33 votes
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Are there any sources that prohibit childhood vaccinations?

According to R' Dr. David Shabtai, in a 2013 Times of Israel blog post, there is no such source: The religious exemption exists to protect people whose religion forbids vaccination, to allow ...
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23 votes
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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; ...
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15 votes
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Can we violate Shabbos to inject a vaccine?

Shemiras Shabbas K'hilchasa 32:62 -- one is allowed to inject vaccines where there is a concern that the patient will become dangerously sick. If a doctor feels that this is urgent, then even biblical ...
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15 votes
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R' Akiva Eiger and the epidemic

R. Akiva Eger’s letter regarding the cholera epidemic of 1831 can be seen in Iggerot Soferim, 29. You can see a translation of a slightly different version of the letter here.
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13 votes

Is it possible that Judaism would one day allow eating pork?

No. Pigs are singled out by the Torah (Leviticus 11:7) as one of the unkosher animals that have a single kosher sign (they have split hooves but don't chew their cud), and as such, are Biblically ...
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11 votes
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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 ...
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  • 18.7k
11 votes

Is it possible that Judaism would one day allow eating pork?

There is an Agadic opinion brought in Or Hachaim in parshas Shmini 11:7 that after the arrival of Moshiach, the pig will begin to chew its cud, and will at that point be Kosher.* Until that day, the ...
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11 votes
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Hormonal manipulation: Taharas hamishpacha vs. the woman's health

If I understand correctly, your argument goes something like this: A.) The Halacha is to always wait (>=5) + 7. B.) Doing so on a natural routine can be inconvenient, e.g. for vacations. C.) ...
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9 votes

Is practicing Yoga against Torah?

The Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote the following letter: By the Grace of G-d Teveth, 5738 MEMORANDUM It is well known that certain oriental movements, such as Transcendental Meditation (T.M.), Yoga, Guru, ...
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9 votes
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Is it possible that Judaism would one day allow eating pork?

No, pigs will not be kosher food, not even when pigs learn to fly -- well, at least not until the Messiah comes or science finds a way to change the pig from a pig into something else a bit different. ...
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8 votes
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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 ...
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8 votes
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Is there a halacha that prohibits punching or slapping someone?

This discussion is basically the entirety of Bava Kama. There's way too much to source directly, but I'll try to point to a couple things. The source for Chovel (recently came up in a Daf Yomi Shiur ...
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8 votes
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Can you kill person A to protect yourself from B?

First, the concept of killing a non-guilty party in self defense is learned from the Gemara in Sanhedrin 82a. (See also the commentary of the Rosh to this Gemara; 9:4) When Pinchas was (doing the ...
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  • 10.4k
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 ...
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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 ...
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7 votes
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What level of danger is required for HaGomel?

www.shut-halacha.co.il reports a Teshuva from Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl which says: מי שעבר ניתוח בהרדמה כללית צריך לברך הגומל, כיון שהרדמה כללית הנה סכנה. Someone who underwent surgery with a total ...
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7 votes

Why are junk foods, which are poor for your health, certified kosher?

My Rebbe Rav Shmuel Dishon (mashgiach ruchni Karlin Stolin) once asked us how do we think Kashrus organizations are allowed to issue "kosher" status on things that are damaging to the human body (...
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7 votes

Oil in Shabbos Candles Caught Fire - What to Do?

I know this is essentially a repeat of the other answers, but this is a matter of life and death, chalilah! The floating wicks you are using are designed for OIL - not paraffin. To quote the Amazon ...
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6 votes
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Drinking medicine with a straw on shabbas

This is found in a gloss of the Maharsham on Orchos Chayim (OC 532:3): ולמאי דאיתא בסוטה י״ח ע״א השקה בסיב ובשפופרת מהו דדלמא אין דרך שתייה בכך אם כן היה מקום להתיר לשתות דרך שפופרת גם ...
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  • 16.3k
6 votes

Is it possible that Judaism would one day allow eating pork?

Judaism believed that God commanded us not to eat pork, and that this will not change. (It is one of Maimonides' 13 Fundamentals of Belief that the Torah will not be exchanged for another.) It's true ...
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  • 127k
6 votes

Sources discussing losing weight

The short answer is found in Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, 32:1, which is based on what we learn from Rambam in the Mishnah Torah, Hilchot De'ot, chapter 4, which states clearly that it is impossible to know ...
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6 votes

How did the Cohanim walk around the Mizbeach?

You are probably referring to the "Sovev" - ledge half way up the Mizbeach, which was six Amos above the floor. The Tiferes Yisroel (צורת המזבח אות יד) writes that there was probably a Ma'akoh - ...
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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 ...
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5 votes

The Rambam on health

In Hilkhoth De'oth chapter 4, the Rambam lists practices that he recommends as healthy: הואיל והיות הגוף בריא ושלם מדרכי השם הוא שהרי אי אפשר שיבין או ידע דבר מידיעת הבורא והוא חולה לפיכך צריך ...
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  • 17.2k
5 votes

Tzitzis and Teeth?

Probably this, from Magen Avraham 11:18: כ' בשל"ה ומט"מ שאל יחתוך בסכין אלא ינשכם בשיניו ע"ש: Shaloh and Mateh Moshe say that you shouldn't cut [the tzitzis strings] with a knife, but ...
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5 votes
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Tzitzis and Teeth?

Wearing Tzitzit helps reduce toothaches and teeth pains This is brought in a Hirhurim blogpost on Tzitzit: It is said that being careful in the observance of the mitzva of Tzitzit is a segula for ...
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5 votes

What physical/health factors disqualify an otherwise qualified bechor from pidyon haben?

There is a very interesting 4-volume set of seforim called Nishmas Avraham by Rabbi Dr Avraham-Sofer Avraham which details medical and health based halachos. They are all available on Hebrewbooks.org -...
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5 votes

Corona "parties" for children

Regarding "corona parties", one contemporary Rabbi did indeed rule that it is forbidden to purposely get together to infect oneselves. Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer is quoted in this late 2020 ...
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  • 18.4k
4 votes

How do I avoid thirst when fasting?

The key to not getting dehydrated while fasting is to thoroughly hydrate in the days leading up to it. If you drink a lot of caffeine (or alcohol) especially, gradually back off from that and replace ...
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4 votes

Does kosher mean healthy?

I'm first just going to just copy from this essay by R. Gil Student (hope that's allowed): Ramban (Lev. 11:13) states that non-kosher animals are physically unhealthy. Rashbam (Lev. 11:3) agrees and ...
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