24

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 performed on the Sabbath; there is no necessity to receive a license from the court. The more zealous one is [in this regard], the more praiseworthy. (2.16) כשעושים ...


23

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; וְהַזָּרִיז, הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח; וְהַשּׁוֹאֵל, הֲרֵי זֶה שׁוֹפֵךְ דָּמִים Someone who has a life-threatening illness is commanded (מצוה) to violate the ...


21

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 saving of life except idolatry, incest and bloodshed only. (Soncino translation) (“Incest” is actually an imprecise translation. The term giluy arayot ...


16

This is a rather large dispute among the Rishonim, the early commentaries. See the Rashba (שו״ת ח"א תרפט): ולי נראה שהכל תלוי במחלוקת אם נאמר שבת דחויה או נאמר שבת הותרה אצל חולה. אם נאמר שבת הותרה אצל חולה שוחטין לו שלא אסרה תורה מלאכת שבת אצל חולה. ושוחטין לחולה בשבת כדרך ששוחטין אנו לעצמנו... אבל למ"ד דחויה היא מאכילין לו הנבילה שהוא צריך לאכול ...


15

It is a Mitzva to desecrate Shabbat to save lives (OC 328:2), even if it is only doubtful if a life is in danger (329:3), and one should even do this Mitzva with alacrity (329:1). The Shulchan Arukh writes (328:15): אמדוהו (פירוש התבוננו במחלתו ושיערו) הרופאים שצריך גרוגרת אחת ורצו עשרה והביאו לו כל אחד גרוגרת כולם פטורים ויש להם שכר טוב מאת ה' אפילו ...


14

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. Yosef Ibn Kaspi argues that it is better to choose the possible death than the certain death, and keeping him at home would have led to certain death while placing ...


14

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 be overridden under specific conditions: If a gentile forces him to violate any one mitzva, not for his own personal benefit, but solely to have him violate the ...


13

At least with regards to hilchos Shabbos, you should choose the derabannan. See שמירת שבת כהלכתה לב:כז-כח*, who writes that if there is no difference in speed or quality of care, that one should choose to do a rabbinically prohibited action, instead of one that is Biblically prohibited. I don't know if this is Shabbos-specific, or if this rule applies ...


12

Bottom line on top: you should violate Shabbos for all cases of suicide on Shabbos. (R Moshe Feinstein, Tzitz Eliezer); with one (very rare, practically non-existent) exception according to R Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. Rabbi Moshe Halevi Spero explores this issue in his article in The Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, vol. 3 (Spring 1982). I ...


12

This question is discussed by Rabbi Kaganoff “One must desecrate Shabbos even if there is only a slight possibility that the situation is dangerous. One does not need a professional opinion or an expert physician. Whenever one is uncertain whether the situation is dangerous, he is required to desecrate Shabbos (Shu’t Tashbeitz 1:54).” Once you suspect ...


11

This question is related to and emerged from a comment by the OP on whether plastic surgery was allowed. I think the question of which parameters allow us to engage in action/dangerous sports has merit. We can all agree that some sports (e.g., Formula 1 racing, sky-diving, boxing) are more dangerous than others, and as mentioned in a comment are not ...


11

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.) People use the pill to deal with it. D.) Using the pill this way is: 1. A cancer risk. 2. Unnatural and therefore against God's will. 3. Emotionally messy. You ...


10

I had this situation once. It actually got physical. Story time folks. For those who want to skip to the psak that answers the question, scroll down to the last paragraph. Boro park in the early nineties. I had just gotten down the block after davening by the early minyan on Motzei Shabbos and just took a couple of steps into the street when some guy who ...


9

this was supposedly asked to Rav Shlomo Aviner What should a person do if he is in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei and hears a warning siren for an incoming missile? A: He should run to the bomb shelter and continue to Daven the Shemoneh Esrei there. This is based on two factors: 1. It is a case of a life-threatening situation. 2. Walking in the middle ...


9

The Talmud (Taanit 11a) proscribes marital relations during a famine. (See Tosfot and Rambam regarding if this is an obligation or supererogatory.) The Shulchan Aruch rules this way in OC 240:12 and 574:4 (exceptions are given for childless couples and on the night the woman goes to the Mikvah) and the Rama there extends the law to other times of pain ("שאר ...


9

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 mother said that if their will be a fight in the house, she'll kill herself. The question is whether the child may violate Shabbos out of Pikuach Nefesh. The Rov ...


9

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 peaceful atmosphere in the home (see e.g. here). According to most, the requirement may be fulfilled using electronic lights (at least incandescent ones) that serve ...


9

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 battle. David's favored weapon at this stage of his life was the sling (קלע, kelah in Hebrew). Not the rickety little slingshot that some prankster kids may play ...


8

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 עליו תחלה וסוף: The Mishna Berurah in note 48 explains the reasoning. Since there is no longer a prohibition to eat the item and one is enjoying it, you have to ...


8

If you have a mechanism (such as Bluetooth) for safely talking on a cellphone in your car: There's a service I once heard of (in the United States) that is provided for precisely this purpose. In short, call 212-DRIVING (+1-212-374-8464) and a man will dictate the Tefillah. He even pauses after each phrase to let you repeat it as he's saying it. Similarly, ...


8

אם בא להרגך - השכם להרגו - literally: If someone is coming to kill you, rise early and kill him (במדבר רבה פרשה כא פסקה ד; מדרש תנחומא, פנחס, פרק ג‏. - Medrash) Also, scripture is replete with references to commands from G-d to go to war, e.g. the source text for the above ruling (Numbers 25): טז וַיְדַבֵּר ה' אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר. 16 And the L-RD ...


8

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 stealing the household terafim (idols). I heard from Rav Zev Smith (my Rosh Yeshiva's son-in-law (Stolin)), that he personally asked Rav Pam, why she suffered for ...


8

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 אדרבה מאי חזית דדמא דחבראי סומקי טפי דילמא דמא דידי סומק טפי כיון דלא עביד מעשה The case of murder itself, he is obligated to sacrifice himself before he kills ...


8

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 right thing; hence not guilty; see Numbers ch. 24) chasing after Zimri, to kill him with a spear, the Gemara explains that Zimri was allowed to kill Pinchas in self ...


7

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 procedure called a "lay-over." In this case, they do not wash or dress the body or otherwise come in contact with it. Instead, they say the appropriate prayers and ...


7

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 necessary to protect Chevra Kadisha members as they perform a taharah: Strictly follow the general list of universal precautions recommended by the CDC ...


7

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 illustrative pictures. Before changing anything about what you do personally, you should talk to both your rabbi and your doctor. What is written here is just ...


7

In Judaism (as codified in the earliest of sources - the Mishna Ohalos (7:6) (HT Double AA for the English link)) the mother's life comes first, no matter how late in the pregnancy. Only once the baby is out enough to be considered independent does another Jewish value kick in - we can't pick between the relative importance of one life and another, and can't ...


7

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 told in Yeshivat Har Etzion circles that contrast R. Amital with his co-Rosh Yeshiva R. [Aharon] Lichtenstein." The first story is also relevant to the ...


7

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 מִפְּנֵי עַכּוּ''ם אוֹ מִפְּנֵי רוּחַ רָעָה, אֵינָם רַשָּׁאִים לְהִתְעַנּוֹת, שֶׁלֹּא לְשַׁבֵּר כֹּחָם; אֶלָּא יְקַבְּלוּ עֲלֵיהֶם לְהִתְעַנּוֹת כָּךְ וְכָךְ ...


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