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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1answer
58 views

Why was the "fence of the roof" chosen to represent common danger?

I did some research regarding ancient structures, and it appears that at the time of the conquest (15th century BCE, Bronze age) there were no multi-story structures in Israel (or Canaan cultures). ...
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2answers
150 views

Is killing a robber by shooting first considered murder?

Apologies if this has already been answered : If someone comes up to you on the street waving a gun and demanding your money and you immediately draw your concealed weapon and shoot and kill them, is ...
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76 views

Would cryogenic freezing while still alive be permissible?

As answered here and here, halachic death is defined as an irreversible heart [and/or respiration, and/or brain] cessation. If so, would cryogenically freezing someone while they're still alive1 be ...
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1answer
128 views

How can heart transplants be permitted?

Are there authorities who hold that a stopped heart constitutes halachic death, but yet permit heart transplants? Stopping and taking out the recipient's heart would seem to be technically considered ...
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72 views

Revisit of the trolley problem: High victim imbalance [duplicate]

I would like to revisit the trolley problem. A trolley on a track is out of control and headed to a place where the crash will kill 4 people. You can flip a switch and put it on a different track ...
3
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0answers
80 views

Venishmartem Halachic guidelines regarding large gathering of Jews

Following the horrible tragedy at Miron, where 45 Jews lost their lives in a stampede, I wondered that large-scale religious gatherings are very indeed very frequent, especially in Hassidic ...
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1answer
88 views

When it comes to making Kiddush, what's recommended for someone who is allergic to grapes?

I recently was reading about allergies and discovered examples of where individuals could experience anaphylaxis from ingesting grapes and grape derivatives. I was curious as to what the protocol is ...
2
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1answer
182 views

In a life or death situation is breaking the Torah permissible?

In a situation where you could die (or other Jews could), would you be allowed to break the rules in order to survive?
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1answer
78 views

Do the righteous care too much for their possessions?

The Torah says: Jacob was left alone. [Genesis 32:25] The Talmud adds: Why was he left alone? Because he remained to retrieve some small jugs. From here we derive that the possessions of the ...
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1answer
940 views

Was it David's custom to go into battle without an armour?

Shmuel I 17:38-39: וַיַּלְבֵּ֨שׁ שָׁא֚וּל אֶת־דָּוִד֙ מַדָּ֔יו וְנָתַ֛ן ק֥וֹבַע נְח֖שֶׁת עַל־רֹאשׁ֑וֹ וַיַּלְבֵּ֥שׁ אֹת֖וֹ שִׁרְיֽוֹן. וַיַּחְגֹּ֣ר דָּוִ֣ד אֶת־חַ֠רְבּוֹ מֵעַ֨ל לְמַדָּ֜יו וַיֹּ֣אֶל ...
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117 views

Is there a price too high to pay to prevent secularization in COVID times?

I realize that the closure of Yeshivos has a huge negative impact on Haredi Bachurim, many of my friends complain that since the boys came home, they went "out-of-sync", don't wake up to ...
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1answer
88 views

What is the source for non-literal understanding of V'Chai Bahem?

The concept of V'Chai Bahem - "do the mitzvos to live by them" (Vayikra 18:5) - is usually understood to refer to one's physical existence (i.e. the mitzvos should not be performed if they ...
2
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0answers
149 views

What is the criteria of safek pikuach nefesh?

An expert in a particular field (a doctor, an actuary, etc.) can advise on the risk of mortality from a specific activity of anywhere between 0% and 100%. At what threshold of risk would the halacha ...
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2answers
202 views

What are the parameters of shomer pesaim Hashem?

While the Torah forbids one to place himself into a situation of danger, some degree of slightly risky behavior is allowable under the concept of shomer pesaim Hashem. Are the parameters of this ...
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2answers
199 views

Why is Tzaara'as considered a Sakana?

The Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chaim 173:2 writes: בין בשר לדגים חובה ליטול משום דקשה לדבר אחר וחמירא סכנתא מאיסורא There is an obligation to wash one's hands between fish and meat because it causes &...
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75 views

Can one volunteer to be put in a situation which will require breaking shabbos?

I know that pikuach nefesh, saving a life, can push off Shabbat (which I understand to mean, can excuse breaking rules on Shabbat). If I am one of a group of Jews who could do the life saving, should ...
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2answers
307 views

Would marriage really not solve this man's problem?

Another question on pikuach nefesh. The Talmud [Sanhedrin 74a] recounts this story: There was an incident involving a certain man who set his eyes upon a certain woman and passion rose in his heart [...
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1answer
155 views

Are you allowed to risk dying to save others?

I would like some clarification about the risks of trying to save someone's life by breaking a commandment, or pikuach nefesh. In Bava Metzia 62a, Rabbi Akiva ruled that your life has priority over ...
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94 views

Timing of pikuach nefesh

What is the halacha on how imminent the danger of death has to be for you to be allowed to invoke pikuach nefesh and break a commandment to save a life? Obviously if someone is drowning before your ...
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0answers
129 views

Are you liable for infecting others?

The Talmud says: One who injures another becomes liable for five things: damages, pain, medical expenses, incapacitation, and mental anguish. [Bava Kamma 83b] It does not spell out HOW or WHY the ...
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56 views

Jewish life during the times of the Black Death [closed]

I'm looking for any sources (if possible maybe even first-hand written accounts) of how Jews who lived in Western Europe at that time handled this particular period. Anything goes, matter of fact ...
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Pikuach nefesh and matzoh shopping [closed]

Apropos of this viral post: https://twitter.com/Dr_Ophelian/status/1247386646317633536. My understanding is that the principle of pikuach nefesh is not applied like this, but I am not certain why. ...
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2answers
219 views

Does the COVID19 epidemic in NYC qualify as "Dever B'ir - a Plague in the City"?

Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim, 576) defines dever r"l or pestilence as an epidemic killing 3 people in 3 days (not 3 people in 4 days; not 3 people in 2 days) for a city of 500 working age men. How is ...
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38 views

What is the difference between a sickness and a plague?

Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim, Siman 576) discusses fasting and praying for Dever (a plague), and also for a sickness (choli). What is the difference between sickness and plague?
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159 views

Chayecha Kodmin - Your own life comes first for countries

Although I am loath to ask a Covid 19 related question, one particular current debate caught my attention. Most readers are probably aware of the gemara in Bava Metzia 62a where we find the rule one ...
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3answers
243 views

If having a beard is potentially dangerous to life, should a Jew shave it off?

There are reports that men with beards may have problems using face masks effectively or getting hooked up to a ventilator correctly. Given the danger posed by the COVID-19 virus, should Jewish men ...
2
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1answer
134 views

Who can invoke pikuach nefesh?

In today's news (18 March 2020), the Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel ruled that Jews may use their cellphones on Shabbat to receive developments and alerts regarding the coronavirus. This is an ...
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68 views

The Heinz Dilemma in Halacha [duplicate]

A famous Kohlberg dilemma goes something like this: Heinz’s wife is dying and there’s a drug that may be able to save her. Jack cannot afford the drug. Can Heinz steal the drug to treat his wife? ...
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1answer
130 views

Was Nazi sadism a case of "surrender your life if they're trying to stamp out religion"?

The Gemara Sanhedrin 74b reads: נכרי דאמר ליה להאי ישראל קטול אספסתא בשבתא ושדי לחיותא ואי לא קטילנא לך ליקטיל ולא לקטליה שדי לנהרא ליקטליה ולא ליקטול מ"ט לעבורי מילתא קא בעי If a non-Jew tells ...
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0answers
51 views

What are the time parameters of "pikuach nefesh" on Shabbos?

This article says: Any procedure which is necessary to perform for the patient, but it is clear that it does not at all need to be performed on Shabbat, should be delayed until after Shabbat. How ...
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1answer
2k views

Making a pikuach nefesh phone call on Yom Kippur - mitzva or something to be avoided?

Outside of our synagogue on Yom Kippur, someone fainted and a doctor present decided to call an ambulance. At that time, there were multiple people present and one phone. Should people have jumped to ...
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17 views

Is one allowed to endanger his life for learning Torah like Hillel did?

The famous story about Hillel's devotion to Torah learning, in Yoma 25b, tells that Hillel endangered his life by trying to listen to Shmayah and Avtalyon in extremely cold weather until he fell ...
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1answer
43 views

Differential Pikuach Nefesh according to Shmayah and Avtalyon?

The famous story about Hillel's devotion to Torah learning in Yoma 25b tells that Hillel endangered his life by trying to listen to Shmayah and Avtalyon in extremely cold weather until he fell ...
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62 views

Can you attempt to rescue someone if you're outgunned?

Principle : Yehareg velo yaavor for murder - you can't kill a person to save your life. Reason : We don't know whose life is more important ('whose blood is redder'). Implication: You can't kill ...
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1answer
4k views

Can one extinguish Shabbat candles after dark if you a worried about an animal knocking it over and causing a fire?

If one lit Shabbat candles before dark, had them burning during dinner, and now wants to go to bed, but is worried that a cat or a dog might knock them over and cause a house fire; is it permissible ...
4
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1answer
79 views

Custom to specifically have whiskey after fish because of danger

The Rema (YD 116:3) says to eat something and drink something between having fish and meat. Many have the custom to specifically make a lechaim between fish and meat, meaning they have something ...
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1answer
210 views

Desecrating Shabbos to ask a Gadol to daven for a patient?

Can you desecrate Shabbos by sending a letter/leaving the Techum to ask a Gadol to daven for a patient whose life is in immediate danger?
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2answers
218 views

How much effort should be expended searching for the missing?

Say a Jewish person gets pulled out to sea while rescuing someone from drowning and goes missing, lost at sea. And then a search for him or his body by the Jewish community, supplementing official ...
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1answer
99 views

Pikuach Nefesh on Shabbos priorities: efficiency vs transgressions

When in a life-endangering situation on Shabbos, what takes precedence - efficiency or amount of transgressions? For example: in Jerusalem, one can call an Arab taxi driver and wait for 5-10 min or ...
8
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2answers
393 views

Old fashioned telephone vs. Uber App on Shabbos

From Rabbi Moshe Heinemann: Riding to the Hospital A woman need not spend Shabbos/Yom Tov at a location close to the hospital or arrive at the hospital before labor starts to avoid riding on ...
2
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1answer
220 views

Saving a non-Jew from drowning

Some Boston-area yeshivah students recently saved a man from drowning who they didn't know was a Nazi supporter. In a comment on the story, someone claimed that the Halakhah (i.e. Jewish law) says to ...
4
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1answer
184 views

Stealing an idol-worshipper's only food to save yourself

In a desert where there is no water, can one take (steal) water from an idol worshipper causing him to very likely die, to be able to stay alive? I know the answer when one has no personal use for ...
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0answers
82 views

Is grinder biohacking permissible?

Grinder biohacking involves implanting DIY cybernetics or chemicals into one’s own body which ostensibly give one superhuman abilities. For example, some companies sell implantable NFC/RFID chips to ...
2
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0answers
60 views

May a E.R. responder or on-call cop be a Shat"z?

Is a shul allowed to ask an on-call cop or E.R. worker, etc. to be a shat"z (shaliach tzibbur) if there is a fairly high likelihood that may be asked to leave on an emergency in the middle of davening?...
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1answer
118 views

Does a child's life take precedence over a parent's life?

The Talmud in Bava Metzia 62a brings a scenario where if two people were traveling in the desert and one has a flask of water but there's only enough water for one of them to reach civilization alive: ...
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62 views

What determines whether things which are forbidden because of a danger are still prohibited once we know there's no danger?

There are certain things which are prohibited because of danger, many of which are listed here. A good number of them are confirmed by modern science to not cause any (physical) harm (ex. meat and ...
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1answer
110 views

How the 72 hours straight fast was possibly allowed?

We know that the danger of fasting two consecutive days is the reason Yom Kippur (and all other fasts) is not celebrated two days outside Israel. And still Ester commanded on the 3-day fast (Ester 4,...
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42 views

If Mordechai knew he would endanger the whole nation would he bow to Haman?

If I understand the plot correctly, the story of Haman's hatred to Mordechai and the whole Jewish people started with Mordechai disobeying the king's laws. First, did Mordechai (as a prophet) know he ...
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1answer
148 views

If a Jew was in a dire situation and had to eat the flesh of a pig, would they be required to kill the pig through Shechita?

This question is with regards to the limits of Pikuach Nefesh in a life or death scenario. Jewish law states that we have the ability to break the rules during situations where lives are in the ...
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0answers
227 views

Is the base for bloodletting in the Talmud purely "scientific" or traditional?

Bloodletting (הקזת דם) was a commonplace medical procedure in the Mishnaic times (see Shabbos 129). It is widely accepted that the ancient healers believed that: "... many diseases were caused by ...

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