whether from a mammal or a bird, no matter where you may live." Humans are mammals. no?
    – kirby
    Sep 17, 2014 at 3:45
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    @kirby As with all translations it is not fully precise. "Mammal" is not even a concept that existed back when the Torah was written.
    – Double AA
    Sep 17, 2014 at 3:46
  • Re the Rambam - see Tosefos Avoda Zara 12b s.v. אלא Sep 17, 2014 at 4:14

That verse in Leviticus says don't eat blood. It doesn't say not to inject it.

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    −1. This addresses the question on its own level (take the literal meaning of the verse and, voilà, you've got halacha), but that level is incorrect.
    – msh210
    Sep 17, 2014 at 12:43
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    The "correct level" for practical halacha would be valid rabbinic authority, since Orthodox Jews no longer make rulings based directly on verses. The answer might contain an explanation of how Judaism interprets the verse, but I would see that as a secondary point.
    – Nic
    Sep 17, 2014 at 14:34
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    @ClintEastwood Actually there is such a Hava Amina. See Pesachim 22a.
    – Double AA
    Sep 17, 2014 at 15:00
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    @ClintEastwood and Pesachim 24b Sep 17, 2014 at 17:45
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    The Torah also states not to cook a goat in its mother's milk; it never says not to eat it in its mother's milk Mar 23, 2015 at 3:59

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