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12 votes

Torah response to epidemics

Bava Kamma 60b recommends quarantine. ת"ר דבר בעיר כנס רגליך שנאמר ואתם לא תצאו איש מפתח ביתו עד בקר ואומר (ישעיהו כו, כ) לך עמי בא בחדריך וסגור דלתיך בעדך ואומר (דברים לב, כה) מחוץ תשכל חרב ...
DonielF's user avatar
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11 votes

Can you lie to a terminally ill child?

The Shulchan Arukh (YD 337) writes: חולה שמת לו מת -- אין מודיעין אותו, שמא תטרף דעתו עליו. ואין קורעין חלוקו, ואין בוכין, ואין מספידין בפניו שלא ישבר לבו. ומשתיקין את המנחמין מפניו.‏ A sick ...
Double AA's user avatar
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9 votes

Is killing the terminally ill OK?

No, it does not mean that. It is definitely prohibited to hasten the death even of one who is about to die (ShA YD 339:1). One who murders a terminally ill individual doesn't receive statutory ...
Double AA's user avatar
  • 99.9k
8 votes

How can I pray for Jewish people as they approach death? I am a hospice chaplain

Thank you for asking the question and performing this great action. In his book Mourning in Halacha (pp. 29-46), Rabbi Chaim Binyamin Goldberg has a number of recommendations based on Jewish law which ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.1k
7 votes

Tahara procedure for a body with an infectious disease

Regarding the spread of COVID-19, the National Association of Chevra Kadisha headed by Rav Elchonon Zohn stated the following guidelines: The following are suggested guidelines and precautions ...
NJM's user avatar
  • 14.3k
7 votes

Is there a prayer for seeing an ambulance?

R Telushkin asks exactly this question in one of his earlier books (I believe it is The book of Jewish values but can check if important to someone). He is quoted here Rabbi Telushkin mentioned ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.1k
7 votes

May someone say the prayer for the ill for someone who is emotionally "ill"?

One is exempt (from punishment) by extinguishing a flame on Sabbath for the sake of an emotionally ill person (cf. Rambam's commentary to Mishnah Shab. 2:5). Emotional instability/numbness also ...
Oliver's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Can commandments be transgressed to prevent future illnesses?

TL;DR: According to some authorities, future danger to life allows for current intervention that violates biblical halakha if necessary. However, that may only apply in cases where the future danger ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Shabbat in Quarantine

See here for a transcription of Rav Heinemann's shiur yesterday on the relevant topics. Laining - One is not יוצא when he lains from a חומש. However, there is an ענין to have a זכר of laining and ...
NJM's user avatar
  • 14.3k
6 votes

Is it permissible for a convert to care for a sick parental figure at home?

Welcome to Mi Yodeya and thank you for sharing your question. May it be G-d's will to send a complete and speedy recovery to your Aunt and also to give you peace of mind, tranquility of spirit and ...
Yaacov Deane's user avatar
  • 15.3k
6 votes

Must one fast if her stomach hurts?

On 17 Tammuz, like on Tzom Gedalyia and 10 Tevet, the law is that One who is ill, even if his life is not in danger, should not fast (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 121:9) adds the Mishna Brura (550:4) ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.1k
5 votes

Source needed: Allowing one to pray for non-critical illness on Shabbat

R' Binyamin Shlomo Hamburger wrote an extensive and thorough survey of the issue of praying for the ill on Shabbat in Chitzei Gibborim vol. 6 including his characteristic historical geographic ...
Double AA's user avatar
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5 votes

Is it proper to daven for someone who has "no hope"?

To quote the Gemara in Berachos 10a: For background: King Chizkiya was ill. Yeshaya gave him a Nevuah that he would die from this illness, and after telling Chizkiya that there was nothing that could ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.4k
5 votes

How can I pray for Jewish people as they approach death? I am a hospice chaplain

This is intended as a supplement to mbloch's answer, which refers and links to a collection of practices and prayers that provides ample material for the chaplain to choose from. Speaking without ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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5 votes

Is it allowed to suck blood from a wound?

This happened to me recently so I looked (post facto) for the answer. R David Sperling gives background here The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 66:10) states that human blood, after it has left the body,...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.1k
5 votes

Articles on care of terminally ill patients according to Halacha

There is plenty of material available online, e.g., this summary on Jewish Perspectives on End-of-Life Care from MyJewishLearning Treatment of Terminally Ill Patients According to Jewish Law by Dov ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.1k
5 votes
Accepted

Was Achashveirosh feeling unwell in beginning of chapter six?

In the days of absolute monarchy, the king would start his day whenever he felt like. Those who wanted to get something from him would come as early as they could in order to be available whenever he ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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5 votes

Face Mask for Shmoneh Esreh?

The mishna brura gives a general guideline of how ones attire should be when davening 90:1 Specifically that one should see themselves standing in front of a king and with awe and dress accordingly. ...
Geltman's user avatar
  • 1,426
5 votes

Father is sick but he's not Jewish

The standard approach is to Daven for him as (name) ben (father's name) based on the Maharshal, although there are other customs. See here and here for example. See also Yechaveh Da'as 6:60 for more ...
Eliyahu's user avatar
  • 5,465
5 votes
Accepted

Bava Kamma 60: getting sick because you fear getting sick

The Ben Yehoyada is the one who mentions the Maharsha. He is referring to the Maharsha on that Gemara. The Maharsha is assuming the premise that obviously it is a good idea to leave/avoid the area of ...
HaLeiVi's user avatar
  • 5,023
4 votes

Are people taking care of their toddlers Patur from Sukkah?

There are two comparisons they need to be examined: 1. between bitul asse deorayta and shvut deshabbat (davka shvut de amira lenochri), 2. between cooking meal and taking care of an ill person. In ...
kouty's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Hospitalized - visit by my Rabbi

Of course, the situation depends entirely on how the two of you feel like handling it. However, this may help: One source for covering the cross is based upon the ruling of the Kaf HaChaim 113:27 ...
David Kenner's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

How many people are needed to (virtually) eliminate a person's sickness?

Depends how close you want to get. (These are the days I wish Mi Yodeya supported MathJax.) Each person leaves with 1/60 of the guy's sickness. Thus, for x visitors, the choleh is left with (59/60)^...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.4k
4 votes
Accepted

Can one repeatedly say a prayer for a chronically sick person in Shmonei Esrei?

I was taught in yeshiva (Kerem B'Yavne) a number of years ago to say the yehi ratzon in only two of the three daily prayers, to avoid the issue raised by the Aruch HaShulchan cited in the question. ...
Joel K's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Lethal experiments on terminally ill patients

Judaism values life very highly. Any experiment that would potentially shorten life without a chance to extend it would be prohibited. It is not clear from your question whether the experiment would ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.1k
4 votes
Accepted

Is it considered 'bikur cholim' to call someone who's sick?

Nishmat Avraham vol. 2 p. 262 answers your question
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.1k
4 votes

Set Time and Place to End Every Illness?

Avodah Zara 55A; אף כך יסורין בשעה שמשגרין אותן על האדם משביעין אותן שלא תלכו אלא ביום פלוני ולא תצאו אלא ביום פלוני ובשעה פלונית ועל ידי פלוני ועל ידי סם פלוני כיון שהגיע זמנן לצאת הלך זה לבית עבודת ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

May sick Jews wait less for meat and dairy

The Chochmas Adam 40:13 says that he can wait an hour and clean their teeth/mouth: ומ"מ לצורך חולה קצת נ"ל פשוט דיש להתיר אפילו אכל בשר בהמה לאחר שימתין שעה ויחטט שיניו לאחר בה"מז (שם)
Chatzkel's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Does halacha strongly encourage the use of aggressive medical interventions?

I think you're jumping to a conclusion that halacha demands the maximum possible every time. That's a bit of a straw man. There is a range of opinions here, put mildly, even among contemporary ...
Shalom's user avatar
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