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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70 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 ...
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116 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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113 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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119 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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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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235 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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127 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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86 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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119 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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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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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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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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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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214 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 ...
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125 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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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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126 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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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1answer
67 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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206 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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153 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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89 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 ...
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320 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 ...
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163 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 ...
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165 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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78 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 ...
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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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110 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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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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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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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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110 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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207 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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677 views

Why is one not obligated to give up his life rather than violate Lashon Hara?

The Gemara in Erchin 15b compares Lashon Hara to the Big Three: תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל כל המספר לשון הרע מגדיל עונות כנגד שלש עבירות עבודת כוכבים וגילוי עריות ושפיכות דמים כתיב הכא לשון מדברת גדולות ...
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68 views

kill him or I kill both of you

in the talmud Sanhedrin 74a it says that if someone is told: "kill him or I will kill you", then one is not allowed to kill him and must die rather than transgress the prohibition of murder. But what ...
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302 views

What's worse: eating a cheeseburger or eating pork?

Both eating a non-kosher cheeseburger and pork are assur, but suppose one is stuck on a desert island and has only these two options (the bun has already been eaten). What should one do? Is eating ...
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166 views

Birkas Hamitzvah on food which is normally assur, but allowed due to pikuach nefesh

From Making a bracha on food which is normally assur, but allowed due to pikuach nefesh, if you eat normally forbidden foods because of pikuach nefesh, you make a bracha on them. Does the same apply ...
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Can the 10 commandments be violated to save a life?

According to a book I'm reading (Judaism: Everything You Need to Know About: Jewish Religion) and various other Jews I have talked to say, you can violate the 10 commandments to save a life. Is this ...
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173 views

Moshe and filicide

In Exodus 2:3, baby Moses's mother, unable to further hide him from the authorities, puts him in a box in or near the river. An abandoned baby will soon die. How could / why did she trade in the ...
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172 views

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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95 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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363 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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83 views

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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274 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 ...