32 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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  • 46.7k
21 votes
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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 ...
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  • 12.3k
15 votes
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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 ...
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  • 95.1k
14 votes

Is a Jew permitted to have an abortion?

Summary - Abortion is generally prohibited, but is permitted in certain cases. All opinions agree that one is permitted - perhaps even obligated - to abort if the mother's life is in direct danger ...
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  • 10.2k
14 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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13 votes
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Where does the Tiferes Yisroel discuss Edward Jenner and smallpox?

Tiferet Yisrael (Boaz) on Avot 3:14 cited and translated here.
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  • 34.8k
12 votes
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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, ...
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  • 95.1k
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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  • 18.6k
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 ...
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  • 6,069
10 votes
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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 ...
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9 votes
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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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  • 11.7k
9 votes

What is the Orthodox Jewish position regarding a criminal ban on abortion?

Although Judaism prohibits abortion, including for non-Jews it doesn't necessarily prohibit all abortion. Certainly in the context of saving the life of the mother, abortion isn't only permitted, it ...
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  • 31.3k
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 ...
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9 votes
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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 ...
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  • 17.2k
8 votes

Halachic considerations of ultrasonography on infant for gender

I was in a shiur Rav Moshe Heinemann gave 3 years ago about halachos of pregnancy and childbirth, and he said that it is completely permitted and people just haven't gotten used to the idea yet.
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8 votes

Can a surgeon operate on his father

Here is one answer I found Question: Is a physician or dentist permitted to diagnose and treat illness in close members of his own family? Does the ruling apply equally to parent, sibling, spouse, ...
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  • 36.5k
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 ...
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8 votes
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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 ...
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  • 126k
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 ...
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  • 43.3k
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 ...
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  • 43.3k
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 ...
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  • 43.3k
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 24.3k
6 votes
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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
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6 votes

Halachic considerations of ultrasonography on infant for gender

It seems that it it Muttar, though some would say it isn't ideal. R' Avraham S. Avraham writes the following (Nishmas Avraham Vol 2, p109): .. Incidentally, is a woman permitted to undergo sonography ...
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6 votes
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If someone empties / changes his/her colonostomy bag, should s/he say "Asher Yatzar"?

One with a colonostomy generally has 3 excretions per day and should make the bracha of Asher Yatzar after each excretion. Nishmas Avraham (ed 2) Orach Chaim 7:1;note 7) Rav SY Elyashiv, Rav SZ ...
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  • 7,410
6 votes
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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 (...
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  • 6,069
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 ...
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  • 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. ...
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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. ...
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