Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 91:5
Non-Critical Illness on Shabbos

5. One who suffers from [the type of] heart pain that is cured by sucking milk directly from a goat's udder (1), may do so on Shabbos. (Sucking the milk in this way is performing the forbidden activity called "mefarek" in an unusual manner, and the Sages did not prohibit the act in situations where a person feels pain) (2).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) This case appears in the Talmudic tractate "Kesuvos" (60a), and was a well-known cure thousands of years ago. Apparently, in order for the cure to work, one had to suck directly from the goat so that the milk was consumed at the temperature it retained while in the udder.

(2) This halacha requires a little background. All authorities agree that one cannot perform a Biblically prohibited activity on Shabbos in order to help a sick person who's life is not in danger. All authorities also agree that someone who does not have a life-threatening illness, but nevertheless, is bedridden ("nofal Le'mishkav") or, sick enough to be bedridden, may ask a Gentile on Shabbos to perform all their needs. There is a dispute, however, as to which type of rabbinical prohibition a Jew may violate in order to help a sick person on Shabbos, and under what circumstances, and in what manner, this violation can take place.

Now, in general, the Talmud does not explicitly state general legal principles. Instead, it provides a variety of specific cases through which we can derive an accurate general principle. Today's halacha is an example of such a process. Milking an animal is biblically prohibited on Shabbos due to the melacha of "mefarek," itself a derivitive ("toldadah") of the melacha of "Dosh" ("threshing"), which prohibits extracting an item from its natural container. Performing a melacha in an unusual manner, for example, a human suckling from a goat, is only rabbinically prohibited; Therefore, some authorities infer from our case of suckling from a goat, that a sick person who's life is not in danger, may do any melacha in an unusual manner in order to treat the illness; in other words, they infer from our case that the Sages didn't prohibit performing a melacha in an unusual manner in situations where severe pain or sickness is involved (See Shulchan Aruch Harav 328:19)..

However, some authorities rule that one may not perform a BIBLICALLY prohibited activity in an unusual manner for a sick person who's life is not threatened; one may only perform a RABBINICALLY prohibited activity in an unusual manner (See Mishna Berura 328:54).

Practically speaking, if one cannot find a Gentile to help out, one may be lenient and perform a biblically prohibited activity IN AN UNUSUAL MANNER, in order to help a sick person who's life is not in danger (See Shmiras Shabbos Ke'hilchosoh 33:2, footnote 17). Due to the complexity of this issue, please consult your local Rabbi with practical questions about specific cases.

Back  Paragraph 4  Table of Contents  Paragraph 6 Next 

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.

 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON PESACH AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

All Alone
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Introduction to Maggid
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

A Count of Anticipation
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

ArtScroll

Kid Tips
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Ha Lachma Anya
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

You and Your Sons
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Significance of the Omer
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

To Express a Higher Yes!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

A New Outlook
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5763

> Relating the Chain of Events: Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

This Night
Rabbi Label Lam - 5767

Pesach: The Obligation of Profound Appreciation
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

There's One in Every Generation
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

A Potential Lesson
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760

Why On This Night Do We Dip Twice?
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Giving Thanks for Doors Opened
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information