BELOW ARE THE HALACHOS FROM THE DAILY EMAILS THAT WERE SENT OUT TO THE “HALACHA FOR TODAY” DAILY EMAIL LIST, INCLUDING THE DATES ON WHICH THEY WERE SENT, EXACTLY AS THEY WERE SENT.
Halachos for Wednesday, October 3, 2018
1) All Torah laws, with the exception of the three cardinal sins (Avodah Zarah, GiluI Arayos and Shfichas Damim) are suspended when it comes to matters of Pikuach Nefesh (life threatening circumstances).
The reason for this is that Hashem Himself states in the Torah (Vayikra Perek "Chai",18:5) "U'Shmartem Es Chukosai V'Es Mishpatai Asher Ya'aseh Osam Ha'Adam V'Chai bahem Ani Hashem - You shall keep My statutes, and My ordinances, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am Hashem".
The Talmud (Yomah 85b) derives from the words "V'Chai Bahem - he shall live by them" that if upholding any law of the Torah will lead to death, we are not obligated to give up our life.(with the exception of the 3 cardinal sins, for which indeed we must be willing to sacrifice our lives to not commit them)
2) This rule applies to all the prohibitions of Shabbos as well, and we will now begin discussing many aspects and applications of this unique halacha as it applies to various different situations that may arise in this area.
Halachos for Thursday, October 4, 2018
1 1) Not only does Pikuach Nefesh suspend Shabbos prohibitions in situations where doing so will save a life; it also applies when it is clear that the person's life cannot be saved but can only be prolonged for a very short while by transgressing Shabbos.
This is the case because even a moment of life (referred to in halacha as Chayei Sha'ah) is deemed important enough to be tantamount to saving a full life. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 329:4)
2) Even if the person in question is not of sound mind, and the injuries he sustained is such that he will never recover his normal brain function, the Shabbos still must be violated to save his/her life.
Even if before being injured, the person in question was not of sound mind and did not have normal brain function, still if they are in a situation on Shabbos that puts their life in danger, they must be saved at all costs. (See Shu"t Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 18: 19:2)
As well, the Shabbos is violated to save the life of a newborn baby. (See Biur Halacha Siman 329:4 S"K Eileh for a lengthy discussion for the reasoning of this and why it applies to all Jews, even those who seemingly do not have the status of "living".)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, October 5, 2018 Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) Even if it is not certain if by desecrating the Shabbos a life will be saved, it is still permissible to do so if there is even a slight chance that human life can be saved.
2) Not only is this the case in the situation of doubt (Safek) it is also the case in situations of double doubt (referred to in halacha as S'fek Sefeika).
An example of a double doubt would be if a building collapsed and you are not sure if a) any person was in the structure before it collapsed and b) if the person that may be in there has already been killed or is still alive.
As long as there is even a remote chance that a human life is at stake, the Shabbos is violated to find and rescue them. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 329:3)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) Even if the person in danger is stricken with an ailment or in a situation from which most people do not survive, the Shabbos is still violated to attempt to save him, as we assume he may be from the minority that will indeed be able to be saved.
2) Moreover, if a seriously ill person needs a medicine which is known in the medical community to only be effective for a small minority of patients, it is still permitted to violate the Shabbos to procure this medicine for him, on the chance that he may be from the few fortunate ones who respond well to this medicine. (See Magen Avrohom Siman 329:1 and Pri Megadim; Aishel Avraham 329:1)
Halachos for Sunday, October 7, 2018
1) It is permitted to violate the Shabbos to prevent a pregnant woman, whose fetus is in danger, from having a miscarriage.
(See Biur Halacha Siman 330:7 end of Dibur Hamaschil Oi Safek)
2) Saving a life is a tremendous Mitzvah, and one who does everything in his/her power to save a life is extremely praiseworthy. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:2)
In instances where a life is in danger on Shabbos it is prohibited to waste time to inquire if it is permitted to violate the Shabbos to save the life. One who delays in order to inquire if it is OK to violate the Shabbos while a person's life is in danger, is deemed a "Shofech Damim", a taker of human life (ibid.)
Even in case where one is not sure if the situation is a life-threatening one, still he should hurry and do whatever is necessary to save a life and not delay at all to inquire, as every second is precious, and the time one would take to make halachic inquiries, even if it's a short amount of time, may cause the person in danger to deteriorate even more and may contribute them dying. (see Mishna Berura Siman 328 S"K 6)
Halachos for Monday, October 8, 2018
1) Even if the sick person himself asks you not to violate the Shabbos on his behalf, he is ignored and the Shabbos is violated to save him. (Mishna Berura Siman 328 S"K 6)
2) If he tries to prevent the violation of Shabbos on his behalf, we force him to accept the assistance, and it should be explained to him that not doing so is "Chasidus Shel Shtus - foolish piety"(Mishna Berura ibid. See also Rambam Hilchos yesodei Hatorah Perek 5:4)
Halachos for Tuesday, October 9, 2018
1) If one violated the Shabbos in an attempt to save a life, and he was not successful and the person died despite what was done to try and save him, he has still done a Mitzvah and will receive heavenly reward for trying.
Moreover, no Teshuva or Kaparah is necessary for any melachos he did in attempting to save a life. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:15 and Mishna Berura S"K 42)
2) Even if what the person did on behalf of the person in danger ended up being totally unnecessary and in vain (e.g. the doctor ordered that the sick person eat a certain food, and 10 people run to procure that food, and the person was healed after eating the first one's food, thus the food procured by the other 9 was totally not needed) still they all get full heavenly reward and do not need any Teshuvah, Korban Chatos or any kaparah. (ibid. See also Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchaso Perek 32 Ha'arah 19)
Halachos for Wednesday, October 10, 2018
1) If a certain individual was called to come save a life, and before he was able to arrive, others arrived and performed the life-saving procedure, any transgressions that he committed in arriving at the scene are all OK and he is not liable for any of them. (See Shu"t Shever haleivi Vol. 8 Siman 19:2 )
2) Moreover, it is prohibited to make a phone call or do any other prohibited melachos - even of a rabbinic nature - to notify him that his coming is no longer necessary. (ibid.)
If a Aino- Yehudi is available to go and notify him that he is no longer needed, then indeed it is good to have the Aino-Yehudi let him know to no longer continue coming. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Nishmas Avraham Vol. 1 Siman338:1)
Halachos for Thursday, October 11, 2018
1) If an ill person requires a Melacha to be done on his/her behalf and there are a few people at the bedside that can do it, it is a Mitzvah for the "Shabbos violation" to be performed by the biggest Talmid Chacham (Torah scholar) present.
2) The reason for this is to teach those around them , and the public in general, that violating the Shabbos to save a life is 100% L'chatchilah, without any reservations. (See Mishna Berura Siman328 S"K 34)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, October 12, 2018 Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) In regard to violating the Shabbos to save the life of an Aino Yehudi, the Poskim debate its permissibility and the extent of what is and isn't allowed.
2) Some Poskim allow all Melachos to be violated to save the Aino-Yehuidi's life, some allow only rabbinical melachos and not biblical ones to be transgressed. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 40 footnote 42 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbac h Zatzal. See also Shu"t Chasam Sofer Yoreh Deah Siman 131 and Mishna Berura Siman 330 S"K 8)
Halchos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) Rav Moshe Feinstei Zatzal, and most contemporary Poskim, rule that a doctor can treat all patients as necessary, regardless of them being a Yehudi or not. (See Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 4 Siman 79 and Vol. 2 Siman 25)
2) However, Rav Moshe Zatzal does advise doctors to preferably try and arrange things in such a way that they will not need to take shifts in the hospital over Shabbos, if possible.
Of course, for Halacha L'Ma'aseh a Rav must be consulted in each situation.
Halachos for Sunday, October 14, 2018
1) All Jewish lives that are in danger must be saved, regardless of the individual's level of observance or religiosity (See Chazon Ish Yoreh Deah 2:28)
2)The Chazon Ish (ibid.) explains that nowadays we cannot deem any individual a total Mumar (apostate; one who rejects the core principals of the Torah) and thus we must look at every Jew as part of Am Yisroel and must do whatever necessary to save his life, even on Shabbos.
Halachos for Monday, October 15, 2018
1) The Shabbos is violated to save the life of a baby born prematurely. This is the case even for a baby born in the 7th month, as it is deemed a full-fledged life. (See Talmud Shabbos 135a)
2) Even for a baby born in the 8th month we violate the Shabbos to save his life, so long as his hair and his nails have formed. (See Chazon Ish Yoreh Deah 155:4 that this is the case either because we deem it a Safek if he is perhaps still in the 7th month, when he has the status of a life, or perhaps because the nature nowadays is different than Talmudic times, and thus even an 8th month baby can survive, unlike in Talmudic times.)
Halachos for Tuesday, October 16, 2018
1) We must violate the Shabbos for a baby born prematurely, even earlier than the 7th month, in order to get him into an incubator, where according to the doctors this baby will be able to develop properly and live. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 36:24)
2) However, if the premature child is born with deficiencies that make the doctors say there is no chance of survival, we do not violate the Shabbos, in this case, to extend the life temporarily.(ibid.)
Halachos for Wednesday, October 17, 2018
1) If someone is ill and it isn't known if his situation is deemed life-threatening, a doctor should be consulted to make the determination if Chilul Shabbos is warranted on the patient's behalf. We follow the doctor's determination to violate the Shabbos even if the doctor is not a Shabbos observant person himself. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:10)
2) If no doctor is readily available, or if the situation is frenzied and a decision must be made immediately, we can rely on the advice of someone who is not a doctor, yet is familiar with the patient's medical conditions and the like, and violate the Shabbos for the patient, if he/she deems it necessary.
However, the Poskim say that the above person (who is not a doctor or a medical expert) may only be relied upon to deem something serious enough to violate the Shabbos, if he/she is a Shabbos observant person, as otherwise they may say that the Shabbos be violated due to their lack of understanding of the importance of Shabbos observance. (See Rama ibid.)
If, however, the situation is such that we can see the aforementioned non-doctor really believes that the patient's life is in danger, and is not just saying it due to his lack of understanding of the importance of Shabbos observance, here too we can follow his directions and violate the Shabbos due to a safek of Pikuach Nefesh. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 32:10)
Halachos for Thursday, October 18, 2018
1) If the patient himself says that he knows his situation is life-threatening, we violate the Shabbos for him on his direction, even if the doctors do not concur, as we trust a person to know his own body and its reaction to sickness. (A term referred to in halacha as Lev Yodeah Moras Nafsho. See Biur Halacha Siman 328:9 Dibur Hamaschil V'Rofeh)
2) If two doctors are in disagreement about the severity of the patient's situation, where one says he is in a life-threatening situation and the other says he is not in any immediate danger, if both are equally expert doctors, we deem it a Safek Pikuach Nefesh, and indeed we violate the Shabbos for this patient.
If, however, one of the two doctors is a bigger specialist (in the field that this patient's illness is, or even if he is known as a better doctor) we follow the direction of the more experienced doctor, regardless if he says to go ahead and violate the Shabbos or if he says to not go ahead and violate the Shabbos. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 327:10 and Biur Halacha Dibur Hamaschil V'Im. See also Shulchan Aruch Siman 618)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, October 19, 2018 Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) A sickness that is known to be life-threatening, but people are not so afraid of it due to the availability of antibiotics and other drugs to treat it, still retains its status as a life-threatening illness, and a person stricken by it is treated as a Choleh Sheyaish Bo sakanah, an ill person in danger.
2) Thus, it is permitted to violate the Shabbos to procure antibiotics or other drugs that this patient needs, if the doctor says it's immediately necessary. It is also permitted to shut the lights if they are not allowing the patient to sleep, and do other melachos deemed necessary for his health and healing. (See Sefer Chut Shani Vol. 4 page 173)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) When caring for a Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakanah, a patient in a situation that is deemed life-threatening, the Poskim debate if any and all Melachos may be done on Shabbos to ensure his comfort, or only specific Melachos that if not done will weaken him and put him in immediate danger.
2) The Biur Halacha (Siman 328:4 Dibur Hamaschil Kol) quotes both lenient and stringent opinions of the Rishonim, and rules that with biblical melachos it is best to be stringent and only violate those that are deemed necessary to the patient's actual health and well-being and not those that are just for his comfort.
However, he does rule that if the melachos strengthen the patient's limbs, even biblical melachos may be violated for this purpose.
Halachos for Sunday, October 21, 2018
1) For a Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakanah, a patient in a situation that is deemed life-threatening, who is lying in a room with the light on, and thus cannot fall asleep, we may close the light on Shabbos to enable him to sleep, as sleep is necessary for ill people and actually contributes to their healing process, and lack of sleep can have the adverse effect. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 278:1. See also Biur Halacha Dibur hamaschil Beshvil.
2) The above is only in a situation where we can't move him to a different room that has the lights out, or cover the light in another manner that won't violate the Shabbos, as if those options are available, it is better to do that than to extinguish the light. (See Mishna Berura Siman 278 S"K 1)
If the lamp in the room can be moved into a different room, instead of distinguishing it, that would be a better option, as moving the lamp is only a Muktzeh violation, whereas extinguishing it is a biblical Melacha. (Mishna Berura ibid.)
Halachos for Monday, October 22, 2018
1) A Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakanah, a patient in a situation that is deemed life-threatening, that is also suffering from another, non-life-threatening ache or pain that is unrelated to his larger medical issue, may take medicine on Shabbos to deal with the secondary issue.
2) Moreover, in certain situations it may even be allowed to do Melachos on Shabbos on behalf of this patient, to deal with the secondary issue, surely if they are interfering with his sleep and possibly even if just interfering with his general well-being and calmness, and thus may be deemed necessary to aid with his primary ailment, for which the Shabbos may be violated. A Rav should be consulted for Halacha L'Ma'aseh.
Halachos for Tuesday, October 23, 2018
1) Often, a Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakanah, a patient in a situation that is deemed life-threatening, is attached to machinery in a way that connecting and disconnecting the wires involve biblical Melachos of Shabbos.
2) If the patient wants to be disconnected from the wires for a few minutes in order to stretch his legs, and then reconnected to the machine when the walk is over, it would depend on the nature of this walk.
If this walk is deemed necessary for his health and healing, the machines may be disconnected and reconnected on Shabbos by a Jew. If, however, the doctor does not deem it necessary for him to take a walk, but the patient himself feels he needs to stretch, the machines should be disconnected and subsequently reconnected by an Aino Yehudi. If the Melacha in question is a Melacha D'Rabanan and not a biblical violation, there is room for leniency, even for a Jew to assist the patient. (Based on the opinion of the Maid Mishneh quoted in Biur Haacha Siman 328:4 Dibur Hamaschil Kol)
Halachos for Wednesday, October 24, 2018
1) In certain situations we allow Rabbinical Melachos to be transgressed on Shabbos on behalf of an ill person (Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakana),even though it isn't directly related to his health and healing needs, rather it is for his peace of mind. If possible, these Melachos should be done with a Shinui, in a different manner than they are usually done. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 32 25)
2) For example, a Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakana who requests that we dispatch an Aino Yehudi to notify his relatives who live beyond the Techum Shabbos that they should come visit him right after Shabbos, we oblige his request. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 306:8 and Mishna Berura S"K 41 that the Aino Yehudi may even be offered payment for this task. See also Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa ibid. footnote 82 and Shulchan Shlomo S"K 18 for a more in depth discussion of which types of melachos this applies to and which it doesn't)
Halachos for Thursday, October 25, 2018
1) In situations where the lack of peace of mind of the ill person (Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakana) is deemed to be infringing on his actual health and healing, and may put him in a situation of Pikuach Nefesh, we even allow biblical melachos to be transgressed to calm him down, even though it isn't directly related to his primary illness.
2) An example of this would be the permissibility of putting on the light for a woman in labor, as being in the dark can infringe on her peace of mind and lead to her becoming ill. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 330:1)
Furthermore, even if the woman in labor is blind, the light may still be turned on in her room, as her knowing that the light is on and that the midwives or doctors can see properly and care for her adequately, will help her not be nervous and have peace of mind and prevent her becoming endangered. (ibid.)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, October 26, 2018 Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) A person who needs to accompany a seriously ill person (Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakanah) to the hospital or another necessary place, may do so even if this will necessitate the transgressing of Shabbos prohibitions, such as going outside the Techum or other Melachos of Shabbos. This is very common when the patient in question is a child or an elderly or weak person, but of course it applies to any ill person if the situation demands it.
2) This does not only apply when the ill person needs help actually getting to the hospital. It applies as well if the one accompanying the ill person may possibly be needed once they arrive in the hospital to make important decisions on behalf of the ill person's medical care. A husband may also accompany his wife when she goes to the hospital to give birth, as this gives her peace of mind. (We will discuss this more at length in the near future)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) It is permitted for an ill person, as well as a woman who is ready to give birth, to travel on Shabbos to a hospital that is a longer distance away than other nearby hospitals, if they are more confident in the care of the doctors and nurses in the hospital that is farther away.
2) This is the case even if the doctors in the nearby hospital are just as capable and expert as the doctors in the hospital that is farther away, as it has nothing to do with the expertise of the doctors, rather with the peace of mind of the patient.
Halachos for Sunday, October 281, 2018
1) It is permissible for a Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakanah, or someone caring for him or her, to use the telephone on Shabbos to call a specialist if necessary to inquire about urgent treatment or anything else deemed necessary to the patient's health and healing. This is the case even if there is a doctor nearby who can be reached without transgressing any Shabbos Melachos, provided that the nearby doctor is less of an expert than the one being called on the phone.
Furthermore, if the ill person or the woman in labor specifically wants to speak to the doctor who can only be reached via the phone, it is permissible to make that call, even if the doctor that is available nearby is equally expert as the doctor that will be called.
2) However, if the only reason they want to call a certain doctor is due to financial reasons, such as him being part of the patient's insurance network, and not due to any peace of mind that it would bring to the ill person, it is prohibited to transgress the Shabbos to call him, and the nearby doctor that can be reached without violating the Shabbos should be contacted instead.
Halachos for Monday, October 29, 2018
1) There is a fundamental debate among the Rishonim if the halacha that the Shabbos is violated in situations of Pikuach Nefesh means that it is a total and complete elimination of the Shabbos prohibitions (referred to in halacha as Hutrah) or if it means that the prohibitions are in place, but the need for alleviating the Pikuach Nefesh situation override the prohibitions as necessary (referred to in Halacha as Dechuya.) (See Talmud Yoma 6b for a similar debate regarding Tumah B'Tzibur)
2) The practical difference would be that if it is Dechuyah, it would limit the Melachos that have to be done to the minimum necessary and require they be done in a way that least violates any of the Melachos that need to be violated. Whereas, if it is Hutrah, we would not have to focus so much on transgressing the minimum necessary for the situation at hand and would not have to do things in a different way than usual, to cause the minimum Chilul Shabbos.
Halachos for Tuesday, October 30, 2018
1) The majority of Rishonim rule that when a situation of Pikuach Nefesh arises, the prohibitions of Shabbos are Dechuya, and do not totally dissolve. (See Rambam Hilchos Shabbos Perek 2 halacha 1, Shu"t Harashba Vol. 1 Siman 689 and Ran Maseches Beitzah, 9b in the Dafei HaRif Dibur Hamaschil U'Miha. The minority opinion, that it is Hutrah, can be found in the Rosh Yoma Perek 8:14, quoting the maHaram M'Rutenberg. See also Mishna Berura Siman 328 S"K 38)
2) Thus, when violating a Melacha in order to save a life, when things can be done in a way that minimizes Chilul Shabbos, without too much effort being exerted to do it this way that is the proper thing to do. Of course, if trying to minimize Chilul Shabbos will in any way whatsoever be detrimental to the ill person's situation, then no effort should even be considered in regard to minimizing the Shabbos violations. Tomorrow we will discuss some common and practical situations where Hutrah/Dechuya would come into play.
Halachos for Wednesday, October 31, 2018
1) A doctor who needs to reach a patient (Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakana) who is some distance away, should ideally walk there and not drive in a car on Shabbos, if the situation is not frenzied and the few extra minutes it takes to walk instead of drive will not have any adverse effect on the health of the patient or on the ability of the doctor to do his job properly.
2) However, if the distance to the patient is more than a relatively short walk away, he may drive there and need not do anything exceptionally out of the ordinary to refrain from driving or doing other Melachos to get there. Furthermore, if the weather conditions are such that it is very uncomfortable to walk , he does not need to walk instead of driving and subject himself to discomfort, even if the walk is relatively short.
Halachos for Thursday, November 1, 2018
1) One who needs to do a melacha for the purposes of Pikuach nefesh, and is able to do it from before Shabbos which will then not necessitate it being done on Shabbos, must indeed do it before Shabbos. (See Sha'ar Hatziyun Siman 344 S"LK 9
2) However, if doing it before Shabbos will be very burdensome, it need not be done before Shabbos and may be done on Shabbos when needed, as ultimately it is allowed to be done then for the purposes of Pikuach Nefesh. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa perek 32 footnote 104 quoting Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal. See also Shu"t Minchas Shlomo Vol. 2 Siman15:4)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, November 2, 2018 Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Eerev Shabbos Kodesh
1) An ill person (Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakana) who must eat meat or chicken for his/her health and healing, but only has non-kosher meat available, should rather have someone slaughter and/or prepare kosher meat or chicken for him on Shabbos than resort to eating the non-kosher meat. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:14. See Mishna Berura S"K 39 for a lengthy explanation of the various reasons for this.)
2) Of course, if the patient must eat right away and waiting for kosher meat to be slaughtered and/or prepared will put him in danger, he should eat the available non-kosher meat. (ibid.)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) As we mentioned earlier, when the situation of danger is urgent it is forbidden to delay even for a moment and a Jew must do any and all Melachos necessary to save a life, and not waste even a second to find an Aino Yehudi to do it. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:12)
2) However, in a situation where it is clear that there is no imminent or immediate danger to the patient if we delay for a moment or two to find an Aino Yehudi to do the necessary Melachos, we do indeed try and find an Aino Yehudi to do what needs to be done. (Rama ibid. See Mishna Berura S"K 37 for the opinion of the Taz who allows a Jew to do it in this case as well. See Shu"t Igros Moshe Choshen Mishpat Vol. 2 Siman 79 for an explanation of the Taz)
Halachos for Sunday, November 4, 2018
1) In a situation where we would rather have an Aino Yehudi do the melacha for the patient, but none can be located, it is proper, if possible, to have a minor perform the necessary melacha and not an adult Jew. (See Mishna Berura Siman 328 S"K 36). If a minor who has not yet reached Chinuch age is available to do it, that is preferred over a minor who has already reached the age of Chinuch (See Shu"t Shevet Halevi Vol. 6 Siman 38:1)
2) If a melacha that must be done on Shabbos on behalf of a Choleh Sheyaish bo Sakana can just as easily be done with a Shinui (in a different manner than it is usually done) without causing any delay at all to the care of the patient, it should preferably be done in the unusual manner, as doing it that way will deem it a rabbinical transgression and not a biblical one. (Rama Siman 328:12)
Halachos for Monday, November 5, 2018
1) When Melachos need to be transgressed on Shabbos for the sake of a Choleh [Sheyaish Bo sakana] , since we rule that Shabbos is Dechuya in the face of Pikuach Nefesh, they should be done with the minimal amount of Chilul Shabbos that is necessary.
2) Furthermore, if there are two [or more] options of Melachos to transgress, with the same result of saving the patient, the less severe Melacha of the two should be chosen. (Based on a concept found in Talmud Shabbos 153b. See also Shulchan Aruch Siman 266)
Halachos for Tuesday, November 6, 2018
1) The requirement to opt for the less severe Melacha to transgress when saving a life on Shabbos, of course, is only in a situation where things are not frenzied, and taking the moment to figure out which Melacha is the lesser of the two transgressions won't negatively affect the patient's status whatsoever.
2) In situations where it is frenzied, and every extra second of delay can have a negative affect on the status of the ill person and place him further in danger, no calculations should be made about which transgression is lighter or less severe, and everything should be done to save the life, without any consideration of the severity of the Melachos involved.
Halachos for Wednesday, November 7, 2018
1) Since we learnt that in a non-frenzied situation, the less severe Melacha is opted for and the method that entails the lightest dose of Chilul Shabbos is chosen, it is good to keep in mind the 4 basic categories of options, in order of severity, should the occasion arise that they need to be considered.
2) The following is the basic order of ideal ways to have the Melachos that are necessary to be done for a Choleh [in a situation that isn't frenzied]:
a) Amirah L'Nochri: Ask an Aino Yehudi to perform the Melacha. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 266:1 and Mishna Berura S"K 29. See also Chazon Ish Siman 56 S"K 4)
b) Katan: Ask a minor child to do the necessary melacha. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 266:5. This minor should preferably be one who has not reached the age of Chinuch, if possible. Also, it is best if this minor is not the child of the one who the Melacha is being done for. See Rashba to Shabbos 153b)
c) Shinui: If no Aino Yehudi or minor is available, the Melacha should be done by an adult Jew via a proper Shinui, in a way that is considered not the normal way of doing it. (See Rama Siman 328:12)
d) Shnayim She'Asuhu: If not feasible to do it via the other methods described above, two adult Jews should do it together, as doing it this way lessens the severity of the transgression . (It is either deemed a non biblical transgression altogether, or according to some Poskim, although it is still biblical, it does not carry the penalty of requiring a Korban Chatos. See Chayei Ada, Klal 9:9 and Mekor Chaim Siman 266)
Halachos for Thursday, November 8, 2018
1) If one has two options in which to perform a life-saving action on Shabbos, either to transgress a rabbinical Melacha, such as carrying in a Karmelis [a non-Reshus Harabim], or to do it in a manner that would entail handling Mukteh , the method that involves Muktzeh should be chosen.
2) The reason for this is that although both of these are rabbinical transgressions, Muktzeh is not deemed a Melacha, rather a Gezeirah (a rabbinical edict), and as such, in this case will be deemed the less severe transgression. (We will discuss more about this when we cover Hilchos Muktzeh B'ezras Hashem at some point in the future)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, November 9 2018 Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) If an electronic device that is necessary for a patient gets extinguished on Shabbos, of course it is permitted to turn it back on for him [in the least severe way of Chilul Shabbos, as discussed previously]
2) If the electricity blows and goes out in the entire house, the main breaker may be turned back on so that the necessary machinery for the Choleh will go back on again. However, before turning the breaker back on, the light switches in the rest of the house should be turned to the "off" position, so that the lights that are not necessary for the ill person do not go back on when turning the main breaker back on, thus minimizing the Chilul Shabbos. This is the case, even though moving the light switches will be a transgression of Muktzeh. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal in Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 32:66. See footnotes there for a lengthier discussion of this halacha)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) There are categories of illnesses that are deemed life-threatening and when they arise, there is no need to seek the opinion of medical experts, and they are treated as Pikuach Nefesh, even if the ill person himself does not say he feels in danger. (Shulachan Aruch Siman 328:4)
2) An example of this is an internal wound, where an internal organ is hurt due to a bruise or inflammation or other circumstance. (Shulachan Aruch Siman 328:3). This applies to wounds only, and not to simple aches, as for an ache we don't automatically transgress Melachos of Shabbos, even if they are internal. (ibid.). More intense aches in internal organs, however, where the person experiencing it is concerned that the ache may be a sign of an internal wound or infection or something else serious, indeed if there is no doctor present, he may travel, or be transported, to a doctor on Shabbos. (See Biur Halacha Siman 328 Dibur Hamaschil V'Davka. See also Shu"t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 8 Siman 70"5 and Vol. 3 Siman 36; 328:3)
Halachos for Sunday, November 11, 2018
1) All organs from the teeth and inwards, including the teeth themselves, are deemed internal organs. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:3)
2) Thus, if one has an intense inflammation in the teeth or in the gums, and feels that they must be treated immediately to avoid danger, it is permitted to transgress Melachos of Shabbos to have them operated on or to obtain antibiotics to begin fighting the infection.(See Shu"t Shevet Halevi Vol. 1 Siman 70:3 that this is the case even if there is just a large swelling around a tooth)
Of course, if it is plainly evident that there will be no danger if we wait until after Shabbos, no transgression of Shabbos is permitted. (See Mishna Berura Siman 328 S"K 8 and S"K 46 and Shu"t Shevert Haleivi ibid.)
Halachos for Monday, November 12, 2018
1) If one has an extremely high fever and its source is as yet unknown and he also does not feel well, he may transgress the Shabbos, and we may transgress the Shabbos on his behalf, to get him medical attention. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 32:11)
2) This is the case as well for a fever, even if it isn't extremely high, but is accompanied with chills, and the patient does not feel well and tells us he needs medical attention. If in this situation in the weekday he would travel to seek medical attention, he may do so on Shabbos as well, if there is no nearby medical facility that is open that he can go to without transgressing the Shabbos. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 32 footnote 30)
For an infant, even a regular fever can be grounds for seeking medical attention on Shabbos. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 32 footnote 30 at length for sources and additional information)
Halachos for Tuesday, November 13, 2018
1) One who needs to check their temperature on Shabbos, and only has an electronic digital thermometer available, may only do so if it is deemed dangerous to not do so.
2) Mercury thermometers (which are not so readily available nowadays, due to safety concerns of exposure to mercury) may indeed be used on Shabbos, if necessary, to check for fever.
According to many Poskim, other non-electric thermometers may also be OK to use, if no mercury thermometer is available, even if they form temporary letters and numbers on the tape display that is pressed to the forehead. (See Shu"t Yechave Da'as Vol. 4 Siman 29 and Shu"t Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 14 Siman 30)
Halachos for Wednesday, November 14, 2018
1) It is permissible to transgress the Shabbos for someone who develops a serious eye infection that is accompanied by extreme tearing, bleeding or mucus.
2) Likewise, if the eye is affected by a hot, burning sensation, or other symptoms that are deemed dangerous, the Shabbos may be transgressed to seek medical attention or to employ a treatment,already at the onset of the infection, as to avoid it developing into something more serious or fatal.
(See Shulchan Aruch Siman 328: 9 and Mishna Berura S"K 23. See also Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 328:9)
Halachos for Thursday, November 15, 2018
1) One who sustains a wound via a piece of iron or similar metal, even if it isn't affecting internal organs , if it is deemed serious, he may transgress the Shabbos to have it treated. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:7. See Biur Halacha Dibur Hamaschil Machmas Barzel where he quotes Rav Akiva Eiger in the name of the Tevuas Shor, debating if this is only of the wound happened via a powerful blow or if is also for a wound that happened via soft contact with iron.)
2) Some Poskim apply the aforementioned halacha only to wounds that are large and deep and not to small and shallow cuts. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 32:11:7 and footnote 40)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, November 16 2018 Double Portion L’Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) If someone is suffering from strong stomach pains, which can at times be a sign of a larger, more serious danger, he may transgress the Shabbos to have it examined by a medical professional.
2) Likewise, we transgress the Shabbos in all situations where there is even a slight reason to believe that someone is in a dangerous situation that may lead to heart attack, kidney failure, appendix infection or any other life-threatening incident.
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) A light burn (first degree burn that usually only affects the top layer of skin) which causes light redness and mild pain on a small area of the skin, is considered like a simple ache, and no biblical or rabbinical Melachos may be transgressed to treat it.
2) Additionally, no medication may be applied to this light burn in order to dull the pain. (This is because being that the burn did not reach the level of "Nafal L'Mishlav", making him need to lie down, the person is not deemed even a Choleh Sh'ain Bo sakana)
However, an Aino Yehudi may dab the medication or ointment on the light burn on behalf of the Jew, as long as the ointment is not smeared all over the burn or over the bandage that will then be applied to cover the burn, as smearing may be a biblical transgression.
Halachos for Sunday, November 18, 2018
1) When sustaining a light, first degree burn, it is permissible to place the area that got the light burn directly under a stream of cold water,even for a prolonged time, in order to prevent blisters from forming on the skin and to otherwise dull the pain.
2) If the burn is so small that in all likelihood it will not cause blistering or other skin issues, and the only reason it is being placed under the stream of water is to dull the pain, a Rav should be consulted as to the permissibility of this remedy on Shabbos.
Halachos for Monday, November 19, 2018
1) For a light, first degree burn that affects a larger part of the body, and causes pain to the point that the patient needs to lie down, a Jew may apply medicine or ointment to the affected area, as long as it is dabbed on and not smeared.
2) In this case, an Aino Yehudi may be asked to smear the medicine or ointment over the affected area, as being that it is affecting a larger part of the body, we deem the patient a Choleh She'ain Bo Sakana, and thus even biblical melachos may be requested of an Aino Yehudi. (See Mishna Berura Siman 328 S"K 121)
Halachos for Tuesday, November 20, 2018
1) A burn that affects the entire body, even if it is only a first-degree burn, is prone to developing more serious concerns, contamination and infections, and thus may be treated, as necessary, to prevent further damage.
2) If the burn that covers the entire body is deemed dangerous, all Melachos of Shabbos, even biblical ones, may be transgressed to treat it or transport the patient to a doctor or hospital.
Halachos for Wednesday, November 21, 2018
1) Regarding broken or fractured limbs, if the break exposes the bone or if it is one of the long bones (a medical term for certain major bones that support the weight and balance of the body and are otherwise crucial to the body functioning normally) and the joints have moved out of place, it is deemed a danger and we transgress the Shabbos to seek medical attention.
2) Even if we are not certain that it is a break or a bad fracture, as long as it is a possibility, we transgress whatever melachos are necessary to diagnose and treat them, if deemed necessary.
Halachos for Thursday, November 22, 2018
1) When there is a possibility that the skull has been fractured from a fall or other injury, all necessary Melachos of Shabbos are transgressed to transport the patient to the hospital and treat the wound.
2) If X-Ray images are necessary to determine if the skull is fractured, they are permitted to be done, as medically necessary.
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, November 23, 2018 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) A broken bone that is not exposed, or a bone that is broken in such a way that it does not cause the joints to be separated, is deemed a minor break, and thus no biblical Melachos may be transgressed to treat it.
2) Thus, if it is clear that it is not a situation of Pikuach Nefesh, it is prohibited for a Jewish doctor to take X-ray images or set the break in a plaster cast. An ace bandage or similar bandage may, however, be wrapped around the break in such a way to prevent further damage and alleviate the pain.
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) If delaying the care of a [minor] break or fracture will, according to the doctor's opinion, lead to permanent disfigurement of that limb, or to it not healing properly (Halachically deemed Sakanas Eiver), an Aino Yehudi may be asked to take X-ray images , set a plaster cast and do other necessary biblical Melachos to prevent permanent damage.
2) If, however, the doctor determines that no permanent damage will occur by delaying treatment until after Shabbos, no treatments should be done, even via an Aino Yehudi.
However, if the patient is experiencing extreme pain, to the point that he feels ill in his entire body due to the broken bone, if treating the break will alleviate this pain, an Aino Yehudi may indeed be asked to treat it. (As the extreme pain deems him a Choleh She'ain Bo Sakana. See Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:17)
Halachos for Sunday, November 25, 2018
1) When a person faints and then regains his composure, sometimes it can be a sign of another, more sinister illness, and sometimes it can be due to other, non-dangerous circumstances, such as prolonged standing, a frightening occurrence or other reasons.
2) Thus, if there is even a slight chance that the person who fainted is suffering from an illness and is thus in danger, the Shabbos is transgressed to have him evaluated by a medical professional.
However, if the one who fainted says that he is completely sure that he is OK and there is no medical evidence or history to suggest otherwise, we do not transgress any melachos of Shabbos to seek medical attention.
Halachos for Monday, November 26, 2018
1) If a person is bitten by a rabid dog or a venomous snake or scorpion, we transgress the Shabbos to get him/her immediate medical attention. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:6)
2) If it isn't known if the dog was rabid or the snake was venomous, it is permitted to trap the animal on Shabbos to determine its status and know the proper methods of treatment.
Halachos for Tuesday, November 27, 2018
1) If a small child gets locked in a room, and there is no way to get him out without transgressing Melachos (such as breaking the door, using tools, calling a rescuer etc.), we do whatever is necessary to get him out, even if it entails biblical transgressions. (Talmud Yoma 84b. See also Mishna Berura Siman 328 S"K 38)
2) Even if we can distract the child, talk to him through the door and otherwise keep him calm, Chazal still deemed it Pikuach Nefesh that he may get scared to the point of danger, and thus no such options are considered, and we do whatever it takes to get him out immediately. (ibid.)
Halachos for Wednesday, November 28, 2018
1) Although the Poskim give the age as 6 or younger for how small the child is for whom we must transgress the Shabbos to get him out of a locked room, all agree that if we have reason to believe that he will still be afraid to the point of danger, we transgress the Shabbos even for a child older than 6. (See Shu"t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 8 Siman 75)
2) If there are multiple ways to get the locked door open, some that will be biblical transgressions and some that will only be rabbinical transgressions, it is best to opt for the lesser of the transgressions, as long as choosing that option won't significantly delay the door being opened.
Halachos for Thursday, November 29, 2018
1) If an adult gets locked in a room, no melachos may be transgressed to get the door open to allow him to get out. (Unless the situation is one where there is indeed a legitimate concern that this adult's life will be in danger if we don't open the door right away, in which case we treat the situation as if he was a small child. If a nearby Rav is readily available, it is best to consult him for guidance in such a case.)
2) However, an Aino Yehudi may be asked to get the door open, if the way he does it will only be a rabbinical transgression (such as a rabbinical melacha or even a biblical melacha done in a destructive fashion).
The reason for this is that a Shvus D'shvus (an action that is a combination of 2 rabbinical transgressions; being done in a biblically acceptable way and also being done via asking an Aino Yehudi) is allowed in situations of Tza'ar, discomfort.
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, November 30, 2018 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) One who is embarking on a sea voyage (More common nowadays for those who take cruises) should not begin the journey in the three days before Shabbos, if he will still be on the trip when Shabbos arrives. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 248:1
2) The reason for this is that during the first three days of a voyage most passengers are not yet calm and conditioned to the sea atmosphere and will thus have their Oneg Shabbos (Shabbos tranquility) diminished. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 248:2 that this applies only to salty, stormy waters and not to calm rivers and waterways. Some Poskim posit that nowadays with modern ships, even in salty seas people do not have discomfort during the first three days and thus one may embark on a sea voyage even close to Shabbos. For Halacha L'ma'aseh a rav must be consulted)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) Some Poskim maintain that the three days begin with Wednesday, and thus one may only book sea voyages that begins on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. (See Mishna Berura Siman 248 S"K 4 quoting the Mogen Avraham)
2) Other Poskim, however, maintain that Shabbos is considered one of the three days, and thus only embarking on Thursday or Friday is an issue, but Wednesday is OK. (Ruling of the Gaon of Vilna, quoted in Mishna Berura ibid.)
Halachos for Sunday, December 2, 2018
1) If one is embarking on a sea voyage for the purposes of doing a Mitvah, he may embark even on Friday afternoon, as the Mitzvah objective overrides the concern of diminished Oneg Shabbos.
2) If, however, his Oneg Shabbos will be totally ruined, not just diminished, some Poskim maintain that in that case he possibly should not embark on the trip, even if it is for a Mitzvah purpose.(See Biur Halacha Siman 249:1 Dibur Hamaschil Ain)
Halachos for Monday, December 3, 2018
1) One who embarks on a sea voyage that will find him on the ship on Shabbos, and it is almost certain that there will be a need for the Shabbos to be transgressed, may not begin such a voyage within three days of Shabbos. The reason here s not just due to diminished Oneg Shabbos, but also due to it appearing as if he is actively putting himself into a situation that will require Chilul Shabbos. (In this case, it is more likely that Wednesday is considered one of the prohibited days, unlike in the previous halachos where the issue was only Oneg Shabbos. Moreover, in this case even Tuesday night will already be considered too late to embark. See Biur Halacha Siman 248:4 Dibur hamaschil U'Byom)
2) Embarking on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, is allowed, even if it is almost certain that the Shabbos will need to be transgressed on the voyage, as in the early part of the week we don't consider it as if he is actively putting himself in a position that will require Chilul Shabbos.
Furthermore, if the purpose of the trip is for a Mitzvah, he may even embark on Friday afternoon, as here too we discount the concern of it seeming as if he is actively putting himself into a situation of necessitating Chilul Shabbos. (See Rama end of Siman 248:4 and Mishna Berura Siman 248 S"K 36 regarding what is deemed a Mitzvah for this purpose)
Halachos for Tuesday, December 4, 2018
1) If one needs to join a caravan for travel through the desert, where he will still be traveling on Shabbos, and here it is most certain that the Shabbos will have to be transgressed, according to the Shulchan Aruch (Siman 248:4) here too, the halachos prescribed to sea travel apply as well. Thus it would be forbidden to embark in the three days before Shabbos, but be allowed in the beginning part of the week. However, he must stipulate with the caravan leader that they stop when Shabbos arrives and continue afterward. If in reality when Shabbos arrives they renege on their stipulation and continue traveling, he may continue with them, as not doing so and remaining alone in the desert is extremely dangerous. (See Mishna Berura Siman 248 S"K 29 and Biur Halacha Dibur Hamaschil U'Posek that if they don't agree initially, he may not travel with them as this stipulation is what makes it permitted.)
2) Here too, according to the Shulchan Aruch(ibid.) if he is traveling for Mitzvah purposes, it would be permitted to embark on the journey even close to Shabbos.
Halachos for Wednesday, December 5, 2018
1) Some Poskim argue on the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch (that we mentioned yesterday) and maintain that unlike with a sea voyage (where it isn't a certainty that transgressing the Shabbos will be needed), a trip with a caravan through the desert is not permitted even if leaving at the beginning of the week, and even if it's for a Mitzvah purpose, since it is known for certain that the Shabbos will have to be violated, and thus one may not put himself into the situation to begin with. (See Mishna Berura Siman 328 S"K 26. See also Shu"t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 1 Siman 127 for more about this.)
2) Thus if one finds himself in a situation where he needs to travel through the desert over Shabbos (not so common nowadays)he should consult with a Rav to discuss all the details and follow the Rav's ruling as to if, when and how to plan the trip.
Halachos for Thursday, December 6, 2018
1) When a baby boy is born and the eighth day falls on Shabbos, of course the Bris is performed on Shabbos. (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah Siman 266:2)
2) When the Bris is postponed, for medical or other valid reasons, and the Bris will now be performed on a day other than the eighth day, it isn't performed on Shabbos. (See Shulchan Aruch ibid. and Orach Chaim Siman 331 at length for more details of these halachos)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, December 7, 2018 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) Some Poskim maintain that when a Bris was postponed and is now being performed on a day other than the eighth day, it should not be performed on Thursday, as doing so will make the third day after the Bris fall out on Shabbos when it is likely that some Melachos, like heating water to bathe the child, will need to be performed for the health of the child. (See Shu"t Tashbatz Vol. 1 Siman 21 and the Chida in Birchei Yosef Siman 248)
2) Most Ashkenazic Poskim, however, do not accept this ruling, and maintain that the Bris should be performed at the first opportunity after the eighth day, even if this falls out on a Thursday. (Ruling of the Shach Yoreh Deah Siman 266:18, Mogen Avraham Siman 331 S"K 9 and Mishna Berura Siman 331 S"K 33. See also Mishna Berura in S"K 34 that nowadays heating water for a baby on the third day after the Bris in not a necessity as it was in the times of the Talmud, and thus even more reason to discount the reasoning of those that rule stringently. See also Shu"t Tzitz Eliezer Vol. 12 Siman 43)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) Many Sephardic Poskim do indeed follow the ruling of the Tashbatz and prohibit a delayed Bris from taking place on Thursday [as well as on Friday, for it minimizes Oneg Shabbos] (See Chida ibid. and Shu"t Yabia Omer Yoreh Deah Vol. 5 Siman 23;4)
2) If a baby is born Bein Hashmashos (Halachic twilight, between sunset and Tzeis Hakochavim) from Wednesday into Thursday, all agree that the Bris may take place on the following Thursday. (See Yabia Omer ibid.)
For halacha L'ma'aseh, of course, every individual should follow the custom of their community, under the guidance of their Rabbonim.
Halachos for Sunday, December 9, 2018
1) One who needs to undergo non-emergency surgery and knows that after the procedure it will be necessary for melachos to be transgressed on his behalf [as it will then be Pikuach Nefesh], he must schedule the surgery for the beginning of the week, and not for Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
2) However, if he is in a lot of pain, or if it is not possible to get an appointment for the beginning of the week, he may go ahead and schedule the surgery even in the three days close to Shabbos. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 32:33, footnote 97)
Halachos for Monday, December 10, 2018
1) A pregnant woman who is ready to give birth is deemed a Choleh Sheyaish Bo sakana (a dangerously ill person) and all Melachos of Shabbos are transgressed on her behalf, as necessary. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 330:1)
2) Keep in mind, as we mentioned previously, that we rule that Shabbos is Dechuya(pushed aside) in regards to Pikuach Nefesh and not Hutra (Totally not applicable), so we try and transgress as few Melachos as possible , and in a manner that involves the least stringent way of doing them (such as with a Shinui etc.), as long as it doesn't negatively affect the status of the patient or delay any necessary care whatsoever. (See Rama Siman 328:12)
Halachos for Tuesday, December 11, 2018
1) Once a woman enters the ninth month of her pregnancy, it is proper, on each Friday, for her to prepare the items she may need in the event that she goes into labor on Shabbos, as to minimize the transgressions she will have to violate on Shabbos.(Mishna Berura Siman 330 S"K 1)
2) However, she is not obligated to do extremely cumbersome preparations, such as go and stay by someone who lives close to the hospital for the entire Shabbos, in order to prevent having to travel on Shabbos to get there. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 36:7. He adds there that if a woman feels the onset of actual labor on Friday afternoon, she should indeed try and get to the hospital before Shabbos, and not wait for the labor to intensify and have to travel on Shabbos.)
Halachos for Wednesday, December 12, 2018
1) Once contractions start happening regularly, every 15-20 minutes, it is a sign that the labor process has begun and although she is still not deemed a Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakana, she may already travel to the hospital on Shabbos so that when the birthing process does begin she will be safely in the hospital.(See Taz Siman 330 S"K 2)
2) Once safely in the hospital, as long as the actual birthing process does not yet begin, she is still only a Choleh She'ain Bo Sakana, and the Shabbos may not be transgressed for her until the actual birthing phase begins.
Halachos for Thursday, December 13, 2018
1) A woman who knows from her previous birth experiences that her labor is shorter than average, may travel to the hospital on Shabbos as soon as the labor contractions begin, even if they are not regularly spaced.(Of course, each woman should consult with her doctor throughout the pregnancy and follow the expert medical advice she receives regarding this matter, as well as other medical matters.)
2) If a woman's water breaks on Shabbos she should travel to the hospital immediately, even if no labor contractions begin.
Similarly, if she feels extreme pressure from the baby, and she feels like it's time for birth, even if no labor contractions are happening, she should travel to the hospital immediately. (See Sefer Toras HaYoledes Perek 3 for more about this)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, December 14, 2018 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
1Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) When a woman needs to go to the hospital to give birth, ideally an Aino Yehudi driver should be arranged.
Ideally, this should be arranged before Shabbos. If it wasn't arranged before Shabbos, it is permitted to call the driver via the telephone on Shabbos to have him come. (We will discuss the ideal way to use the telephone in such circumstances, in the near future B'Ezras Hashem)
2) If no Aino Yehudi is available to drive the woman in labor to the hospital, or if calling one will cause delay, a Jew should drive her to the hospital without any delay.
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) It is best to pre-pay the Aino Yehudi for the ride, before Shabbos, or make up with the driver that he will be paid after Shabbos,
2) If that is not possible, it is permissible to take money along when traveling on Shabbos with an Aino Yehudi driver to the hospital, to pay him for his services when arriving at the hospital.
Halachos for Sunday, December 16, 2018
1) When paying an Aino Yehudi to drive a woman in labor to the hospital on Shabbos, it is best to make up a price with the driver before Shabbos, and not use the meter in the taxi, and prepare exact payment to bring along.
2) If exact payment was not brought, change should not be taken, nor should a receipt be requested or taken.
Halachos for Monday, December 17, 2018
1) When a woman needs to be driven to the hospital on Shabbos to give birth, and no Aino Yehudi is available, the Jew driving her should opt for the smallest available vehicle to drive her.
2) The reason for this is that less melachos of Hav'arah (fire) usually take place when driving a smaller vehicle than when driving a larger one.
Halachos for Tuesday, December 18, 2018
1) When a Jew driving a woman to give birth arrives at the hospital, there are various items to consider to avoid transgressing additional, unnecessary melachos.
2) Some of the areas to keep in mind are:
a) Turning the motor off Melacha of Kibui, extinguishing a fire. (According to some Poskim it may be a biblical transgression, while according to some it may only be rabbinical, or only a Grama)
b)Locking the vehicle (if the locks are electric as most are nowadays, it may be an issue of biblical Boneh if not done via a shinui)
c) Carrying the keys (Possibly biblical Hotza'ah, or if done with a Shinui, perhaps only rabbinical)
d)Initially parking the car in a safe and legal parking spot (to avoid having to start the motor again and move it from its original spot)
and other such considerations.
Of course, the best thing to do is to hint to an Aino Yehudi that the motor needs to be turned off, the car needs to be parked and locked and the keys brought inside and put somewhere safe until after Shabbos. (Many hospitals in areas populated by Orthodox Jews are familiar with these situations and are accommodating)
Each individual should discuss all of the above with their Rav before Shabbos, and follow the Rav's directions in the event that he finds himself in this situation on Shabbos. (The opinions, criteria and rulings are too numerous and dependent on too many variables beyond the scope of this email)
Halachos for Wednesday, December 19, 2018
1) When a woman reaches the ninth month and prepares a bag each Erev Shabbos with items she will need to take with her in the event that she has to go to the hospital on Shabbos, care should be taken to not include Muktzah items in the bag.
2) If the hospital is outside of the radius of the Techum (halachic boundary of 2,000 Amos in each direction beyond the halachic city limit)even non Muktzeh items which are not deemed absolutely necessary for her to have with her when she gives birth, should be removed from the bag.
Halachos for Thursday, December 20, 2018
1) One who knows that it is a real possibility that he may have to drive a woman to the hospital on Shabbos to give birth, should ideally remove any heavy, unnecessary items from his vehicle before Shabbos, to minimize the amount of gas needed for the trip (and thus minimize the melacha of Hav'arah)
2) If the trip to the hospital is beyond the Techum of Shabbos, all unnecessary items in the vehicle should be removed before Shabbos, even if they are not heavy and will not effect the amount of gas being used, as we want to minimize the melachos of Hotza'ah (carrying out of the Techum) that will have to be transgressed. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 40 footnote 136 that this does not include the clothing that the driver and passenger are wearing and it also doesn't include any food necessary for the driver and the patient, as those may be taken with them as needed.)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, December 21, 2018 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
1Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) If it is necessary to use the telephone on Shabbos to call a taxi or an ambulance, to take a woman who is ready to give birth to the hospital (or any other Pikuach Nefesh situation) the telephone should be used in a way that minimizes Shabbos transgressions as much as possible. (Of course, if the situation is frenzied and there is no time for these calculations, the phone should be used in the regular manner as quickly as possible)
2) The methods to use the telephone, in order of lighter transgressions to more severe ones, is as follows:
a) If an Aino Yehudi is present, have him or her call on the woman's behalf.
b) If a minor child is available who can dial the number, that is ideal. If the child can do it with a Shinui (irregular manner, such as dialing with a key or a toothpick or similar irregular manner), that is even better.
c) If none of the aforementioned options are available, an adult Jew can place the call, using a Shinui.
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) It is permissible for a husband to travel with his wife on Shabbos to accompany her to the hospital, as his presence will keep her calm and is deemed necessary for the health and well-being of the woman. (See Kovetz Igros Chazon Ish Vol. 1 Siman 141)
2) Likewise, if the husband is not present to travel with her, and she wants he mother or another close person to accompany her, they may indeed travel with her.
Halachos for Sunday, December 23, 2018
1) When a woman and her husband may need to travel to the hospital on Shabbos to give birth, and there are other small children in the home, it is extremely important to make arrangements before Shabbos to have a responsible adult be available to watch over the children while the parents are away.
2) If no such prior arrangements were put in place, and the woman and her husband have to go to the hospital, it is permissible to have an Aino Yehudi drive the children to the home of their grandparents or other relatives or friends where they will be safely looked after.
If no Aino Yehudi is available to drive the children and no neighbors are there to watch the children, it may sometimes be permitted for a Jew to drive them somewhere, as leaving them alone is not an option and may even be deemed Pikuach Nefesh (similar to the case where a child is locked in a room on Shabbos, as we discussed previously).
A Rav must be consulted for Halacha L'ma'aseh.
Halachos for Monday, December 24, 2018
1) It is permissible for a woman who is traveling to the hospital to give birth to opt for a hospital that is farther away than other closer hospitals, if she has more confidence in the doctors and nurses in that particular hospital.
2) Furthermore, a woman may use the telephone to call her personal physician to have him be available in the hospital for her, even if there are other capable doctors already there.
Halachos for Tuesday, December 25, 2018
1) If The doors to enter the hospital are automatic doors that open when an electronic sensor senses somebody walking through them, walking through them is a transgression of a melacha of Shabbos.
2) If the situation is frenzied and the woman giving birth must get into a room right away, she may walk (or be wheeled) through the doors on Shabbos in the regular manner that would be taken would it be on a weekday.
If, however, the situation is more calm and it is not urgent for her to walk that minute, they should wait until one of the hospital staff or another Aino Yehudi person (or another Jewish Choleh Sheyaish Bo Sakana) walks through, and when the door is open they can enter behind them.
Halachos for Wednesday, December 26, 2018
1) If a woman that is arriving in the hospital to give birth is faced with an automatic electronic door that she must go through, and waiting for someone else to come through is not an option, [if the situation is serious but not frenzied] she should do it in a manner that involves the least amount of Chilul Shabbos.
2) Thus if she can ask an Aino Yehudi is standing nearby to open the door for her that is ideal. If no Aino Yehudi is present, and a minor Jewish child [preferably not the child of the one asking or the one on whose behalf the melacha is being done] is present, the child should be requested to open the door. (as we discussed a few times already in previous Halachos)
Halachos for Thursday, December 27, 2018
1) If a non-Shabbos observant Jew walks through the automatic electronic doors, it is questionable if the woman heading to give birth may walk in behind him or her, or if it is prohibited to benefit from an action of non-sanctioned Chilul Shabbos that was done B'meizid (intentionally).
2) Some Poskim are stringent while others are lenient nowadays and deem all non-observant Jews as Tinokos Shenishbu, and thus deem all their Shabbos transgressions as Shogeg (non-intentional), especially in situations where it is urgent to be lenient (Sha'as Hadchak) (See Mishna Berura Siman 318 S"K 7. See Chazon ish Yoreh Deah Siman 2)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, December 28, 2018 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) In most hospital maternity wards, for safety and security reasons, in order to gain entry, there is an electronic button/bell that needs to be pressed which notifies the nurses that someone is seeking entry.
2) If the situation is frenzied, of course the button may be pressed in the regular manner to alert the nurses.
If the situation is not frenzied, it is best to walk in behind a staff member, or if that's not an option, ask an Aini Yehudi to press the button. If that is also not an option, and further waiting is also not an option, the button should be pressed in an irregular manner (Shinui) (These methods are permitted even if the woman is not yet deemed a Choleh Sheyais Bo sakana, but is already deemed close enough to birth that certain melachos are already allowed to prepare her to not be in jeopardy when the time does come, as we learnt previously)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) In most hospitals, when the woman arrives to give birth, she is asked for her name and insurance information and other necessary details to properly register her for admittance as a patient. This information is entered into a computer and many stickers and labels with identifying information are printed and placed on her, on forms and the like.
2) When being admitted to the hospital on Shabbos, it is permitted to tell them all the information they ask for, so that there is no delay with being admitted and no other problems arise.
Of course, if it is at all possible to provide all this information to the hospital staff before Shabbos and thus not necessitate that it be done on Shabbos that would be ideal.
Halachos for Sunday, December 30, 2018
1) If the maternity ward is on one of the higher floors of the hospital, and thus necessitates the elevator being taken to get there, of course if the situation is frenzied, they should use the elevator in the regular manner.
2) Even if the situation is not frenzied, and even if the woman is still deemed only a Choleh Sheain Bo Sakana, taking the steps is often not an option (either because she simply has no strength or because we worry that taking the steps will negatively affect her health and/or cause problems during labor).
Thus, we allow her to use the elevator, but we try to minimize the melachos done in the process. (Ask an Aino Yehudi to operate the elevator, or if that's not an available option and waiting is not either possible, the buttons should be pressed in an irregular manner, such as with the elbow, using a key or a similar acceptable Shinui)
Halachos for Monday, December 31, 2018
1) A woman who arrives at the hospital to give birth, and after being examined by the medical staff is informed that it is not yet time for her to give birth (false alarm), may not transgress any Melachos of Shabbos to return home, even if staying in the hospital for a few hours or more may be very uncomfortable.
2) If her home is within the Techum of the hospital, it is questionable if an Aino Yehudi may drive her home if her remaining in the hospital will cause her to become weak or otherwise deem her a Choleh Sheain Bo Sakana. (See Sefer Toras Hayoledes Perek 27 and Shulchan Shlomo; refuah; Vol. 3 Page 122 footnote 11 for more about this.)
It is best to discuss all these common situations with a Rav before Shabbos so that it is clear what can and cannot be done if the situation arrives.
Halachos for Tuesday, January 1, 2019
1) Though we have mentioned, throughout our coverage of this topic, the various levels of sickness that are related to Pikuach Nefesh and Refuah on Shabbos, we will now review some basic terms, and their meaning, before proceeding, as a lot of readers have been asking for some clarification, and it's also good to have these definitions in one place.
2) The 5 basic categories under which all "sicknesses" fall are:
a) Choleh Sheyaish Bos Sakana
b) Sakonas Eiver
c) Choleh She'ain Bo Sakana
d) Miktzas Choli
Choleh Sheyaish Bos Sakana: A person whose life is in danger due to a sickness or injury. For such a person, even if it's a safek (a possibility) if his status reaches this level, all Melachos are transgressed to help him, even biblical ones.
Sakonas Eiver: A person who is in a situation where we are certain that his life is not in danger, rather one of his organs or limbs is in danger of losing its functionality if not treated. For such a person, a Jew may transgress all rabbinical Melachos and an Aino Yehudi may be asked to perform even biblical Melachos. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:17)
Choleh She'ain Bo Sakana: A person whose life is not in danger, but is still ill to the point that he must lie down in bed, or to the point that the illness is affecting the entire body. For such a person, biblical Melachos may not be transgressed by a Jew, but an Aino Yehudi may be asked to transgress necessary Biblical Melachos. Regarding Rabbinical Melachos on behalf of such an individual, certainly they may be done via an Aino Yehudi. If it is necessary for a Jew to transgress a biblical melacha in this case, it s best done with a Shinui. (See Shulchan Aruch ibid.)
Miktzas Choli: A person who is not in danger and also does not find it necessary to lie down nor is it afflicting his entire body, yet he does feel unwell in certain parts of his body.For such a person, a Jew may not transgress even rabbinical Melachos. An Aino Yehudi may be asked to transgress rabbinical Melachos for this person, but not biblical ones. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 307:5)
Meichush: A person who is not in danger nor is he ill in even part of his body, rather he has a minor ache or pain. For such a person, no transgressions of Shabbos may be performed, not even via an Aino Yehudi. (See Mishna Berura Siman 328 S"K 3 and 83)
Halachos for Wednesday, January 2, 2019
1) Chazal forbade doing things for healing purposes on Shabbos - even things that have no intrinsic transgressing of any of the 39 Melachos of Shabbos - for fear that a person doing such actions will come to grind up herbs and other medicinal components and transgress the biblical Melacha of Tochen, grinding. (shulchan Aruch Siman 328:1)
2) Part of this rabbinical decree is the prohibition of taking medicine on Shabbos, massaging aching muscles and similar remedies, which are sometimes forbidden and sometimes allowed, depending on the level of the "sickness", as we shall discuss more in detail in the near future.
Halachos for Thursday, January 3, 2019
1) Leftovers of food that was cooked - even water that was heated up - by an Aino Yehudi on behalf of a Choleh She'ain Bo Sakana on Shabbos may not be consumed by another healthy Jew on Shabbos.
2) The reason for this is that we worry that if we allow it, the Aino Yehudi may initially cook more food or heat up more water than necessary for the Choleh She'ain Bo Sakana, so that there be enough for the healthy people present as well. (See Rama siman 318:2)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, January 4, 2019 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) Leftovers of food that was cooked by an Aino Yehudi on behalf of a Choleh She'ain Bo Sakana on Shabbos may be consumed by another healthy Jew immediately after Shabbos and no waiting period is necessary. (See Mishna Berura Siman 318 S"K 11)
2) Food that was cooked by an Aino Yehudi on behalf of a Choleh She'ain Bo Sakana on Shabbos, may be tasted by a healthy Jew on Shabbos, if necessary to determine if the food is OK for the ill person to consume. (ibid.)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) A light that was opened by an Aino Yehudi for the benefit of a Choleh She'ain Bo Sakana may be used by another, healthy Jew to derive benefit from
2) The reason for this is that, unlike by food that was cooked, there is no concern that more light will be put on to benefit others besides the Choleh She'ain Bo Sakana, as a light put on in a room for one person can serve a hundred people (Ner L'Echad, ner L'meah). (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 318:2 and Mishna Berura S"K 9. See also Shulchan Aruch Siman 325:11)
Halachos for Sunday, January 6, 2019
1) Small children are deemed like Cholim Sheain Bo Sakana for the purposes of things that are considered extremely necessary for them. (See Rama Siman 328:7 and Mishna Berura Siman 276 S:K 6)
2) Thus, an Aino Yehudi may cook food on Shabbos for a small child who does not have what to eat, and may turn on a light in a home where small children are present and afraid of the dark. He may also be asked to turn a light on in a room to find something very necessary for the small child. (See Rama Siman 276:1
Halachos for Monday, January 7, 2019
1) We mentioned that small children are deemed like Choleh Sheain Bo Sakana.
Until what age is a child considered small?
2) Though some Poskim give an age (See Shu"t Minchas Yitzchak where he says it's 9 and Shu"t Melamed L'Hoiel, in the Hosafos, quoting the Sha'agas Aryeh that it's age 3 or 4 and Shu"t Or L'Tzion Vol.2 36:4 where he says until Bar/Bas Mitzvah) it will really depend on the maturity of each child and on the specific situation at hand, and may also differ between a situation of hunger and other needs, and a Rav must issue a ruling in each individual case.
Of course, if the situation is such that it is a real question of possible Pikuach Nefesh, we err on the side of caution and request an Aino Yeudi to do whatever is necessary to alleviate the issue for the child. (See Chazon Ish Orach Chaim Siman 59:4)
Halachos for Tuesday, January 8, 2019
1) Unlike a small child, an elderly person is not automatically deemed like a Choleh Sheain Bo Sakana, even if he/she is feeling a little weak.
2) Of course, there are situations with elderly people where their weakness may be a sign of something more serious, and indeed they may then be considered like a Choleh Sheain Bo Sakana, and have an Aino Yehudi do necessary things on their behalf.
In each case, a doctor or another care giver should discuss the situation with a Rav to determine what may and may not be done on Shabbos.
(See Shu"t Or Sameach Vol. 2 Siman 22)
Halachos for Wednesday, January 9, 2019
1) A diabetic who, according to doctor's orders, must carry a candy or other sweet item with him, or somebody who must carry a certain medicine with him wherever he goes, may not carry that item out side of an Eiruv on Shabbos.
2) If, however, he needs to leave the house [to a place without an Eruv] for the purposes of a Mitzvah, such as going to Shul to daven or learn, some Poskim will allow him to take the candy with him , provided it is carried in an unusual way, such as under his hat. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 40:7 and footnote 20. See also Chazon ish Simam 103:19 and Halichos Shlomo, Tefilah, Perek 5:5. This applies only in an area that is not a biblical Reshus Harabim, as most areas nowadays are classified)
Of course, if one is relying on the above, only the exact amount that is needed may be taken, an not any extra, and he should also try to not stop at all in the street until he reaches the Shul. (ibid.)
Halachos for Thursday, January 10, 2019
1) Someone who is suffering from an ache or pain or feels mildly sick, but not to the point that his entire body feels ill or that the ache makes him need to lie down, may not take a pill or other medication on Shabbos to alleviate the pain.
Chazal prohibited this as they were afraid it may lead to grinding of medicinal herbs and a biblical transgression of the melacha of Tochen.
2) This applies to light headaches, toothaches and any similar light ailments, as they do not elevate a person to the level of Choleh She'ain Bo sakana, rather they are deemed the lower level of "Miktzas Choli" or " Meichush".
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, January 11, 2019 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) If a person has a headache or a toothache or another similar ache, that is strong to the point that his whole body feels ill and/or it causes him to feel like he has to lie down, he may indeed take a pill or other medication to help alleviate his suffering. This is because in this case he is deemed a Choleh She'ain Bo sakana, and the Gezeira of Chazal against taking medicine on Shabbos was not enacted for cases where he is deemed a Choleh, even if only a Choleh She'ain Bo sakana. (See Shulchan Aruch and Rama Siman 328:37. See also Shu"t Igros Moshe Orach haim Vol. 3 Siman 53 for a qualification to this Heter)
2) If a small child has a headache, an earache, pain in his throat or otherwise isn't feeling well, he may be administered Tylenol, or a similar medicine on Shabbos, even if what he feels would only be deemed "Miktzas Choli" or " Meichush", as small children are treated as Choleh She'ain Bo sakana, as we learnt previously.
Halachos for Shabbos kodesh
1) If a pill or medication is wrapped in a plastic, foil or paper packaging, it may be ripped open to get the medication [that may be taken on Shabbos] out f the package.
2) However, if there are words or lettering on the package, care should be taken to not rip any letters while getting the medication out. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 33 footnote 29)
Halachos for Sunday, January 13, 2019
1) If the proper dosage of medication that one needs to take is half of a pill, it is permissible to break the pill in half on Shabbos, and there is no concern of transgressing the Melacha of Mechatech, cutting something down to a specific, measurable size.
2) This is the case even if the pill has a perforation or a clearly marked line for this purpose, as since pills are swallowed, they are considered like a food, and the Melacha of Mechatech does not apply to food items. (Ain Mechatech B'Ochlin) (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 33:4, footnote 30. There are other reasons he writes there as well to not be concerned with this Melacha here.)
Halachos for Monday, January 14, 2019
1) It is permitted to mix an antibiotic powder or other medicinal powder [that may be taken on Shabbos] with water, on Shabbos, to prepare it for consumption.
2) The reason this is not considered a transgression of the melacha of Losh, kneading, is because the mixture remains in a very liquefied state.
There is also no issue of the melacha of Makeh B'Patish, completing a product, as the mixture is likened to food and there is no prohibition of Makeh B'Patish regarding food.
Halachos for Tuesday, January 15, 2019
1) Regarding taking an antibiotic or a medication that is prescribed to be taken every day for a period of consecutive days, the Poskim debate if it is allowed to be taken [ by a Choleh Sh'ain Bo sakana] on Shabbos, if one of the days of the regimen falls on Shabbos.
2) Some Poskim allow it to be taken, even if the regimen is for less than seven days, and do not insist that it is started on Sunday in order to not have one of the days fall out on Shabbos. (Ruling of the Chazon Ish quoted in Orchos Rabeinu Vol. 1 Os 214)
Halachos for Wednesday, January 16, 2019
1) Regarding taking an antibiotic or a medication that is prescribed to be taken every day for a period of consecutive days, some Poskim are more stringent and only allow it to be taken on Shabbos if the treatment is prescribed for 7 days or more.(Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perk 34 footnote 76.)
2) According to these Poskim, if the regimen is for shorter than a week, it should only be started after Shabbos, as to avoid having one of the days fall out on Shabbos.
Some Poskim are even more stringent and do not allow this pill to be taken [by most people ] on Shabbos at all. (See Shu"t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 3 Siman 53). For Halacha L'ma'aseh, of course, every individual should consul their Rav.
Halachos for Thursday, January 17, 2019
1) The allowance for taking a pill on Shabbos where it is part of a regimen of pills that were prescribed to be taken for a certain amount of consecutive days, is only when the pills taken each day work collectively to effect healing, and missing a dose will adversely affect the proper healing of the ailment.
2) However, if missing a dose will not have any affect on the overall healing, such as a pain medication which will only affect the pain for the duration of the missed dose, but have no collective affect on the ailment that is healing, the Shabbos dose should be skipped.
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, January 18, 2019 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
1We digress from our current topic, for today's Halachos, to discuss some timely Halachos of this Shabbos, Shabbos Shira
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) This Shabbos, Parshas Beshalach is known as "Shabbos Shira".
It is customary to put out pieces of bread for the birds to eat.
2) One of the reasons given for this custom is that in the desert the Mann fell for six days, with a double portion falling on Erev Shabbos to sustain the Jews through Shabbos.
The two evil troublemakers in the desert, Dasan and Aviram, tried to disprove Moshe Rabeinu's proclamation that no Mann will fall on Shabbos, and they took their Mann early Shabbos morning and scattered it all over the camp so the Jews will wake up and see that in fact Mann did fall on Shabbos.Hashem sent the birds to eat up every last crumb of the "planted Mann" and when the Jews awoke, it was as Moshe had promised, and no Mann was to be found. Thus as a reward for this, the birds are fed each year on Parshas Beshalach.
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) The Mogen Avraham (Orach Chaim Siman 324:7) decries this minhag, as the Halacha is that one may not feed animals that do not belong to him/her on Shabbos, and thus one may not put out food for the birds during Shabbos Shira (or any other Shabbos). (This is also how the Mishna Berura Siman 324:31 and the Shulchan Aruch HaRav Siman 324:8 rule.)
Other Poskim justify the minhag to feed the birds on this particular Shabbos as we are doing this as a Mitzvah of Hakoras HaTov (See Aruch HaShulchan Siman 324:3 and Da'as Torah 324:11)
[Incidentally, the Mogen Avraham Siman 171:1, based on Rashi to Ta'anis 20b rules that one may never feed food that is worthy of human consumption to animals or birds, as doing so is being ungrateful to Hashem for the food He has given us]
2) The best thing to do, if one wants to uphold this custom yet avoid feeding the birds on Shabbos, is to place the bread for the birds right before Shabbos begins. (And if one wants to adhere to the ruling of the Mogen Avraham in Siman 171, the bread that is placed for the birds should be stale and not good fresh bread that is still worthy of human consumption)
Another option brought in the Poskim is to have a minor (boy under 13, girl under 12) put out the bread, as it isn't a real Issur (Aino Shevus Gamur). (See Aishel Avraham (Butchatch) Siman 167: 6 Dibur Hamaschil Sham)
Halachos for Sunday, January 20, 2019
1) A person who is not ill but feels like he is coming down with an ailment, may take a preventative pill to prevent himself from becoming ill. (See Iglei Tal, Tochen, S"K 52)
2) This is the case even if the ailment he is trying to prevent is not one that will put him in any danger at all, e.g. taking a pill to prevent the onset of a common cold or if one knows that a certain feeling he has in his head always leads to a migraine headache, and thus he takes a preventative ibuprofen or the like.
Halachos for Monday, January 21, 2019
We digress from our current topic, for today's Halachos, to discuss some timely Halachos of Tu B'Shavat
1) It is customary [for Ashkenazic Jews] to eat different varieties of fruits on Tu B'Shvat, as this day is the 'Rosh Hashanah" for fruit trees (meaning that the "year" regarding Ma'aser and Arlah is counted from this day) (Mogen Avraham Orach Chaim Siman 131:16)
Some people have the custom to eat an Esrog (or Esrog Jelly) on Tu B'Shvat (Likutei MaHarich)
It is also customary to daven on Tu B'Shvat for a beautiful, kosher Esrog on the following Sukkos (Bnei Yissochor Shvat 2:2). The Ben Ish Chai even wrote special Tefilah for this
2) It is a Mitzvah for a person to seek out and eat new fruits in order to be able to offer praise and thanks to Hashem and to show that we appreciate all the wonderful things that Hashem creates for us to enjoy in this world. See Mishna Berura Siman 225:19 where he references a Talmud Yerushalmi very end of Maseches Kidushin where it says:
"[When a person will stand in judgment before Hashem after he/she leaves this world] they will have to give a Din V'Cheshbon (reckoning) for anything (i.e. food that Hashem created) that they had the opportunity to taste, yet didn't taste!"
The Korban H'Eida in his commentary to this Gemara explains that it is referring to not reciting SheHechiyanu on every possible fruit.
Many Poskim maintain that the custom of eating various varieties of fruits on Tu B'Shvat, and seeking out fruits on which to recite the bracha of SheHechiyanu, developed as a way to fulfill this requirement of the Talmud Yerushalmi, and what better day to do this than on the Rosh Hashana for trees!
Halachos for Tuesday, January 22, 2019
1) Someone who is not feeling so well, but is not sick enough to be allowed to take medicine on Shabbos, may do other actions which healthy people do, even if he is doing so for the purposes of alleviating his ache or pain.
2) The reason for this is that since the action he is taking is something that healthy people do as well, it is thus not evident that what he is doing is for medicinal purposes, and such a remedy was never included in the rabbinical decree against taking medicine. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:37 and 327:1)
We will give some common examples of this over the next few days.
Halachos for Wednesday, January 23, 2019
1) A person who is suffering from a toothache, may drink an alcoholic beverage in order to assuage his pain, even if doing so for the express purpose of easing the toothache.
2) However, he may only do so in the regular manner of drinking. He may not, however, place the beverage directly on the tooth that is aching, nor may he gargle the beverage in such a way that it is evident that he is doing so to ease his pain. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:32. If it's a very sharp pain, some Poskim, including the Chayei Adam, allow gargling once it's in the mouth)
Halachos for Thursday, January 24, 2019
1) A diabetic may eat a food that is known to lower his glucose levels, on Shabbos, as healthy people also eat this food, and thus it isn't plainly evident that he is eating it specifically for the purposes of lowering his sugars.
2) This is the case even if this particular person and those in his circles do not usually eat that specific food, as since the food is one that is eaten by healthy people, we deem it as being eaten as a regular food that healthy people eat. (Ruling of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Zatzal, quoted in Orchos Shabbos Perek 20 footnote 186)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, January 25, 2019 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) Someone who has a stomach ache or a backache may place a properly sealed bottle with hot water in it on the aching area in order to alleviate the pain, if very necessary.
2) The reason for this is that even healthy people sometimes use hot water bottles to warm themselves when they are cold, and thus we don't view this action as a remedy for an illness. (See Mishna Berura Siman 326 S"K 19)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) Some Poskim only allow this when the weather is cold, but not in the summer when this action will be plainly evident that it's being done as a remedy. (See Shulchan Shlomo, Refuah, Vol. 2 Siman 142. See also Shu"t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 8 Siman 83)
2) Additionally, some Poskim (including the Chayei Adam) allow this at all times, as this remedy is not one that we ever worried will lead to grinding of medicine, so it was never part of the Gezeira prohibiting medicine on Shabbos.
For Halacha L'ma'aseh a Rav must be consulted.
Halachos for Sunday, January 27, 2019
1) Someone who is suffering from a Miktzas Choli or a Meichush (levels lower than Choleh Sheain Bo Sakana for which we previously learned that no medicine may be taken on Shabbos to ease the pain) there are still permitted options for him to be able to take the pills in a permitted way, as we will now discuss. (Based on Talmud Shabbos 108b and Rashi's interpretation, and how the Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:21, Mishna Berura, Shulchan Aruch HaRav and most Poskim rule.)
2) The medication may be mixed into a food or a drink from before Shabbos, in a way that it isn't noticeable that there is medicine in there, and then he may consume that food/drink that has in it the medicine on Shabbos. (See Shulchan Shlomo, Refuah, Vol. 2 page 174 that a pill must be totally crushed and mixed into the food and be unnoticeable to be permitted, but it won't help simply to hide a pill inside a spoon of applesauce or similar, where the pill can still be found and seen. See also Shu"t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 2 Siman 86 for his view on this Heter)
Halachos for Monday, January 28, 2019
1) Throat drops or lozenges which are not eaten by healthy people who do not have sore throats, coughs or other throat pains, may not be eaten on Shabbos by one who has a sore throat or similar ailment.
2) This is the case even if they look identical to other sucking candies, as the leniency of taking a medication that is mixed into a food is only if the one taking it did an action before Shabbos that will serve as a "Heker" , noticeable reminder, that it isn't being taken in the regular way.
Halachos for Tuesday, January 29, 2019
1) An ailment whose remedy is never via medicine, may be done on Shabbos if the person is in pain.
2) The reason for this is since there is no medicine involved, Chazal did not worry that it may lead to the grinding of medicinal properties on Shabbos and thus this remedy is exempt from that gezeira.
However, it is still only permitted in situations where there id pain, as otherwise it would still be prohibited due to Uvda D'Chol, it being a weekday activity. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:43 and Mishna Berura S"K 136)
Halachos for Wednesday, January 30, 2019
1) An ache or minor pain that can be treated without medication, but can also be treated with medication, may not be treated on Shabbos even via the non-medication method, as in this case the Gezeira of remedies on Shabbos is still in place.
2) Thus, one who has an ache in his back, neck or shoulders, may not employ massage as a remedy on Shabbos, as these aches can also be treated via medications.
Simple actions, however, such a moving one's head or shoulders from side to side or in a circular motion to ease the ache are permitted, as they are not likened to a massage and not deemed a prohibited remedy. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal)
Halachos for Thursday, January 31, 2019
1) The prohibition of taking medicine and employing other remedies on Shabbos applies to healthy people as well who are not ill and have no current aches or pain, but seek to take preventative measures to prevent illness or otherwise boost their body's wellness. (See Mogen Avraham Siman 328 S"K 43 and Pri Megadim, Aishel Avraham, S"K 49)
2) Some Poskim, therefore, prohibit taking vitamins on Shabbos even if no illness is present and they are only being taken to maintain good health, and surely if the person is feeling a little weak and wants to take the vitamin to regain his full stamina. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 34 footnote 85)
Other Poskim are more lenient, as we will discuss tomorrow.
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, February 1, 2019 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) Regarding taking vitamins on Shabbos, many Poskim have a more lenient view and only prohibit them from being taken if the person is feeling a little weak and is trying to boost his wellness.
But if the person is totally healthy and is taking it as part of a daily regimen of vitamins or fish oil and the like to maintain good health, it is permitted to take on Shabbos as well. (Ruling of Rav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal. See lengthy Teshuva about this in Shu"t Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Vol. 3 Siman 54.)
2) If the vitamins or minerals are being taken as a food supplement, in lieu of certain healthy foods, even the more stringent Poskim will agree that it is permitted, as in this case it is viewed as a food and not as a medicine. (See Shmiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 34 footnote 85)
Thus, all "Health supplements" and the like whose purpose is to provide the body with sustenance not being received from the regular food supply - as opposed to being taken for healing or to strengthen a weakened immune system or other part of the body - would be permitted to take on Shabbos.
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) It is permitted to give healthy children vitamins or other supplements on Shabbos at the beginning of the winter to strengthen them and prevent them from developing illnesses. (See Chut Shani page 204)
2) Pills that are taken daily by healthy people for the purposes of remaining healthy or preventing a future illness - such as a daily aspirin to promote heart health or a daily calcium pill to promote bone health or folic acid to promote cell health - may not be taken on Shabbos.
Generally, skipping one day of this daily regimen will have no adverse long-term effect and will not negate the health benefits of taking it the rest of the week.
Of course, if a doctor deems it necessary to take even on Shabbos it may be permitted and a Rav should be consulted.
Halachos for Sunday, February 3, 2019
1) One who has a light stomach ache - from eating the wrong things or from overeating or the like - may not take any medication to soothe the ache on Shabbos.
If, however, the pain is stronger than a common stomach ache, it can be a sign of something more serious and the advice of a medical professional should be sought.
2) In a situation where the stomach ache is strong, and the person knows for certain that it isn't anything dangerous, yet it is strong enough that it requires him to lie down, or otherwise makes him feel weak all over his entire body, medication may be taken on Shabbos to alleviate the pain.
Halachos for Monday, February 4, 2019
1) Someone who has mild heartburn may not take medication on Shabbos to alleviate the pain.
Likewise, mixing baking soda with water for the purpose of drinking it to heal the mild heartburn is prohibited. (If it was mixed before Shabbos and isn't noticeable that there is baking soda in there, this would be permitted, as we discussed previously)
It is, however, permitted to consume a food or drink that is known to naturally cure heartburn, like milk or almonds, as healthy people consume these foods as well. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:37)
2) If it's a stronger heartburn that would make the whole body feel ill or make him feel like he needs to lie down, it would then be considered Choleh Sheain Bo Sakana, and medication would be allowed.
Halachos for Tuesday, February 5, 2019
1) One who has a minor cold or is otherwise congested, but it isn't accompanied by fever, may not take medication to help him feel better. This includes nose drops or an inhaler which is used to open the nasal passageway.
2) If, however, the cold makes him feel unwell over his entire body, or if he feels like he must lie down, he would be permitted to take medication or use an inhaler to help him feel better.
Furthermore, if one has a light cold, but he knows his own body and feels like he is coming down with something stronger, he may take a medication to prevent his condition from worsening, as we discussed previously.
Halachos for Wednesday, February 6, 2019
1) One who is experiencing mild diarrhea may not take medication on Shabbos to help the situation.
He may, however, eat or drink foods that are known to naturally alleviate this, such as bananas, oatmeal, applesauce and the like, as these foods are eaten by healthy people as well.
2) If, however, he feels like not treating the diarrhea will lead to worsening stomach pains, to the point that his entire body will feel ill or he will have to lie down, he will indeed be permitted to take a medication to treat it on Shabbos.
Halachos for Thursday, February 7, 2019
1) One who is experiencing constipation may not take medication on Shabbos to help the situation.
He may, however, eat or drink foods that are known to naturally alleviate this, such as prunes or prune juice,other high fiber food and the like, as these foods are eaten by healthy people as well.
2) If the constipation causes him to feel ill to the point that his entire body hurts or he feels like he has to lie down, he will indeed be permitted to take medication to treat it on Shabbos.
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, February 8, 2019 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) If one has a mild pain or inflammation of the inner ear which doesn't require a regimen of medication for consecutive days, he should not take medication for it on Shabbos to cure it or even to alleviate the pain.
2) If the pain is strong to the point that his whole body feels ill, or he feels like he has to lie down, he may take medication to ease the pain.
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) If one has an ear infection which requires antibiotics to be taken consecutively for a certain amount of day, some Poskim allow it to be taken on Shabbos, while others only allow it if the regimen is for seven days or more, as we discussed previously. [Inner ear infections and inflammation can be very serious and sometimes dangerous, and a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible if such pain occurs]
2) It is permissible to place a cotton ball in the ear canal on Shabbos to prevent cold air from entering the canal and strengthening the pain, as this is not deemed a remedy, rather a prevention of it worsening.
However, the cotton ball may not be cut or ripped on Shabbos to make it fit the ear more comfortably.
Furthermore, even if it was cut before Shabbos, it should not be shaped on Shabbos to form a specific shape for better fitting in the ear. (See Mishna Berura Siman 328 S"K 152)
Once in the ear, it may be pressed softly to compress it to fit better.
Halachos for Sunday, February 10, 2019
1) A retainer, night brace, and similar contraptions, which are worn to straighten teeth, or to keep them straight, may be worn on Shabbos.
2) The reason for this is that this remedy is not one that can be accomplished with medication and thus is not included in the gezeira of Chazal against medications on Shabbos. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:43 and Mishna Berura S"K 130
It also is not deemed Uvda D'Chol, a weekday activity,and thus permitted even if not in pain, as it doesn't do anything noticeable on any given day, rather it only works if worn consistently over an extended period of time. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasa Perek 34 footnote 111. This brace may also be worn on Shabbos outside of the Eiruv. See Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasa ibid. footnote 112)
Halachos for Monday, February 11, 2019
1) It is permitted to apply talcum powder, baby powder or similar powders to the body on Shabbos to prevent sweating.
2) However, if one has a rash or other skin condition that he treats with powder, if the powder is medicated it may not be applied on Shabbos.
If it is not medicated, it may be applied.
Halachos for Tuesday, February 12, 2019
1) Weight loss pills, pills that minimize the appetite and similar pills may be taken on Shabbos, as these are not considered medication, and are commonly taken by healthy people who want to eat less or lose weight.
2) It is prohibited to do strenuous exercise on Shabbos for the purpose of health, weight loss or strengthening the body. (This prohibition can be due to a variety of issues, depending on which opinion in the Rishonim to Talmud Shabbos 147b we follow. It is either an issue of Refuah, Uvda D'chol or Zilusa D'shabbos. See Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:42 and Mishna Berura S"K 130. See also Mogen Avrohom Siman 328:48 and Mishna Berura S"K 136)
Halachos for Wednesday, February 13, 2019
1) Light stretching of the limbs, to wake oneself up or to recover from a hand or foot that fell asleep due to being in the same position for too long, is permitted on Shabbos and is not included in the prohibition of exercising.
2) If one derives pleasure from exercising (i.e., they enjoy the activity itself, and not just that they endure the activity that they don't enjoy because they enjoy the end result and the benefits it brings them)it will be permitted fro him/her to exercise on Shabbos. (Ruling of rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 16 footnote 99, based on Shulchan Aruch Siman 301:2)
Halachos for Thursday, February 14, 2019
1) Regarding physical therapy and other exercises that one needs to do for specific aches, pains or ailments, if they can also be cured via medicine, then it would be prohibited to employ even methods that don't involve medicine, and thus the exercises would be prohibited on Shabbos.
If there are no medications for this ailment and the only remedy is these exercises, it would be permitted.
2) If the diagnosis in question requires a lengthy regimen of physical therapy for a consecutive period of days or weeks, including multiple times on Shabbos, and not doing it on Shabbos will adversely affect the effectiveness of the treatment, it is permitted to do it, even if this ailment could also be treated via medication. (If it is required only once a day, then it should be scheduled in a way that it can be done right before Shabbos and again right after Shabbos. If possible)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, February 15, 2019 Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) It is prohibited to run on Shabbos for the purpose of boosting the body's health, like the prohibition of other strenuous exercise as we learnt previously.
2) Walking for the purpose of health, where it isn't evident that it is being done for health, according to many Poskim is permitted, while others are more stringent. (See Mishna Berura Siman 301 S"K 7)
Halachos for Shabbos Kodesh
1) Someone who ate too much and feels ill or is otherwise in pain, may induce himself to vomit, via inserting a finger into his throat or another natural way.
2) However, he may not take any medication to induce the vomiting. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:39 and Mishna Berura S"K 124)
Halachos for Sunday, February 17, 2019
1) Activities and Protocols that are done to a person's body, yet are not deemed "Refuah", healing, are permitted on Shabbos.
2) Thus, if someone has a hangover from drinking too much, it is permitted to place oil on his hands or other similar "remedies" to help him rid himself of the hangover. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:41. See also Mishna Berura S"K 127 regarding inhaling Tabak on Shabbos)
Another permissible example would be swallowing a raw egg to enhance the voice. (Shulchan Aruch Siman 328:38)
Halachos for Monday, February 18, 2019
1) It is permissible to do actions or utter sayings that are considered "Segulos" for healing on Shabbos, as the Gezeira against remedies applies only to tangible medications that are consumed or done to/with the body. (See Shulchan Aruch Siman 306:7 and Mishna Berura S"K 36)
2) Likewise doing certain things to ward off Ayin hara (evil eye) would be permitted on Shabbos if these methods have been proven to work, as Ayin Hara can be harmful. (See Shu"t Shevet Haleivi Vol. 2 Siman 206)
[Of course, one should consult with a Rav before employing any Segulos, as many of them are not reliable and some are even not in the spirit of Torah Judaism.]
Halachos for Tuesday, February 19, 2019
1) A wound that opened and is in danger of becoming infected in a way that can become dangerous , is considered Pikuach Nefesh and we may treat it on Shabbos, even via biblical melachos if there is no other way.
2) A wound that opened, but is not life-threatening, is deemed a Choleh Sheain Bo Sakaa and may not be treated on Shabbos, unless it causes pain to the entire body or is painful to the point that he feels like he must lie down, in which case it can be treated via rabbinical melachos done with a shinui, or via an Aino Yehudi, as we learnt previously.
Halachos for Wednesday, February 20, 2019
1) A surface wound that is not at all dangerous and does not cause significant pain does not render the person a Choleh at all, and may not be treated on Shabbos with medication or cream, even if the creams are not smeared.
2) It is, however, permitted to wash the wound with water and[loose] liquid soap to prevent it from becoming infected.
Halachos for Thursday, February 21, 2019
1) Regarding putting iodine or polydine or other antiseptics on a wound to prevent it from becoming infected, some Poskim allow it and do not look at it as a medication that is healing, rather as a solution that is preventing infection, similar to placing a gauze to cover the wound. (Ruling of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal quoted in Shemiras Shabbos K'Hilchasa Perek 35 footnote 17)
2) Other Poskim are more stringent, and treat the antiseptics as medication, as although it is preventing infection, it is also effecting healing. (Ruling of Maran Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv Zatzal, quoted inOrchos Shabbos Perek20 footnote 237)
Halachos for Erev Shabbos Kodesh, February 22, 2019Double Portion L'Kavod Shabbos Kodesh
Halachos For Erev Shabbos Kodesh
1) When cleaning and dressing a wound with water and soap, care should be taken not to squeeze the liquid with the cotton, sponge, towel, gauze or bandage, as that can be an issue of the Melacha of sechitah, squeezing.
It is permitted to dress any wound with bandages, if no cream or other medication is used, as the bandages are not effecting healing, rather they are just preventing the wound from becoming infected.(See Shulchan Aruh Siman 328:23 and 24)
2) It is permitted to tear the package of an adhesive strip on Shabbos in order to use on a wound.
When applying an adhesive strip to a wound, care should be taken that the two ends of the strip both be on the skin, and not be stuck to each other (as is common when putting it on a finger) , as sticking the adhesive onto itself may be a violation of the melacha of Tofer, sewing, as it stays stuck together for a very long time on the wound, and often even after the bandage is removed and discarded.
Halachos For Shabbos Kodesh
1) When an adhesive bandage is on the skin in an area with a lot of hair, and by removing it some hair will surely be ripped out, it should not be removed on Shabbos.
2) If it is necessary to remove, and it cannot wait until after Shabbos, it should be done with a Shinui or via an Aiono Yehudi.
With endless gratitude to Hashem, this concludes our coverage of this important topic.