If a person has a halachic שאלה and is in a situation where he cannot ask or find out the halacha (for example, he must decide what to do immediately, traveling with a dead phone), what should he do ?

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    learn before you wander into a desert? – Shmuel Brin Dec 30 '15 at 21:31

Some General Guidelines:

Safek pekuach nefesh - if the situation is possibly life-threatening, one should act to save a life.

Safek d'orayta l'chumrah - if it's a doubt about a d'oraysa, he should be stringent.

Safek Brachot l'hakel - if it's a doubt about saying a blessing (of Rabbinic origin), don't say it.

Shev v'al ta'aseh adif - if you're in a situation where you may transgress a prohibition (of equal severity) regardless of which course of action you choose, choose the passive action rather than risk actively violating a prohibition.

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    This is a very useful answer, but it would be a lot better if you provided at least one source for each of those principles. – Shimon bM Dec 30 '15 at 23:37
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    +1. I would add than in life threatening issues, the Halacha is "choose life" – Danny Schoemann Dec 31 '15 at 11:51
  • @ShimonbM These are all general halachik principles, so I'm not sure what the original "source" would be. I'm happy if someone can find them. – LN6595 Dec 31 '15 at 16:19
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    I agree with @ShimonbM and would add that this answer would be much more valuable if it'd cite sources indicating that these principles, in particular, comprise a good short list of principles for people to keep in mind for operational purposes. Otherwise, even if you cite sources supporting each principle, individually, that doesn't mean that those sources would agree that the list is properly balanced, and not, perhaps, missing something crucial that would temper principles that are on the list. – Isaac Moses Dec 31 '15 at 16:39
  • Note all the principles contradict each other if you aren't sure if you need to bentch after bread, but saying the blessings would trigger a sensor which would kill someone. – Double AA Dec 31 '15 at 16:49

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