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25 votes
Accepted

Making a pikuach nefesh phone call on Yom Kippur - mitzva or something to be avoided?

מְפַקְּחִין פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ בְּשַׁבָּת וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לִטּל רְשׁוּת מִבֵּית דִּין. וְהַמַּקְדִּים לְהַצִּיל הַנֶּפֶשׁ הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח. [All] activities necessary to save a life should be ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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21 votes
Accepted

Can the 10 commandments be violated to save a life?

A general rule is stated in the Talmud (Ketubot 19a): דאמר מר אין לך דבר שעומד בפני פיקוח נפש אלא עבודת כוכבים וגלוי עריות ושפיכות דמים בלבד for a Master said: 'There is nothing that comes before the ...
Alex's user avatar
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14 votes
Accepted

Moshe and filicide

R. Avraham Ibn Ezra seems to say that she put him in the river not because that would save him but so that she shouldn't have to witness his death: ויוכבד עשתה זאת כי אמרה אל אראה במות הילד R. ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
14 votes

Can the 10 commandments be violated to save a life?

I. Among the 10 commandments there are 3 that are not overridden by pikuach nefesh (i.e. יהרג ואל יעבור): Idolatry Murder Forbidden sexual relations II. Additionally, all other commandments cannot ...
kouty's user avatar
  • 22.8k
13 votes
Accepted

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.) ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
10 votes

Would marriage really not solve this man's problem?

This question is based on a misquote of the Talmud. Here is the actual text: ולינסבה מינסב לא מייתבה דעתיה כדר' יצחק דא"ר יצחק מיום שחרב בית המקדש ניטלה טעם ביאה וניתנה לעוברי עבירה שנאמר (משלי ט, ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 6,507
9 votes
Accepted

Stealing cigarettes

The Peirush "Shiurei Bracha" on Yoreh Deah 241 (brings a Zohar) that asks why our mother Rachel did not merit to enjoy many stages of parenthood? The answer is that she caused her father pain by ...
David Kenner's user avatar
  • 10.8k
9 votes

Back to orthodoxy, can't stop violating a commandment for the sake of someone's life

A similar question was asked to the Melamed LeHoil (R' Dovid Tzvi Hoffmann): A child was being forced to write in school on Shabbos by his father, the child didn't want to (break Shabbos). The ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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9 votes
Accepted

Does Yehareg v’al Yaavor apply to lo sa’amod?

Tosfos (Sanhedrin 74b s.v. והא אסתר) says: ורוצח גופיה כי מיחייב למסור עצמו ה"מ קודם שיהרג בידים אבל היכא דלא עביד מעשה כגון שמשליכין אותו על התינוק ומתמעך מסתברא שאין חייב למסור עצמו דמצי אמר ...
Yishai's user avatar
  • 32.1k
9 votes
Accepted

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 ...
David Kenner's user avatar
  • 10.8k
9 votes

Can one extinguish Shabbat candles after dark if you a worried about an animal knocking it over and causing a fire?

The practice of lighting shabbat candles is a rabbinic requirement (see, e.g. Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat 25b; Rambam Laws of Shabbat 5:1), to honor the Shabbat and create a pleasant and ...
Loewian's user avatar
  • 17.8k
9 votes

Was it David's custom to go into battle without an armour?

I wrote an essay a couple of years ago that dealt, in part, with these questions. The answer to your first question is: Yes and no. David's military uniform depended on which weapon he was using in ...
Harel13's user avatar
  • 25.9k
8 votes
Accepted

Making a bracha on food which is normally assur, but allowed due to pikuach nefesh

The Shulchan Aruch writes explicitly in O"C 204:9 that if one eats foods that are normally forbidden but are now permitted, one does say a Bracha on it. אכל מאכל או משקה של איסור מפני הסכנה מברך ...
Salmononius2's user avatar
  • 6,803
8 votes
Accepted

What if someone needs to paint on shabbat because it helps them from life threatening depression? Art Therapy

The Talmud says if someone is experiencing mental illness and a lit candle is causing them severe distress, you can (and should) blow it out on Shabbat. So mental-health concerns clearly qualify. Next:...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
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
Accepted

Did the Jewish soldiers fast before war?

As it turns out, I think my father-in-law found the answer in שולחן ערוך אֹרח חיים, תקע״א (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim, Taf Kuf Ayin Aleph) עִיר שֶׁהִקִּיפוּהָ עַכּוּ''ם, וְכֵן יָחִיד הַנִּרְדָּף ...
ejgreenwald's user avatar
7 votes

What's a better choice: Treif meat or human flesh?

To add to mevaqesh's answer: R/Dr Alan Brill (Edah Journal, "Worlds Destroyed, Worlds Rebuilt: The Religious Thought of Rabbi Yehudah Amital") retells "two stories of moral challenges ...
Micha Berger's user avatar
  • 9,706
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 ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Is an accidental murderer allowed to stand and fight the Goel HaDam?

Regarding your second bullet point, as to whether he would be punished if he kills the Goel Hadom, this is dealt with by the Mishneh Lamelech, Hilchot Rotzeach, 1:15 who says he will not be punished. ...
Yehuda's user avatar
  • 6,034
7 votes
Accepted

Desecrating Shabbos to ask a Gadol to daven for a patient?

R' Shlomo Kluger in Shu"t U’vacharta BaChaim (§87) vehemently forbade such practice, after an incident where a local Rav permitted a kvittel to be written and sent to the Belzer Rebbe on Shabbos. ...
chortkov2's user avatar
  • 9,728
7 votes

New responsa on releasing terrorists in exchange for hostages?

Following on from our interaction in the comments. HaRav Asher Weiss shlita has a recording where he discusses the issues at length here.
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.6k
6 votes

What's a better choice: Treif meat or human flesh?

Rabbi Moshe Shemuel Glasner (1856-1924) writes in the introduction of his Dor HaRevi'i to Chullin Pesicha Kolleles § 2 s.v עוד משל אחת that if one has the option to consume human flesh or non-kosher ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
6 votes

Where can I find "Mishnas Pikuach Nefesh"?

This sefer is available on the Otzar Hachochmah program. You can also view the sefer here: https://www.otzar.org/wotzar/Book.aspx?23534& The first 40 pages are available for viewing for free. ...
IsraelReader's user avatar
  • 5,067
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
  • 35.7k
6 votes

If a Jew was in a dire situation and had to eat the flesh of a pig, would they be required to kill the pig through Shechita?

Due to the precept of אין איסור חל על איסור, there is no point in insisting on proper shechita for a pig. A pig can never become tereifa, and its carcass has the same neveila status (with regards to ...
Menachem's user avatar
  • 1,029
6 votes

Questions on a story about Hillel

The second question is posed by the Ein Yakov, who writes the following: דאף שהיה ערב שבת, ועל פי רוב מתגבר הקרירות בערב שבת, ונתנו העולם סימן 'וקרקר כל בני שת' וגם תקופת טבת דרכו להיות גובר הקרירות, ...
chortkov2's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's trip to Moscow on Shabbat to meet Putin

Short answer: there is a great deal of leeway when we're dealing with this scale of life. (Shabbos 42a talks about "so the public won't be damaged.") When Bennett began his term a while ago, ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
5 votes

Is it a mitzva to escape the death penalty?

Regarding the first question, if the convicted should attempt to run, there are two cases - first if the convicted is guilty, and second if the convicted knows himself to be innocent. The Minchas ...
Y     e     z's user avatar
5 votes

How hungry does a Jew have to be to eat non-kosher food?

There are 2 situations for which the question of Pikuach Nefesh eating non-kosher food is relevant: 1. When a person is expecting kosher food but can't wait. 2. When a person is stranded and only Non-...
user15464's user avatar
  • 11.5k

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