A choleh she'eyn bo sakana (one with a non-life-threatening illness) is not obligated to fast on any fast other than Yom Kippur (see Mishna Brurah 550:4 and Aruch Hashulchan 550:6). A choleh she'eyn bo sakana is also allowed to swallow non-kosher medications shelo k'derech achilaso (literally: "not like the manner of its eating"; provided no kosher alternative exists and it does not have a pleasant flavor). Is there any basis to allow one who does not reach the criterion of not being obligated to fast (i.e. one with a meichush - minor discomfort) to swallow a pill, or is pill-taking just a first resort for one who would otherwise not be obligated to fast?

  • offhand I think the opinion of R. Moshe z"l is that non-kosher pills are always muttar when consumed not derech achila. Even when kosher alternatives exist, and certainly on a fast day. Without examining the resposum, nor being familiar with the particulars of the sugya this ruling would be quite intuitive. If one is permitted to consume non-kosher; a prohibition of lav or even kares b/c is isnt considered eating, then on a fast day this ought not be limited to a chole she'ein bo sakkana. Even a healthy person ought to be allowed, as the prohibition of breaking a fast is rabbinic..
    – mevaqesh
    Jul 28 '15 at 5:39
  • at most. Similarly, I would guess that the requirement that no kosher alternatives exist seems more likely a compromise by poskim who are uncomfortable with allowing non-kosher shelo k'derech achila who therefore compromise, as opposed to a psak m'ikar hadin. Accordingly, you would always be able to take pills. (This disregarding the fact that often the non-kosher component in the pills would be battul anyway).
    – mevaqesh
    Jul 28 '15 at 5:42

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