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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Is it a mitzva to escape the death penalty?

If someone is being led to his death by bes din (a Jewish court), is he supposed to try to escape, since, in general, saving one's own life is paramount? More: normally, we say that if someone is out ...
msh210's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
784 views

Are Jews permitted to martyr themselves?

Are Jews permitted to martyr themselves? For example, if it is a question of converting or being killed, is the Jew permitted to sacrifice himself rather than convert? Separately: which would be ...
SAH's user avatar
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44 votes
1 answer
2k views

Setting aside Shabbat to answer the President's call

In an old MSNBC news story about Jack Lew, a Shabbat-observant Jew who was just appointed to be the new White House Chief of Staff, there's a story about his getting a call from President Clinton when ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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32 votes
6 answers
8k views

Are you allowed to save a non-Jew's life on shabbos?

Is a Jew allowed to violate shabbos to save a non-Jew's life?
cookie monster's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
990 views

At what cost must one perform a mitzvah?

To what lengths must one go to fulfill a positive commandment, or avoid transgressing a negative one? Obviously, with few exceptions, one must not go so far as to die in order to fulfill a ...
SAH's user avatar
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-1 votes
4 answers
586 views

Why do Jews look before crossing streets?

If Jews claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, why do we look before we cross the road? I'm a Jewish man myself and personally never look before crossing and have ...
SSpoke's user avatar
  • 263
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

What's a better choice: Treif meat or human flesh?

If one is stuck on a deserted island with no kosher food and he has a choice between eating human flesh of a dead person or the flesh of a non-kosher animal, which is preferable to eat?
Mark A.'s user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
434 views

Saving a Life During Tefillah

If one is in middle of Shemoneh Esrei (which is the only part of Tefillah, I could think of where there might be a problem), and there is a life to be saved, is he/she allowed to interrupt the ...
yydl's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Which actions are prohibited even to save a life?

I know that many commandments, e.g. keeping Shabbat, not lying, etc., must be violated if doing so is necessary to save a life. For which commandments is this not true? Does it ever matter how many ...
Peter Olson's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is Pork, Camel, and the like Fleishig?

If one somehow consumed meat of a non-kosher species such as camel or pork (e.g. life-threatening illness, or by accident), does s/he become Fleishig? Why or why not?
yydl's user avatar
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18 votes
2 answers
995 views

Can one join an army?

Is one allowed to join an army (let's say not the Israeli one) as doing so is putting oneself in a place of sakana? If one is not allowed to join an army in general, is one allowed to join an army for ...
Am Haaretz Gamur Mideoraysa's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
548 views

Can I choose not to violate Shabbos for "pikuach nefesh"?

According to the Gemara (Yoma 85a-b) and Poskim (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 328, Rambam, Hilchot Shabbos 2 [English Rambam]), one is allowed to violate Shabbos in order to preserve his life. This is ...
MTL's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
495 views

"Torturing for Information" in Halacha

Would torture to extract information to save lives (eg in the Ticking time bomb case) be permitted according to Judaism? What's the status of torture in Halacha? And if it is permitted in certain ...
yydl's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Aigle's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
577 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 ...
Judah Gabriel Himango's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
555 views

Violating Shabbos for a suicide emergency

Y'all should know by now that we violate Shabbos to preserve human life. If you're still not sure, see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 328, Rambam, Hilchot Shabbos 2 (English), and a few other sources ...
MTL's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
373 views

Should one living in Israel leave?

The Torah commands us, ‘Venishmartem meod lenafshotechem' ['You shall take care exceedingly of your lives' — Deut. 4:15). It seems anyone living in Israel is in grave danger due to the recent ...
ray's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
323 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 ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does one make a blessing if preparing to die al kiddush Hashem?

If one is reasonably sure that he is about to die al kiddush Hashem does he make a blessing before fulfilling this mitzvah? What would the nusach (text) of this blessing be? Note: I realize that even ...
not-allowed to change my name's user avatar
10 votes
0 answers
374 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 to ...
Adám's user avatar
  • 6,781
4 votes
3 answers
3k views

Can one go on a boat during the 9 Days?

I had heard that one should not go on a boat during the 9 Days because going on the water is dangerous and one should not go on a dangerous trip during the 9 Days. Is there any truth to any ...
DanF's user avatar
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22 votes
4 answers
891 views

Does a Food Mashgiach have to Sacrifice his Life?

Suppose a Mashgiach of a food establishment is threatened to "keep quiet" about some of the questionable behaviors [for purposes of the question, consider both actual non-kosher, and possibly non-...
yydl's user avatar
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21 votes
3 answers
2k views

Returning after driving someone to the hospital on Shabbat

If a man needs to be brought to the hospital on Shabbat due to a life threatening situation, another man may bring him there even by violating biblical Shabbat prohibitions (e.g. driving a car). Which ...
my rebbi's talmid's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is Metzitzah B'peh a must?

There is a lot of talk in the news, etc., about Metzitzah B'peh that employs direct oral contact being dangerous. First: If it is dangerous, shouldn't pikuach nefesh push it off? Second: How ...
Mendy's user avatar
  • 181
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

If my home is on fire on Shabbos or Yom Tov, what can I do?

G-d forbid, but let's say that my house catches fire either on Shabbos or a Yom Tov. Can I call 911 or must I find a non-Jewish neighbor to call? We have an eruv. Can I take my car keys, cell phone ...
Bruce James's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
519 views

Making a bracha on food which is normally assur, but allowed due to pikuach nefesh

In general, one eating forbidden food does not make a bracha. In certain cases, foods which are usually assur are allowed to be eaten out of a concern of pikuach nefesh -- danger to life. For example,...
Scimonster's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is the prohibition of swimming during the nine-days because of danger or bathing for pleasure?

Is the prohibition of swimming during the nine days because of an increased danger during the nine days or is it because of the fact that you cant bathe for pleasure during the nine days? Or is it a ...
MosheY's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
548 views

Killing gentile under threat of death

If someone points a gun at Reuvein's head and tells him, "Kill this Jew or I'll kill you," the halachah is that Reuvein must let himself be killed. What if someone points a gun at Reuvein's head and ...
Chiddushei Torah's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
513 views

Is Chayecha Kodmin a Chiyuv or a right

If one is presented with a case of either save himself or his friend, he is permitted to save himself. Does he have to? I saw this thread which set my mind going, are the usual airplane guidelines ...
Solomon P's user avatar
  • 149
9 votes
1 answer
207 views

Whom does one save first?

As a follow up to the controversy regarding the Costa Concordia If a ship is in danger of sinking, is the captain allowed to save himself first, or must he be the last man off the ship? Do the men ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.4k
6 votes
0 answers
221 views

During the nine days, can we do something "slightly dangerous" in order to fulfill a mitzvah?

During the nine days, many hold that we refrain from activities that are considered even slightly dangerous; for example, air travel. However, I have read that R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (who ...
ff524's user avatar
  • 388
6 votes
2 answers
293 views

Questions on a story about Hillel

It is always possible to pick on even the most inspirational stories, but hopefully in doing so we end up learning something. The Talmud relates this story: Hillel the Elder worked every day to earn ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
344 views

Is it a mitzvah to save someone from execution by Beth Din?

I am wondering how the laws of pikuach nefesh might apply to a situation of mitath beth din. Would bystanders be obliged to save the condemned from his lawful execution? What about members of the beth ...
SAH's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
621 views

Circumcision when danger to life, born Jews and potential gerim

In this post, Skylar refers to teshuvos from the Seride Esh and R. AY Kook which rule that a male non-Jew may not convert if he is unable to undergo milah. Does pikuach nefesh completely push off the ...
yitznewton's user avatar
  • 3,393
3 votes
2 answers
324 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 &...
Eliyahu's user avatar
  • 5,405
3 votes
1 answer
278 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 ...
Sheil's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
1 answer
321 views

Which rabbis forbade cars 100 years ago?

"Venishmartem Meod Lenafshoseichem" I heard that there were Rabbonim about 100 years ago who forbade cars, saying that they were dangerous. Does anyone know who they were?
ertert3terte's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
552 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 ...
gabiwab's user avatar
  • 33
2 votes
2 answers
307 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
150 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 ...
SAH's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
179 views

Is it permissible to live in California (or similar places) that have an earthquake risk?

I'm from a place that usually never gets an earthquake, I want to move to California but it sounds dangerous because of the earthquake possibility (soil turning to liquid, no warning, etc)... Is ...
jerry's user avatar
  • 119
1 vote
1 answer
231 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 ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
30 votes
2 answers
697 views

Rockets from Gaza while praying

I live in Israel where there are presently (late 2012) ongoing rockets fired at us from Gaza. We are warned of an impending rocket by a loud siren that gives us less than a minute to run to a bomb ...
Aryeh's user avatar
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18 votes
1 answer
582 views

According to Halacha, may we endanger many Jewish lives in order to definitely save one Jew?

For example, what does Halacha say about the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange? "Save" means "free from captivity," although in many cases it's the same thing as saving his\her life (e.g. if we didn't ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
430 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 ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why is a woman allowed to get pregnant?

This should be taken as a bit of a light hearted question (but not a Purim Torah by any means, I am looking for a real analysis), inspired by a discussion in chat. Why is a woman allowed to get ...
Yishai's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
1k views

Self-defense in a street fight?

I was in a situation where someone basically approached me indicating he was going to fight me, squared up with me, stared me down etc. pushed me twice, and then I thought to myself, "If he raises a ...
warz3's user avatar
  • 1,477
12 votes
2 answers
512 views

Tahara procedure for a body with an infectious disease

I've heard that one vector for the spread of Ebola is ceremonial contact that family members have with the body of their deceased relative. That led me to think about how Judaism deals with this issue....
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48k
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

How hungry does a Jew have to be to eat non-kosher food?

I understand that Jews are allowed to eat non-kosher food in order to save their lives, source Sanhedrin 74a. My question is, how long does a Jew have to be deprived of food, before he or she is ...
Jake's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is "pikuach nefesh" on shabbos "hutrah" or "dichuya"?

Whenever two mitzvos come into conflict with each other, and one is given precedence over the other (such as in the case of bris milah on Shabbos, or any עשה דוחה לא תעשה (=positive commandment that "...
MTL's user avatar
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