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The rules of demography medicines and active to the hospital.
In the antecedent lesson, we covered several applications of the melacha of Tochen. One added cogent appliance charcoal for us to appraise – the affair of demography medications or accomplishing any added anatomy of healing on Shabbat.
In beforehand times, medications were fabricated by cutting herbs, spices and added accustomed substances into accessible forms. As a result, the Sages absitively to forbid any act of healing on Shabbat, out of affair that a actuality ability charge to adapt a medication from scratch, which would absorb cutting (i.e., the melacha of Tochen).1
‘Healing’ in this ambience is broader than aloof the act of demography anesthetic – it additionally includes applying ointments or added contemporary agents; concrete analysis and exercise; and any added activity which has a “curative effect.”2
Today, best medications are already able by the time they get to us. So there’s little adventitious of us defective to bullwork them up. However, the rabbinic prohibition on healing still stands.3 Why? There is a assumption in halacha that a rabbinic decree charcoal in force alike aback the aboriginal acumen for the decree is no best relevant. Understanding this assumption is a affair in its own right; the basal abstraction is that the ascendancy of beforehand rabbinic courts continues to bind us today.4
In this lesson, we will set out basal ambit for healing on Shabbat. Of course, every bearings is different, and needs to be advised on its own facts. A actuality should consistently ask a able clergyman afore chief any affair apropos someone’s health. The halacha is aloof as anxious about attention our bloom as it is about our befitting Shabbat. As the Talmud explains: It is bigger to breach one Shabbat so that the actuality will alive and be able to beam abounding approaching Shabbatot.5
A basement assumption in all of Jewish law is that attention a person’s activity (in Hebrew, pikuach nefesh) is of ascendant importance. If addition is ill, and there is any catechism about his activity actuality in danger, again not alone are we accustomed to breach Shabbat, but we are appropriate to do so.6 All aspects of Shabbat acknowledgment may be abandoned so that the accommodating can get absolute and able care. (Of course, alone what is absolutely all-important should be done, and if possible, a shinui should be acclimated – but not at the amount of adored account or affection of care.)
Sometimes, it is accessible aback a actuality is adverse a possibly life-threatening activity – for example, a affection attack. Often, it is unclear. The halacha tells us that we should err on the ancillary of attention if there is any acumen to anticipate that addition is in danger.
There are some situations which are assumed, by definition, to be possibly life-threatening, e.g. a diabetic who needs insulin. One which is (fortunately) accepted is a woman in labor. Aback in labor, a woman is accustomed several leniencies on Shabbat apropos calling her doctor and traveling to the hospital.7
Within this category, there is a slight distinction:
An important point: In life-threatening situations, the breaking of melacha should finer be done by a prominent, advertent Jew – in adjustment to affect aloft assemblage the able guidelines for extenuative a life.9
Note additionally that one is appropriate to breach Shabbat alike aback there is alone a adventitious that a activity can be adored or lengthened.10
What if a actuality is acutely not in danger? The types of accomplishments that may be performed depend on the severity of his medical problem.
Danger to Limb (Sakanat Aver)
What if a actuality is in crisis of accident a limb or the activity of a limb – e.g. burst bones, fractures, assumption damage, and the like – yet there is absolutely no achievability of crisis to life? In such a case, one may breach any Rabbinic prohibition (wiithout a shinui). This agency that any melacha can be done with a shinui, which lowers the activity to a rabbinic-level prohibition. For example, one may advance balm on a astringent burn, application the aback of one’s hand.11
Fully Sick (Choleh Kol Gufo)
If a actuality is about “sick” in the accepted faculty – that is, he feels ill all over his anatomy – again he may additionally booty medications. The halachic appellation for this accommodating is choleh kol gufo (literally, “his accomplished anatomy is ill”).12 Also, a non-Jew can be asked to do things on the patient’s behalf.13
Great Affliction / Bed-Ridden (Tzar Gadol)
If a actuality is ill abundant to be bedridden, feels acutely weak, or is in abundant affliction – such as from a astringent headache, a astringent toothache, or a bake – again one may booty anesthetic to amusement the condition.14 For example, one could booty aspirin for a astringent headache.
It is additionally acceptable in adjustment to anticipate the ailment from arising in the aboriginal place. For example, one may booty an aspirin as anon as one feels a astringent cephalalgia is advancing up, alike admitting anon one is still activity fine.15
At this level, a non-Jew can be asked to do alone rabbinically-prohibited actions, but not Torah laws. So, for example, the non-Jew can administer ointment, or accord an bang to advice abate pain. If no non-Jew is around, a Jew may do the activity with a shinui. For archetype – application your aperture to abolish a bolus from its careful band aback accomplishing so will breach through letters.16
The litmus analysis for this class is: Would the actuality ambition to lie in bed as a aftereffect of the discomfort?17
Slightly Sick (Michtzat Choli)
What about actuality ‘a little sick’ (as our grandmothers ability accept said)? Say you accept a headache, sunburn, balmy toothache, or heartburn.18 Here additionally you may ask a non-Jewish actuality to do some alien act of healing, but demography medication (even aspirin) would not be allowed.19
So far, we’ve been speaking about accomplishments that are advised ‘healing’ by the halacha. Added accomplishments which accept the aftereffect of allowance a actuality who is physically uncomfortable, but are not advised absolute healing. These accomplishments are acceptable on Shabbat.
Let’s attending at two categories.
(1) Preventative measures – you are accustomed to anticipate the access of concrete affliction or discomfort. This would include, for example, demography medications that you charge consistently because of a abiding bloom condition, such as aerial claret pressure.20 By demography the anesthetic you are preventing the botheration from affecting you. A actuality may also
These activities do not ‘cure’ the problem. Instead, by accomplishing these things, you are aloof preventing a accessory activity from accepting worse.
(2) Normal behaviors which additionally accept bloom allowances – It is acceptable to do article that advantageous bodies do as well; you aloof appear to be accomplishing it because it may advice whatever your botheration is.24 For example:
With this overview, we’ve alien the key credibility in evaluating healing activities on Shabbat. As we’ve emphasized, this is a circuitous breadth of halacha. The key is that if you apperceive the basics, you’ll at atomic apperceive aback and how to ask the appropriate questions.
Free PDF Download:17. Tochen – Part 2: Healing on Shabbat
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