23 votes
Accepted

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

Short answer: NO. Long answer: also NO. Here's why: Rabbi Yosef Karo writes (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 328:2): מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ חֹלִי שֶׁל סַכָּנָה, מִצְוָה לְחַלֵּל עָלָיו אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת; ...
  • 18.7k
16 votes
Accepted

Story of love sick tree

Sounds like you are referring to this מדרש רבה במדבר פרשה ג פסקה א "ר תנחומא מעשה בתמרה אחת שהיתה עומדת בחמתן ולא היתה עושה פירות והיו מרכיבין אותה ולא עשתה פירות אמר להם דקלי תמרה היא רואה ...
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 ...
  • 33.5k
11 votes
Accepted

May we violate Shabbos to administer morphine?

Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ruled that one may violate שבת for the injection of morphine. See שמירת שבת כהלכתה, chapter 32, footnote 150, where Rabbi YY Neuwirth writes that he heard from Rav Shlomo ...
  • 18.7k
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 ...
  • 95.7k
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 ...
  • 95.7k
8 votes
Accepted

Could we drive an Ebola patient to quarantine on Shabbos?

To answer the questions, in order: שמירת שבת כהלכתה (Rabbi YY Neuwirth) in 32:13 writes that if someone has a "מחלה מידבקת," an infectious disease, and there is a concern that he will infect those ...
  • 18.7k
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 ...
  • 43.9k
7 votes

Davening for the interminably ill

The Chazon Ish (Emunah UBitachon) and others hold that one can always daven for a sick person, no mater how serious his condition is and no matter how slim his chance of recovery is. The only ...
  • 5,222
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 ...
  • 12.6k
7 votes

Tahara procedure for a body with an infectious disease

I asked a member of the Greater Washington [DC] Chevra Kadisha about this, and she told me that when they receive a deceased person who had an infectious disease, they can be directed to do a ...
  • 46.9k
7 votes
Accepted

How to check blood sugar on Shabbos

Since this is a how-to question, I will answer it with practical advice. Questions about the particular halachos mentioned in passing may be asked separately. Here's what I've been told to do, with ...
  • 18.7k
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 ...
  • 43.9k
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 ...
  • 11.8k
6 votes

How sick does someone have to be to be put on "the cholim list"?

Sheilas Yaavetz 64 - column starting ונ"ל טעם discussing praying for a sick person on Shabbos, says that one should only pray for an ill person, whose illness has taken a turn for the worse. לכן ...
6 votes
Accepted

Source for Bless you

The Pirkei D'Reb Eliezer 52(starting from the words Mofes Arba) writes that from creation until Yaakov people would go out to the shuk and they would sneeze and then die without sickness beforehand.
  • 39.9k
6 votes

I forget his name. Now what?

If you don't know his mother's name, you can use his father's name (Aruch Hashulchan 119:1, Orchos Rabeinu Vol 1, p 64). If you don't know his mother or father's name, you can use the surname (family ...
  • 5,222
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 ...
  • 34.9k
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 ...
  • 12.6k
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 ...
  • 12.5k
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) ...
  • 43.9k
5 votes

Davening for the interminably ill

The Halichos Shlomo on tephila has a long footnote with relevant points. It's found in chapter 8 on siff 15 footnote #56. I'll quote a few points. The discussion starts by saying if one ended the ...
  • 32.4k
5 votes

Leaving cities during plagues

The Bavli (Bava Kamma 60b) states that when a plague is in the city one should stay inside and when a famine is in the city one should leave. However, it is worth noting the words of the Arukh ...
  • 95.7k
5 votes

How often and for how long should one pray for a sick person?

Got this partial answer from Rabbi David Wolpe: "I have always heard that while there is no limit to personal prayers, a mi sheberach should be for four weeks unless requested longer. But I know of ...
  • 1,497
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 ...
  • 95.7k
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 ...
  • 33.5k
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 ...
  • 46.9k
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,...
  • 43.9k
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 ...
  • 42.1k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible