33 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 46.9k
21 votes
Accepted

Why does medical marijuana need a kosher supervision?

Rather than guessing, read it directly from the source. Some have also suggested that a natural product, derived from the Cannabis plant, for a life-threatening condition, does not require ...
  • 12.5k
15 votes
Accepted

If Consuming Blood is Prohibited Can Jews Accept Blood Transfusions?

Human blood is not included in the prohibition (Shulchan Arukh YD 66:10). There is a concern when consuming any permitted blood that no one think you are consuming forbidden blood. A classic solution ...
  • 95.7k
15 votes
Accepted

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 ...
  • 18.7k
13 votes
Accepted

Where does the Tiferes Yisroel discuss Edward Jenner and smallpox?

Tiferet Yisrael (Boaz) on Avot 3:14 cited and translated here.
  • 34.9k
12 votes
Accepted

Circumcision for conversion of someone whose male genitalia have been removed

The Shulchan Arukh (YD 268:1) rules (like the Tur, quoting a Gaon; see too Tosfot Yevamot 46b) that a male whose genitals have been removed ("Nikhrat haGid") doesn't need Milah or Hatafat Dam Berit, ...
  • 95.7k
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

Does one say a beracha on medication?

R’ Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe OC 1:82) writes that if the medication itself tastes nice, then one should recite a beracha. R’ Ephraim Greenblatt (Rivevos Ephraim 4:54:39) writes that R’ Yosef Shalom ...
  • 6,097
10 votes
Accepted

Do the rules of chametz apply to IV nutrition?

There are really two parts to your question. One is: do the rules of Chametz apply regardless how it is ingested? http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-mitzvos-cosmetics.htm On Pesach, one may not ...
9 votes
Accepted

What is the source for Rambam's "physician's oath"?

This text was not authored by Maimonides. Upon the original author's request it first appeared as a Hebrew translation, from the original German, in a journal called 'Ha-me'asef' (המאסף - May 10, 1790,...
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9 votes

The question of euthanasia

Ohr Someach clearly states: Jewish law forbids euthanasia in all forms, and is considered an act of homicide. The life of a person is not "his" - rather, it belongs to the One Who granted that ...
9 votes
Accepted

Is one allowed to have his child take a non-kosher oral vaccine if the law requires it to attend school?

Even when the circumstances are not life-threatening (neither for the choleh nor for others), but the medication/immunization would prevent illness (choli she'eyn bo sakana), non-kosher medication may ...
  • 17.3k
8 votes

On Shabbat, if one can't sleep, may one consume valerian tea? Valerian root powder? Other non-prescription remedies?

Rabbi Bodner (Halachos of Refuah on Shabbos) writes (page 242) that insomnia is classified as a מיחוש בעלמא, an "ailment" that isn't serious. (though if someone suspects that they suffer from chronic ...
  • 18.7k
8 votes
Accepted

The Seder & diabetes

There's a Jewish Diabetes Association - guide for diabetics that puts out a list of the minimum shiurim; normally we say "oh play it safe and eat a larger amount of matza/wine just to be safe", but ...
  • 127k
7 votes

May a man become a gynecologist?

R Abraham Abraham (Nishmat Avraham, vol. 2, p. 134) writes that "Rav (Shlomo Zalman) Auerbach told me that a man may learn a medical or paramedical profession, since they involve pikuach nefesh". He ...
  • 43.9k
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

Plastic surgery

The background to this discussion is that the Torah doesn't considers a person's body to be his to do what he wants with it. It is an instrument in the service of God. Here is how the Nishmat Avraham ...
  • 43.9k
7 votes

Pekuach nefesh and punishment

We have similar concepts in the Mishna. One is the exiled murderer who is not allowed to leave his city of refuge, even if the entire nation needs him. See Makos פרק ב - משנה ז וַאֲפִלּוּ ...
7 votes

What things are done differently for an adult circumcision?

THe Gemmorah (Kiddushin 29 I think) says: "If father didn't Ccized him he's obligated to Ccze himself when he grows up" (it is not clear who's Mitzvah it is in the first place - חפצא or גברא). It's ...
  • 24.9k
6 votes
Accepted

May a lady take a pregnancy test on Shabbos?

Rabbi Abadi says it is permitted; here: Date: 9/23/2004 7:27:00 PM Message: Am I allowed to take a non-digital pregnancy test on shabbos? Reply: Yes CYA
6 votes
Accepted

Halachot of IVF

Nishmat Avraham by Rabbi Dr Avraham Avraham is a classic and is available in Hebrew and English (Artscroll). He discusses IVF quite a few times. In Vol 3, p15 he begins by quoting R' Waldenberg (...
  • 6,097
6 votes

On Shabbat, if one can't sleep, may one consume valerian tea? Valerian root powder? Other non-prescription remedies?

Shmirat Shabbat K'hilchatah 33:16 writes: מי שמצטער הרבה מחוסר שינה, מותר לו לקחת כדורי-שינה. Someone who suffers greatly from lack of sleep (insomnia) is allowed to take sleeping pills. (my ...
  • 22.8k
6 votes

Contact lenses during conversion immersion

On a similar question about a woman's regular mikvah immersion, Daily Halacha reports several opinions (emphasis mine): Hacham Ovadia Yosef addresses this question in his work Taharat Habayit (vol. ...
6 votes

Doctor recommends pacemaker. Does the patient have to listen?

There is a responsum from Rav Moshe about a patient refusing medical care, in the fifth volume of Tzomet's halachic journal, תחומין. Here is a very loose translation/summary of what he writes there. ...
  • 18.7k
6 votes

Why should you be seeking medical attention?

Tosefos to Bava Kamma 85a says this is exactly what the Torah comes to teach with the repetition of the words "רפא ירפא": שנתנה רשות לרפאות - א"ת והא מרפא לחודיה שמעינן ליה וי"ל ...
6 votes

Does one say a beracha on medication?

The existing answer provides a nice survey of final p'sak. The following is the development from the sources: The Gemara Berachos 36a has the following conclusion: מהו דתימא כיון דלרפואה קא מכוין לא ...
6 votes

Loshon hara to a therapist

The Chofetz Chaim writes in a note to the fifth detail of permissible Lashon Hara in Hilchos Lashon Hara 10:14 אפשר דהוא הדין אם כוונתו בסיפורו להפיג את דאגתו מלבו - הוי כמכוון לתועלת על להבא, [ולפי ...
6 votes

Is it permissible to listen to a Rabbi instead of a doctor?

The Maharik as well as the Shevus Yaakov bring the Gemara in Niddah to prove that, on the contrary, Chazal would rely on the doctor's prognosis even in cases of potential Kares. Indeed, as the Rambam ...
  • 4,273
6 votes

Use tefillin without permission?

Shulchan Aruch O.C. 14:4 states that one may borrow someone's tallit without permission. Rema adds that this rule applies to tefillin, as well. However, this article states that this assumes a few ...
  • 69.1k
6 votes

How much blood makes a niddah?

Any small amount of uterine blood at all that leaves the uterus is enough. There is no minimum. (See Gemara Niddah 40a; Yoreh Deah 183:1, with Shach:3) "...even if she only saw a drop of blood the ...
  • 10.5k

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