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Questions tagged [pikuachnefesh-danger-life]

Situations in which a life is threatened; most (though not all), Jewish laws are suspended in order to save a life.

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Pikuach nefesh vs. muktzeh on Shabbat

I am reading the memoirs of a rabbi, who spent roughly 10 years in the United states in the '50s and the '60s. He claims that after the Kennedy assassination the atmosphere was so strained that he was ...
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1answer
66 views

Is it permissible to violate Shabbos to prevent one from becoming homeless?

I have heard many times that the concept of the "hashkama minyan" in America began because frum people went to work on Shabbos in order to not be fired and feed their families, and wanted to daven ...
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1answer
69 views

When can trade secrets be disclosed?

Does this story in the Talmud imply that Jewish law says it's OK to disclose trade secrets if it can be argued that it saves lives? Rabbi Yochanan was sick with scurvy, and he went to a certain non-...
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Getting a shot on Shabbat to prepare one to save a life after Shabbat

Related Can we violate Shabbos to inject a vaccine? This is not a current situation, but reflects a real set of circumstances that does actually happen. Assuming (as the linked question does) that ...
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135 views

Is an accidental murderer allowed to stand and fight the Goel HaDam?

As we know, during times when the Sanhedrin is fully operating, an accidental murderer must flee to an Ir Miklat (City of Refuge). If he leaves such a city or does not enter, he is subject to revenge ...
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1answer
59 views

Can you kill person A to protect yourself from B?

So it's really difficult to think of a practical example of this, but imagine there were some scenario in which, G-d forbid, you needed to kill a non-guilty party in self-defense. If one were in this ...
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43 views

Can a Beit -Din force a Jew to save another Jew's life?

A Jew that's terminally ill R"l, and the only treatment is thru a bone marrow transplant. He has a very special type of blood (this is not a biological question). So theoretically and Halachicly (if ...
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Setting the bar for life threatening situations (VeNishmartem)?

The Halachah says (Rambam Rotzeach-uShmirat-Nefesh 11,5, read on to ch.13, interestingly haMechaber omitted those Halochos): "הרבה דברים אסרו חכמים מפני שיש בהם סכנת נפשות.:" "Our Sages ...
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84 views

Who is pulled to safety first?

If a group of people are in mortal danger, all of the same gender (cf. Horayot 13a; some suggest that the Mishnah on Horayot is not discussing a case of rescuing from physical danger, cf. Tziz Eliezer ...
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1answer
31 views

Is one allowed to save someone with psychological disorders on Shabbos? [duplicate]

The Halacha is well-known: in general, one violates Torah prohibitions in order to save a life. I will specifically focus on Shabbos in this question, but the question can probably be extended if I ...
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Source for preferring doing melacha which benefits sick person exclusively

I recently heard the following halacha from a talmid Chacham. He said "I remember that this is the halacha, but I do not remember the source". If one has to do a melacha on shabbos for a choleh ...
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How would Jewish tradition view the Thai soccer coach?

Hot topic in the press these days is the question of a soccer coach who put his team in a life threatening situation but then put his own life in danger to save them (see https://www.usatoday.com/...
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Question regarding medical technicians and driving on Shabbos

If an ambulance arrived at a hospital on Shabbos with a Jewish 2 man crew, and the second (non driving) medical technician does not have a driver's license, and there is another (non-medical) person ...
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2answers
112 views

Is stealing food OK?

If you or your loved ones are starving, are you allowed to steal food from those who have more than they need? On the face of it, yes, of course: Pikuach nefesh says you can break any commandment to ...
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1answer
52 views

Does Yehareg v’al Yaavor apply to lo sa’amod?

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 74a) derives that one must give up his life rather than murder someone else because “who says that your blood is redder than his?” That is, who said you have more of a right to ...
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1answer
143 views

Is one obligated in a promise to do an issur made pekuach nefesh?

Chaim has an exotic disease for which the only possible cure is an experimental drug. The drug company will permit him to enter the study as long as he agrees that if he dies, he releases his body ...
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Can commandments be transgressed to prevent future illnesses?

My question is whether or not a commandment can be broken in cases that could prevent an illness (e.g if it was certain that eating pig could prevent a certain type of cancer, consuming freshly ...
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1answer
100 views

Is there a prohibition on eating meat and poultry together?

Although I knew about the prohibition of eating fish and meat together, and also about the quite serious restrictions in my community on eating dairy and fish together, I had never heard that we are ...
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1answer
175 views

Is v'chai bahem a mitzvah?

The passuk says one should "do the mitzvos to live by them" (Vayikra 18:5), from which the Gemara (Sanhedrin 74a) learns that one, in general, must violate the mitzvos rather than die. Is this a ...
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1answer
95 views

Whose life comes first? Apparently contradictory Rabbinical statements

There seem to be two contradictory statements of the Rabbis. One is: Sanhedrin 74a מי יימר דדמא דידך סומק טפי דילמא דמא דההוא גברא סומק טפי who knows whether your blood is redder than his ...
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1answer
201 views

Back to orthodoxy, can't stop violating a commandment for the sake of someone's life [closed]

There was this mathematician Kurt Goedel who died of starvation because he ate nothing but food prepared by his wife who was hospitalised for a long period. This is a fact. There are people who die ...
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1answer
110 views

Why כאשר אבדתי?

On the verse of Megilas Esther (4:16) אשר לא כדת וכאשר אבדתי אבדתי the Talmud (Meg 15a) says that Esther said, she was going to "violate the Law, because now she was going to intentionally" having ...
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Fast days for a person with an eating disorder

Does anyone know of a posek who has written about people with eating disorders (I know there are many types of eating disorders) or people who have recovered from an eating disorder regarding whether ...
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1answer
244 views

Why isn't walking through a metal detector allowed on Shabbat because of pikuach nefesh?

I saw a few weeks ago that there are no security checks at the Kotel for religiously dressed Jews on Shabbat. This is to avoid having to walk through a metal detector, apparently. My question is, why ...
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1answer
98 views

Pekuach nefesh and punishment

The Sanhedrin is in place. There is a plague going round and only one doctor has the skills to cure it. Unfortunately, this doctor is a wanton desecrator of Shabbos and has violated it in the ...
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1answer
94 views

May one change a dying battery on a defibrilator on Shabbat?

A shul keeps a defibrilator in a closet. While passing the closet on Shabbat, someone hears the machine beeping. He opens the closet, and sees a warning light saying "low battery". The shul has many ...
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1answer
360 views

Permission to Drive on Shabbat for the President's Daughter

A few news sources have been reporting on Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's having been granted rabbinic permission to drive on Shabbat after Ivanka's father's inauguration as president. (See, for ...
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2answers
298 views

Stealing cigarettes

Say that Reuven smokes. Shimon knows that smoking causes lung cancer, and has tried everything he can think of to help Reuven stop. For that matter, he's gotten the other ten Shevatim, the Avos, and ...
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2answers
100 views

Did the Jewish soldiers fast before war?

The Mishna Berura in תרפו, ב talks about how in the days of Mordechai and Esther the Jews must have fasted because it was a time when they needed mercy just like when the Jews went to war against ...
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3answers
125 views

spiritual danger or physical danger?

Around the time of the Holocaust many people in Eastern Europe decided it was better to stay in Europe despite the grave physical dangers (sakana nefashot) rather than leave to America due to the ...
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1answer
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Killing a Rodef and collateral damage and suicide

Similar but an extension of Killing Civilians in a defensive war On September 11, 2001, there was a military pilot in an unarmed military jet who considered flying into one of the hijacked planes in ...
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1answer
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Settling in the dangerous areas in the West Bank

Why is it permissible (or is it permissible) to live in communities in the West Bank that are situated in very dangerous areas even if it constitutes a danger to your own life and the life of your ...
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1answer
434 views

Hormonal manipulation: Taharas hamishpacha vs. the woman's health

I know* it is quite common among observant Jewish couples to use hormonal methods to prolong, shorten, and/or reschedule the woman's cycle to make taharas hamichpacha timing align better with ...
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214 views

May one ride in a utilitarian car?

A new study has confirmed the obvious: people want to survive: even though participants approve of autonomous vehicles that might sacrifice passengers to save others, respondents would prefer not ...
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59 views

political assasination and rodefs

The classic example of a roded is a murder chasing you with a knife but sometime politicians can threaten life with bad policy. E.g. Governor of Michigan Wants to use Flint River Eg politician wants ...
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Judaism and 'Hospice Limited' Care

Let me preface this by saying that I am sure there are many cases in which hospice is likely the best/only place for a person nearing the end of their life-- the only place where their intense medical ...
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270 views

Acceptable to receive transplant of organs grown inside pigs?

If scientists could grow human organs inside of pigs, would it be halachically acceptable to receive a transplant of such an organ? A recent article in National Public Radio about US and British ...
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2answers
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Giving away olam haba to save someone's life

In the book about Reb Aryeh Levin, "A Tzaddik In Our Time," (by Simcha Raz), Reb Aryeh says that he learned a lesson about self-sacrifice (messirut nefesh) from 2 students of the Vilna Gaon who were ...
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Does a dead man walking get saved on Shobbos?

There's a man who's חייב מיתה by the kingdom. He's in jail waiting to be executed when he slips and falls and bashes his head on Shobbos. There a guards that could save him. Do the guards have to ...
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Is it permissible to travel to a 'dangerous' place, if so, what is the shiur?

There is a mitzvah to guard your soul diligently. I am pretty sure this is applied to guarding your physical body from injury. My question is, may one travel to a place that others may consider ...
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1answer
533 views

Is sky-diving forbidden because of the risk to one's life?

Is sky-diving forbidden since it might be considered a risk to once life and is not a necessary activity (like e.g., driving a car would be)? The Torah says (Dvarim 4:15) "guard your souls" and ...
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2answers
153 views

What should I do if I don't know whether I'm in a pikuach nefesh situation?

Suppose I find myself in a situation where I am not sure whether my life is sufficiently in danger to warrant halachot of pikuach nefesh to come into play. What should I do in this case? Am I supposed ...
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172 views

Driving in a Blizzard after Shabbat Begins

Someone is driving and stuck in a blizzard on the highway when Shabbat begins. It would most likely be life threatening to leave the car on the side of the highway and walk in a blinding blizzard. It'...
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1answer
282 views

Is one allowed to carry a gun for self-defense if local secular law prohibits it?

There is a rule of Dina D'Malchuta Dina - the law of the land is valid, providing that it does not conflict directly with Torah laws. There is a Torah law of Venishmartem lenafshotechem (Devarim 4:15)...
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Can a Jew tell a Gentile to fix his ambulance on Shabbat?

I Understand that a Jew is not allowed to ask a Gentile to do work for him specifically on Shabbat. Thus, one cannot bring a car to the Gentile mechanic on Friday and tell him specifically, "Fix my ...
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1answer
114 views

Shaas hashmad and Arab terrorism

There is a halachik principle brought down in the Talmud and codified in halacha known as shaat hashmad - a time of forced religious persecution. Generally, the rule is that any commandment of the ...
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1answer
248 views

Can I donate blood on yom tov?

The next blood donation clinic at my university is on Rosh Hashana and not for particular recipients. Would donating blood be halachically sound? I don't think I could anyway because of all the ...
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1answer
119 views

Performing a C-section in the Time of Chazal

The Mishna (Bekhorot 8:2) refers to two children born to the same mother, the first by C-section and the second by regular delivery. The Rambam famously comments that it seems exceedingly strange to ...
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2answers
390 views

Is an on-call doctor allowed to read non-emergency text messages on Shabbat?

My shul has a few doctors who carry their cell phones with them. When their phones buzz (B"H, they are smart enough to put the phones on vibrate mode while davening.) with a text message, they, of ...
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2answers
179 views

Halachic issues with using a frozen river as a mikvah

One hears a lot of legends about women who went to extraordinary lengths to go to mikvah in difficult times. One popular story is about a woman who would make a hole in a frozen river and tovel in the ...