Laws Relating to Animals on Shabbos
801. A fish which has jumped out of an aquarium on Shabbos may be put back to prevent it from suffering, so long as there is reason to believe it will continue to live. There are however, authorities that forbid this. A fish which has died may be removed from the aquarium so that the other fish should not die, if a considerable financial loss is involved.
802. On Shabbos, if the cage of birds is positioned that the birds are suffering, for example, due to strong sunlight, then one should, where possible, eliminate the cause of suffering by some permitted means, as by drawing the curtain across the window. However, where this possibility does not exist, one may move the cage.
803. It is generally forbidden to catch any animal on Shabbos. This includes catching birds, fish, insects and any other living creature. The prohibition includes catching with a trap, a snare or net, catching it with one's hand, closing the door of the house while an animal is inside, even though one's intention in so doing is merely to secure the house, and setting a dog on an animal in order to catch it.
804. The prohibition against catching animals on Shabbos does not apply to those domestic animals, such as cows, sheep and hens, which are not in the habit of trying to escape when one catches them. One is permitted to drive such an animal into its pen, and one may then close the gate. At all events, one should not touch the animals, since they are muktzah.
805. One is not allowed to catch domestic animals on Shabbos that are in the habit of escaping when one tries to catch them, and which return to their home or pen at night. However, if there is risk of loss or suffering to the animal and one cannot wait until after Shabbos, one may catch them. One should, however, try not to touch the animals since they are muktzah.
806. One may not catch on Shabbos a domestic animal which has run away and would not return on its own at night. If a cow runs away and one is afraid it will become lost, one may chase it into a fenced off area, as long as at least one door is left open, even if that door is at the far end of the yard.
807. If a bird flies into a house on Shabbos, one should not close the window of the house since this will trap the bird. If one wants to close the window because of the cold, one should try and drive the bird out first. Where this is not possible, one may close the window since his intention is not to catch the bird (and it is anyway not confined to a small area that makes it easy to catch).
808. One must not completely close a box with flies inside it on Shabbos, because they will be trapped inside. If one drives off those flies he can see, one may close the box and is not obliged to examine it to make sure there are no more left inside. If one is in doubt if there are flies inside, one may close the box without examining it, provided he has no intention of catching flies.
809. One may release an animal that has become trapped on Shabbos, but one should not touch the animal. There are cases in which the Rabbis permitted one to move an animal to prevent it from suffering. For example, one should consult with a competent halachic authority for advice in how to proceed if an animal gives birth on Shabbos.
810. In general, one may not, in treating a sick animal on Shabbos, perform any act which is forbidden, even if it is only a Rabbinical prohibition. Nonetheless, one may move an object which is muktza for the purpose of providing an animal with medical treatment.
811. Even though the Rabbis restricted the taking of medicine or medical treatment for humans on Shabbos, these restrictions do not apply to the treatment of animals. One may therefore, feed medicine to an animal, administer an intramuscular injection to an animal and put ointment on an animal's wound. One must be careful though, not to spread the ointment. In general, one should take the advice of a qualified rabbi in these areas.
812. One is permitted on Shabbos to request from a non-Jew to perform activities which are forbidden on Shabbos even by the Torah, if one's purpose is to save an animal from danger or to alleviate its suffering. A dog that has been run over and is barking with pain may be treated (in the manner we learned in the previous Halacha) but one is not allowed to kill it.
813. It is forbidden to remove newly spawned fish from an aquarium on Shabbos to prevent larger fish from eating them. Yet it is permissible to ask a non-Jew to transfer them (together with some water) to another receptacle containing water.Stationary
814. One is not permitted on Shabbos to cut or tear apart pages of a book which were not properly cut through in binding. If the pages have become stuck together with glue or some other material, they may be separated, provided that they are stuck together in a place with no lettering. If they are stuck where there is lettering, it is forbidden to separate them since this would inevitably erase some of the letters.
815. It is proper to adopt a strict attitude not to use on Shabbos a book that has written or printed inscriptions or pictures that are broken and reunited when the book is opened or closed. Many authorities though, take a lenient approach and allow such books to be opened and closed.
816. It is the practice to allow the two halves of a torn page to be placed side by side on Shabbos to enable one to read what is written, if one has no other copy of the same book. This is the case even if there is lettering where the page is torn. However, one may not stick the torn parts of the pages together with adhesive tape.
817. One should not open a sealed envelope on Shabbos, nor should one open a letter which is itself sealed (i.e.not inside an envelope). One should not even tear the envelope open in a way which it cannot be reused. It is also forbidden to steam envelopes or letters open on Shabbos.
818. One may open an envelope on Shabbos by removing the staples with which it is sealed. The same applies to a magazine or booklet which has been stapled together for transmission by post. However, it is prohibited to remove staples from pages which have been permanently stapled together. It is also prohibited to use a stapler to seal an envelope or join pages together.
819. It is generally forbidden to move the following documents on Shabbos, since they are muktza: 1) business letters; 2) building plans; 3) accounts; 4) passports; 5) identity certificates. If one is accustomed to using one's identity certificate, as in a time of emergency, one may handle it on Shabbos.
820. Pages that have fallen out of a book on Shabbos must not be sorted unless one plans to read them right away. One may open and close the metal rings of a loose-leaf file holding documents that are not muktza. Nevertheless, sorting the documents is prohibited unless one is about to peruse them right away.
821. Blank sheets of paper in a file are muktzah on Shabbos. If the other papers in the file are of some importance and one sometimes reads them, then the presence of the blank sheets does not prohibit one from handling those other papers, one may move the whole file and one may even turn over the blank sheets in order to reach a document one requires. If the other papers are not of any importance and one does not read them, one should treat the whole file as muktza.
822. A file whose contents consist of commercial documents and letters, account and other muktza papers should not be handled on Shabbos at all. An empty notebook (exercise book) is also muktza on Shabbos.
823. If a notebook is partly empty, then, if the written pages are of some importance to one and one sometimes reads them, it is permitted to move the notebook on Shabbos even though it has blank pages as well. However, it is best to refrain from leafing through the unused sheets. If, however, one attaches no importance whatever to what is written and does not read it, one should not handle the notebook at all.
824. It is permissible to use a card index on Shabbos, assuming the cards contain permissible material (unrelated to business and the like). Taking a wrong card into one's hand, in the course of looking for a card one needs, and putting it back in its place do not amount to a violation of the prohibition against selection. Where one has taken a card out, one may search for its proper place in the index in order to replace it.
825. It is forbidden on Shabbos to sort books with the object of putting them into their proper places on the bookshelf. It is permitted to clear the table of books by picking them up one by one and putting each book back into its proper place as it comes to hand, as long as one's intention is only to clear and not to sort.
826. A telephone directory is muktzah on Shabbos. Nevertheless, one may use it to look up an address that one needs for Shabbos.
827. On Shabbos, one must not make any mark on a page, even with one's fingernail, to indicate up to where on the page one has read or to denote a word which requires correction after Shabbos. Paper clips are permitted to be used on Shabbos.
828. Letters and documents may be folded on Shabbos, either into their original folds or into new folds, but one should not fold paper to make toys or other objects. Similarly, one should not fold table napkins into special shapes. They may be folded in half or in quarters for neatness. One is not allowed to wrap the binding of a book in paper on Shabbos, by folding the paper around each cover to make it fit.Watches and Clocks
829. Winding a watch or clock is forbidden on Shabbos, even while it is still going. On yom-tov sheini shel galuyot one may wind a watch or clock which is still going, so long as the winding is for use on the same day.
830. One may adjust the hands of a watch or clock on Shabbos to set it to the correct time, but, if it is a chiming clock or an alarm clock, only in the event that one is certain it will not chime or ring while being reset. Subject to the same condition, the hands of a wall clock may be adjusted, although the clock itself should not be moved.
831. A wristwatch, a pocket-watch and an alarm clock are not muktza on Shabbos while they are operating, and may be handled, even if they are battery operated. However, a watch or clock which is not working is muktza, even if it was simply not wound up before Shabbos.
832. A gold watch which one does not normally remove from one's hand, even when it is not working, is considered to be an ornament and it may be handled in the usual way on Shabbos even if it has stopped going. One may not press the buttons of an electronic watch on Shabbos. If one cannot tell the time without pressing a button that causes it to light up, then it is muktzah.
833. If a wristwatch stops on Shabbos while one is wearing it and becomes muktza, and one is in a place where it is liable to get stolen if left, one may take it to a safe place and put it down there (if there is an Eruv). Wall clocks are muktza and may not be moved even while going.
834. A wrist watch which is wound automatically by movement of the hand may be worn, provided it is going. One must not put it on while it is not going. This applies even to a gold watch which serves as an ornament, since, in putting it on, one is bound to wind it up by the movements one makes. Consequently, such a watch which stops working is muktza, even if it is made of gold.
835. One is not allowed to stop the ringing of an electric alarm clock on Shabbos. One may stop a mechanically run alarm on Shabbos. Stopwatches and sandglasses may not be used on Shabbos, except when one needs them for a person who is ill (even if not dangerously ill). This need could arise if, for instance, one has to feed a patient or administer medicine at regular intervals.Producing Sounds
836. On Shabbos, one must not produce any sound, even a sound that is not musical, with an instrument designed for that purpose. Such an instrument is muktza. One is therefore prohibited from using whistles, tuning forks or bells on Shabbos, and they are all muktza.
837. Because of the prohibition of producing sounds with an instrument designed for that purpose, a shofar is muktza on Shabbos and may not be blown, even on Rosh Hashana. If Rosh Hashana does not fall out on Shabbos the shofar is sounded and may be handled even after fulfilling the mitzvah. On other Yomim-Tovim, the shofar may not be blown and is muktza.
838. As long as one doesn't beat out a specific rhythm, one may tap a bottle or glass on Shabbos with a spoon, for example, to silence a party of guests. One may also rap on the door with a key to attract attention on the inside or bang two pots together to wake someone up. However, one should not bang on the table with a spoon in time to a tune.
839. One may not produce a rhythmic sound even with one's own limbs on Shabbos, as where one claps or snaps the fingers, unless one is doing it in celebration of a Mitzva, such as singing for the joy of Shabbos. One may also do it with a shinui, such as clapping one hand on the back of the other or clapping with only one hand instead of two (joke).
840. One is allowed to whistle (even a tune) through one's lips on Shabbos. Some authorities justify placing ornaments with bells on the sefer Torah, even though they are designed to produce a sound, since they are for the honor of a mitzva.Baby Carriages
841. One is not allowed to push a baby carriage on Shabbos in a place without an Eruv. One may push a baby carriage over sand, even if this will cause the sand to move and tracks to be made by the weight of the carriage.
842. It is prohibited on Shabbos to convert a baby carriage into a stroller or to fit a seat onto a baby carriage for an older child, if this is done by means of screws which are fastened tightly and are not meant to be frequently screwed and unscrewed. If it is done through springs, clips, hinges or slots, it is permitted.
843. It is forbidden to fix a baby carriage on Shabbos, for example, if a tire comes off a wheel, a wheel drops off or a spring becomes detached from its permanent position. A carriage which broke on Shabbos and can be easily repaired is muktza and may not be used, since one might come to repair it on Shabbos. If the defect occurred before Shabbos and the carriage had already been used in its defective state, it is not muktza and may be used.Receiving Payment on Shabbos
844. There is a Rabbinical prohibition against receiving payment for work done on Shabbos, even if the work done was permitted. This is the case even if one agreed before Shabbos to do the work on Shabbos and receive payment after Shabbos. The reason for this prohibition is that this is similar to commercial transaction which is forbidden on Shabbos.
845. One may receive a voluntary gift on Shabbos that is presented in return for services rendered on Shabbos. However, one may not accept a 'gift' that one would be entitled to claim by right (if the services were rendered on a weekday), for this infringes on the prohibition against receiving remuneration on Shabbos. Consequently, one may not receive a 'gift' which it was agreed should be given or which is the accepted practice to give in return for such services. On the other hand, one may voluntarily return a favor for another favor that one has received on Shabbos.
846. The prohibition against receiving payment for services rendered on Shabbos is infringed whether the payment is made after the services, or whether it is paid in advance - before Shabbos, or even when a previously owed debt is written off against the services rendered.
847. Performing services in exchange for services is forbidden on Shabbos. However, if the service in question consists of merely looking after something to prevent loss or injury, it is permitted, as long as no direct material gain is conferred. A person may, thus, baby-sit for a neighbor on the understanding that the neighbor will baby-sit for him on another occasion.
848. If one has to be on duty on Shabbos, for example in a hospital or kitchen of a kibbutz, one may exchange one's turn for a different spell of duty on a weekday or on Shabbos. This is because neither party obtains a direct, material gain over and above his release from the original time.
849. It is forbidden to receive payment or remuneration, even from a non-Jew, for services rendered on Shabbos. One may remunerate a non-Jew for services which he has performed on Shabbos (and which one was allowed to have performed by him on Shabbos).
850. The prohibition against receiving payment for work done on Shabbos applies to a separate payment made for that work. It also applies to a payment covering that work together with work done on a day other than Shabbos, if the latter is not connected with the former. There is no prohibition however against receiving payment for work performed over a period of time which includes Shabbos. Thus, if a waiter starts his job before Shabbos or ends his work after Shabbos, he can be paid for the work he did on Shabbos as well.
851. Payment may be paid for work done on Shabbos if it is paid together with work done over a period of time including weekdays. However, this is only the case if there is a clear arrangement which the parties regard as binding and expect to last (as opposed to an agreement that one side can terminate at will and be paid for his time up until that point on a daily basis). In other words, what is important is that the arrangement was genuinely for employment over a period. Calculation of payment on a daily basis however, gives an individual importance to each day and that being so, payment cannot be attributed to the total number of days as a period and it would therefore be forbidden.
852. A babysitter or a tutor giving private lessons may receive payment including work done on Shabbos, provided there is a firm arrangement for his employment over a period. Since the arrangement is genuinely for an overall period of employment, the sum due may even be calculated on an hourly basis, including hours worked on Shabbos.
853. If one hires someone before Shabbos to do work on Shabbos, one should not speak with him on Shabbos about the payment he will receive for his work, even though it will be paid in a permissible manner together with payment for work done on other days of the week. Even to ask someone on Shabbos if he wishes to do paid work for one after Shabbos is forbidden.
854. If one employs waiters or helpers to assist at a party on Shabbos, one should make it a condition of the employment that some work should be done before or after Shabbos. Thus, the employee will be able to receive payment for all of his work together, including that not done on Shabbos. For example, one ought to stipulate that they should commence preparations before Shabbos or should help with the cleaning up after Shabbos.
855. If one rents out eating utensils for use at a dinner to be given on Shabbos, one should ensure that the rental period starts a number of hours before Shabbos begins, or continues after Shabbos has ended, and that there is an overall fee for the entire period. In this way one does not infringe on the prohibition of receiving payment for services given on Shabbos.
856. It is permissible to pay a hotel bill, even if one slept and ate at the hotel only on Shabbos. This is because the payment covers the hotel's expenses from before Shabbos as well, such as buying and cooking food before Shabbos, cleaning and maintenance of the hotel before and after Shabbos and laundry.
857. Where the use of a warm mikva is permitted on Shabbos, one may pay the entrance fee either before or after Shabbos. This is because the charge covers the cost of the heating and the cleaning of the mikva prior to Shabbos, so that it will be fit for use on Shabbos.
858. One is allowed to pay, before Shabbos, for admittance on Shabbos to zoological gardens or to similar attractions which one may visit on Shabbos. This is because the price of the ticket includes maintenance and the cost of feeding the animals before and after Shabbos. (Note that it is only permissible to go to such attractions if it is usual to pay in advance, so that other people won't think one has paid on Shabbos).
859. A doctor or a nurse who is called upon to give medical attention on Shabbos may request a fee for that attention, but the matter should not be mentioned on Shabbos. If a person transgresses the rules we have learned up to now and receives payment for services rendered on Shabbos, neither he nor anyone else may at any time derive any benefit from such remuneration.The Rules of Preparations
860. It is, in general, forbidden to make preparations on Shabbos or Yom-Tov for an ordinary day of the week, on Yom-Tov for Chol-Hamo'ed, on Shabbos for Yom-Tov, on Yom-Tov for Shabbos (without an eiruv tavshilin) on the first day of Yom-Tov for the second, or on one Shabbos for another.
861. Preparations for another day which are forbidden on Shabbos, comprise anything one does that is not required for the same day, even if it involves only minimal effort. There is nothing wrong with the performance of an act which, without the expenditure of any additional effort, serves a purpose both on Shabbos and on the following day.
862. One may not prepare food on Shabbos, to be consumed after Shabbos has ended. One may not wash dishes or cutlery which will no longer be used that day. See Halacha 446 for more details on washing dishes.
863. One may not fold an article of clothing on one Shabbos for use on another Shabbos, even if it is intended specifically for use only on Shabbos. One may not roll a Sefer Torah on Shabbos to the portion that is to be read the next day, even if that next day is Yom-Tov.
864. One is allowed to sleep on Shabbos, even if one's sole intention in doing so is to enable one to stay up late after Shabbos. Nevertheless, one should not say, on Shabbos, that he is going to sleep so that he will not be to tired to work after Shabbos.
865. It is forbidden to prepare wine for Havdala before Shabbos has ended. If one will use the wine for the third meal as well, it is permitted. Also, if it will be difficult to obtain wine for Havdala afterwards, one may bring it (provided that there is an eiruv), but not so late in the day as to make it obvious that one is bringing it for Havdala.
866. One should not take a prayer book to the synagogue on Shabbos (even if there's an eiruv) with the intention of praying with it after Shabbos, unless one makes some use of it on Shabbos as well. When Purim falls on Sunday, one should not bring the Meggilah to Shul while it is still Shabbos, unless one also reads from it a little during Shabbos.
867. One is allowed to wear newly washed clothes on Shabbos that falls out during the nine days. If one has forgotten to prepare clothes for the nine days by wearing them for a short time before the nine days begin, one is not allowed on Shabbos to put on washed clothes and then take them off after a short time, since this is preparing on Shabbos for a weekday. Instead, one may change, on Shabbos, out of the clean clothes one put on before Shabbos, into other, clean clothes, which one will leave on until after Shabbos (leaving one with two sets of reasonably clean clothes to wear during the week).
868. When the fast of the ninth of Av falls immediately after Shabbos one may eat and drink more than usual at the third Shabbos meal, even though one's intention is to make it easier to fast the next day. But one should not say that that is why one is eating. The leather-free shoes or slippers one will wear on the fast, should not be brought to Shul on Shabbos.
869. One is not allowed on Shabbos to make a bed or shake out bedclothes for use after Shabbos will have ended. One is, however, allowed to make the beds or shake them out for use on Shabbos or so that the house will look tidy on Shabbos.
870. Dishes and cutlery may be cleaned off the table, even after the last meal of Shabbos, so that the room should look clean or to avoid attracting insects. One may then leave the dishes in the kitchen in an orderly fashion so that they should be ready for washing right after Shabbos (taking care not to violate the prohibition against selection). It is, however, forbidden to clear the table in the last few minutes of Shabbos or if one intends to leave the room and not enter it again until after Shabbos.
871. Any permissible act which one is used to doing without extra bother and which one is used to doing without thinking about the future benefit, may be done on Shabbos, even if one will derive benefit from it after Shabbos as well (as long as one does not expressively say that one is doing it for after Shabbos). For example, if one brings a Tallith to Shul, one may carry it home again (in a place with an eiruv). Also, one may return a book to its place in the bookcase after use, and one may place leftovers back into the fridge after the meal.
872. One may stand dirty dishes in water on Shabbos so that the remains of the food will not dry up and stick to the dish. However, if the food has already dried, the dish may not be placed in water, since, in this event, the dish is being soaked with the specific thought in mind of making it easier to clean after Shabbos than it is at present.
873. A person may leave home on Shabbos afternoon, even on a very hot day, taking with him (where there is an eiruv) a sweater to be worn at night, after Shabbos, although it is better if he does not say he is taking it for the evening. One may also carry a key in one's pocket (where there is an eiruv) so that one will be able to enter one's house after Shabbos.
874. On Shabbos it is forbidden to walk more than 2000 amoth (cubits) beyond the last house in the town or the same distance beyond the boundary of the eiruv of the place where one happens to be. However, one is allowed to walk to the extreme limit of the 2000 amoth and wait there until after Shabbos so that one can then go further in order to perform an activity which is allowed on Shabbos. But this is forbidden (because of 'preparation') if his intention is to do an activity after Shabbos which is forbidden to do on Shabbos.
875. One may move an object that is not muktza on Shabbos to avoid its being stolen or broken, even if one has no use for it until after Shabbos. One may take clothes in from the yard or balcony if one fears they will be made wet by the rain and one will be unable to wear them in the evening, after Shabbos.
876. One is permitted to learn things on Shabbos which one is not required to know until the following day. This is not called 'preparation' for another day, since the actual acquisition of knowledge is an everyday need.Prohibitions Derived from Isaiah
877. There are certain prohibitions that are derived from verses in Isaiah. In the following Halachos we will discuss the way that the Rabbis expounded these verses. 'Call Shabbos a joy' - there is a positive commandment to enjoy the Shabbos, to sanctify it and honor it. 'Call G-d's sanctified (day) honored' - just as there is a commandment to honor and enjoy the Shabbos so to there is a commandment to honor and enjoy Yom-Tov.
878. From the verses in Isaiah we learn out various Halachos. '[Call] G-d's sanctified (day) honored' - on Yom-Kippur, since one cannot honor the day with food and drink, one is commanded to honor it by wearing clean clothes, spreading a cloth on the table and kindling lights at home and in the synagogue. 'And respect it by not following your usual ways' - your manner of walking on Shabbos should not be the same as on other days of the week.
879. From the verses in Isaiah we learn out more Halachos. 'And respect it by not following your usual ways, by not pursuing your business' 1) YOUR ways and business is forbidden, but the ways and business of heaven are permitted. 2) You should not make your way on Shabbos to a place where you will pursue your business. 3) A person should not pursue everyday affairs on Shabbos.
880. More laws that our Rabbis learn out from the verses in Isaiah: 'And [by not] speaking about [forbidden] matters' - your conversation on Shabbos should not be the same as on other days of the week. Also, we see from this verse that only speech is prohibited but thought is permitted. In the following Halachos we will expound on these interpretations in more detail.
881. As a general rule, one should not run on Shabbos, or walk with long strides, but should walk in a leisurely manner. It is permissible to run to escape from the rain or in a place where one is afraid to walk slowly.
882. Children are allowed to run and play running games on Shabbos if it adds to their enjoyment. It is also permitted, and indeed it is a mitzvah, for adults to run on Shabbos to perform a mitzvah, such as to the synagogue or to a Torah study session.
883. It is forbidden to go somewhere on Shabbos if the following three conditions are true. 1) One wishes to perform an act there after Shabbos which is prohibited on the Shabbos. 2) There is no conceivable way for this act to be done on Shabbos in a permissible manner. 3) It is recognizable from one's actions that one wishes to perform the prohibited act after Shabbos. If one of these conditions is missing, it is permitted to go to this place. We will explore examples of this prohibition in the coming Halachos.
884. It is forbidden…. To go into one's place of work on Shabbos so that one will be able to begin work immediately when the Shabbos ends To go to a bus stop and wait there to be able to board a bus as soon as Shabbos is out. To check out an apartment on Shabbos which one may rent or buy to see if it is suitable, or to see what repairs need to be done To go for a stroll in a market to find things one wants to buy after Shabbos.
885. It is permitted, while walking along the street on Shabbos, to look for a particular shop, even if one’s intention is to be able to enter the shop right after Shabbos ends. One may not, however, wait at the shop entrance until Shabbos ends.
886. One may look at merchandise displayed in a shop window on Shabbos, even if one's intention is to find something one wishes to buy after Shabbos. One may not, however, pay attention to the prices.
887. One may wait under a bus stop shelter on Shabbos in order to take refuge, for example from the rain or sun, even if one intends to board a bus as soon as Shabbos ends. One must, of course, make suitable arrangements to avoid carrying a ticket or money on Shabbos. (A monthly pass is also muktza on Shabbos).
888. One may walk to a bus stop on Shabbos and wait there to board a bus after Shabbos, if his intention is to go do a mitzvah. It is forbidden on Shabbos to check, in a shop, a field or any other place of work, even in one's home, to see what is lacking and will need to be done there once Shabbos ends.
889. One may not hire a workman on Shabbos, even if a. the workman is not Jewish, b. the work is to be done after Shabbos and c. one does not speak to him about payment.Buying & Selling on Shabbos
890. One may take goods on Shabbos from a shopkeeper, provided the goods are required for Shabbos and that one is careful not to mention expressions of 'buying' or 'selling'. One may promise the shopkeeper that one will come to an arrangement with him after Shabbos. One may even give the shopkeeper some object as security, but one should not expressively say that that is why he is giving it to him.
891. A shop may not be kept open on Shabbos as if for regular business. However, one may go to one's usual shopkeeper on Shabbos and take from him whatever one needs for that Shabbos, subject to certain restrictions, as we will see in the coming halachos. One must not quantify the amount one requires, by cost, weight or measure, nor may one add it to previous purchases and specify a cumulative amount, by cost, weight, measure or number.
892. Weighing or measuring is forbidden on Shabbos. One may ask a shopkeeper to fill a bag or container with a commodity and promise him to weigh an identical bag or container filled with the same commodity after Shabbos, one's intention in doing so being to know how much one has to pay him.
893. If one takes items from a store on Shabbos, one should not mention the cost even when the items have a fixed price and one's intention is to indicate the quantity one requires (for example; 'give me $2 worth of apples'). However, one may say that one wants the items costing so-and-so much if the purpose is to make clear which type the person wants. For example, if there are two types of apples costing different amounts, $1/lb and $2/lb, one may ask for some of the $1/lb apples.
894. It is permissible on Shabbos for a Shopkeeper to fill a container designed for measuring and hand it to the customer together with its contents, as long as he lets the customer take the container as well, and not empty the measuring container into another container. If the shopkeeper is not precise as to the amount he puts into the container, but pours a little more or a little less than the exact measure, he may even empty it into another vessel.
895. A person who takes merchandise from a shopkeeper on Shabbos (in the permitted ways we discussed in the previous Halachos) and still owes money for purchases made before Shabbos, should not specify the new cumulative balance on Shabbos neither in money, weight, measure or number. For example, if one owed for 5 bottles before Shabbos, he must not say that he now owes for 10 bottles after taking another five bottles on Shabbos.
896. Although the Rabbis permitted a shopkeeper to supply goods on Shabbos in the ways we discussed in the previous Halachos, it is forbidden for him to talk about payment or even to hint about the price of the merchandise. It is also forbidden for him to attach numbered slips to cards bearing the customer’s names, or to slip cards of customer’s names into a book at pages whose numbers correspond to the amount they owe.
897. With the exception of food, all items (including eating utensils) which are intended for sale and whose owner is particular not to use them, for example, so that they should remain clean and new for sale, are muktza on Shabbos and may not be moved. On the other hand, items intended for lending out or hire are not muktza on Shabbos.
898. One is not allowed to buy something from a vending machine on Shabbos, even if it is not activated by a coin, but by a token which was purchased before Shabbos, even if it is not operated electronically, and even if one asks a non-Jew to buy it for him.
899. The Halachic position with regard to vending machines on Shabbos is as follows: If one can assume the machines would be used by Jews in violation of the Shabbos, it is proper to see that the machines are not left operational over Shabbos. In a place where the users of the machines are non-Jews, the machines may be left working on Shabbos.
900. A person may pay before Shabbos for meals he will eat at a restaurant on Shabbos, receiving, in return, vouchers which will enable the restaurant to know what items he has purchased. However, these vouchers may not contain any mention of a price, rather simply an inscription saying that in exchange for this voucher, one may obtain a particular food or meal. Better still, the vouchers should be color-coded so that they needn't even be read on Shabbos.Gifts and Ownership Transfers
901. It is forbidden to transfer ownership or to give a gift on Shabbos. If Reuven wants to give a gift on Shabbos to Shimon, Reuven should give it to a third person, Levi, before Shabbos, who accepts it on behalf of Shimon. Reuven may then give the gift to Shimon on Shabbos. If this has not been done, the gift may still be given, but Shimon should have in mind not to acquire ownership of the gift until after Shabbos.
902. On should not abandon ownership of something (make something hefker) on Shabbos unless it is for the purpose of a mitzva, such as making chametz hefker on erev Pesach. One may, however, throw something out into the street on Shabbos, despite the fact that it thereby becomes ownerless, provided there is an eiruv and provided that the item in question does not constitute a nuisance to the public.
903. One may acquire hefker (ownerless) property on Shabbos. A person finding a lost article on Shabbos may, thus, pick it up and keep it (assuming it isn't muktza and that there is an eiruv).Measuring & Weighing
904. There is a Rabbinical prohibition against measuring and weighing on Shabbos and Yom-Tov, whether for the purpose of buying or selling, or even for one's own personal use, like for preparing food on Yom-Tov. It applies even to measuring with a vessel which is not specially designed for that purpose.
905. One is allowed to measure on Shabbos, even with a vessel designed for that purpose, if one does not measure precisely, but puts in a little more or a little less than the exact quantity. One may count the tiles of a room on Shabbos, even if one's intention is to ascertain the size of the room for the purpose of planning the furniture layout.
906. Scales should not be used on Shabbos, even if one does not weigh precisely, but puts on the scale a little more or a little less than the amount one needs. An experienced tradesman is also prohibited from estimating the weight of an item by picking it up in his hand, unless his purpose is not for trading but for use at home, and he doesn't hold weights in his other hand for comparison.
907. If necessary, one may weigh or measure the amount of food which a child requires on Shabbos, but it is preferable not to be exact in the weight or measurement. It is also permissible to weigh the child himself, when one has to ascertain how much weight, if any, he has gained after a meal. One must not weigh oneself or any other person. Similarly, one must not measure a person's height or any of his other dimensions.
908. It is permitted to measure and weigh on Shabbos for the purposes of a mitzva. Consequently, one may measure a drinking cup to see if it is suitable for kiddush. One may measure the amount of matza and marror one needs to eat on Pesach. And one may measure the distance of 2000 amoth outside the town, to ascertain how far one is allowed to walk on Shabbos.
909. All instruments designed for measuring or weighing, such as scales, rulers and tape measures, are muktza on Shabbos. They may not be moved, except subject to the restrictions applicable to a kli shemelachto le'issur, see Halacha 153.Reading Material
910. On Shabbos, one may not read papers connected with one's day-to-day business. Examples are bills of debt, accounts, price labels on goods displayed in a shop window and travel timetables. Papers such as these are muktza on Shabbos.
911. It is forbidden on Shabbos to read letters, even of a social nature. If, however, one receives a letter on Shabbos and has not yet read it, one is allowed to read it silently (without moving one's lips) since the letter may contain information that one might need that day. However, one is not allowed to rip open an envelope on Shabbos.
912. One may not read business correspondence on Shabbos, and if one considers the papers important, they are muktza machmas chisaron kis (see Halacha 155). One may read letters containing a discussion of Torah topics, even if they came before Shabbos.
913. Strictly speaking, it is permissible on Shabbos to read about current events in a newspaper, although it is forbidden to read such items as business news, advertisements containing offers of sale or purchase, or of employment, or a cookery column. The likelihood of one's reading forbidden material is so great, however, that, in general, it is desirable not to read newspapers at all on Shabbos. Newspaper items which deal with Torah topics are fine, as long as one is careful not to read commercial items or other forbidden material.
914. As a general rule, it is desirable on Shabbos to refrain from reading any books or journals whose subject matter is not consistent with the spirit of the sanctity of Shabbos. However, strictly speaking, one may permit the reading of professional literature, journals and textbooks which are not of a business nature. One should not read such material if it deals with matters of commerce or one's own occupation, if its practice is forbidden on Shabbos (as where an engineer whishes to read literature on the subject of engineering).
915. One may read posters and advertisements on Shabbos (although it is not necessarily desirable) as long as one takes care not to read commercial items. One should not, however, read obituary notices, since one should not be sad on Shabbos.
916. One may not read a list of guests one has invited to a Shabbos or Yom-Tov meal, and the same applies to other lists one has prepared. Two reasons have been given for this. 1) One might come to read papers connected to one's day to day business. 2) One might come to add or delete from the list.Speech & Preparation
917. One must not tell another person, even a non-Jew, to do something for one after Shabbos, if it is forbidden to do that thing on Shabbos and there is no way to do it in a permitted manner on Shabbos. Making such a request would amount to pursuing one's business on Shabbos through one's words. However, for a mitzvah this would be permitted. We will explore some examples of this prohibition and it's exceptions in the coming Halachos.
918. One must not tell a non-Jewish taxi driver on Shabbos to call at one's house after Shabbos, unless one needs him for the purpose of a mitzva. One may, however, indirectly imply that he should come, for example, by asking if he thinks he would be free to come after Shabbos or by telling him that one would be happy if he was available to come after Shabbos.
919. One may tell someone to bring fruit for one after Shabbos, even in a place where there is no eiruv, since, had there been an eiruv, the friend would have been able to bring it even on Shabbos. However, one may not ask a friend (or even a non-Jew) to pick for him fruit after Shabbos, since there is no possible way in which picking fruit would be allowed on Shabbos.
920. One may look for a teacher for one's son on Shabbos, whether it be to teach him Torah, a trade, a profession or a subject one thinks will be useful to him in his career. In all these cases one is regarded as performing a mitzvah. One may also promise him a fee, as long as one does not specify any sum.
921. One may look for a teacher for one's son on Shabbos, whether it be to teach him Torah, a trade, a profession or a subject one thinks will be useful to him in his career. In all these cases one is regarded as performing a mitzvah. One may also promise him a fee, as long as one does not specify any sum.
922. It is permissible to allocate (but not, of course, to distribute or handle) charity moneys on Shabbos for poor people or for the performance of a mitzvah. Consequently, persons called up to the Torah on Shabbos may promise donations to charity, and even mention the amount they undertake to contribute. Trading is forbidden on Shabbos, even for the purpose of a mitzvah.
923. It is permitted on Shabbos to 'Sell' the right to perform mitzvoth in the synagogue or to make an appeal for charitable causes. It is, however, preferable, where an alternative exists, not to record the sums which the 'purchasers' agree to pay, even where cards or slips of paper with the suggested amounts on them (which were written before Shabbos) are used. Yet those who do use such cards have authority upon which they can rely, since it is for the sake of a mitzvah.
924. On Shabbos, one is not allowed to perform any forbidden act, even if it is only a rabbinical prohibition, on the grounds of public necessity. However, as far as restrictions on speech are concerned, the conduct of public affairs is regarded as a mitzvah, provided those affairs have to be dealt with that day. It is therefore permitted, if there is a need to do so, to discuss matters of public importance with government officials on Shabbos.
925. We learn from the verses in Isaiah that your conversation on Shabbos should not be the same as on the other days of the week (see halacha 880). One should not say that after Shabbos one is going to do something which is forbidden on Shabbos, even if it is only a Rabbincal prohibition. For example, one may not say 'I am going to drive into town tomorrow', 'I am going to write a letter tomorrow' or 'I shall buy those goods tomorrow'.
926. On Shabbos or Yom-Tov one may speak about an activity forbidden, not by virtue of the laws of Shabbos or Yom-Tov in themselves, but by virtue of other considerations pertaining to that particular Shabbos or Yom-Tov. For example, on Yom-Kippur one may say that they will eat such and such a food the next day or on Passover one may say that they will eat Chametz after Pesach.
927. It is proper, when one can, to take a strict approach and not talk on Shabbos about a forbidden act that one intends to do after Shabbos, even if the act is to be done in the performance of a mitzvah. An exception occurs where there is a particular need, for example when one wants to ask a friend one happens to see on Shabbos to accompany one in one's car after Shabbos for the purpose of a mitzvah, or when one wishes to stimulate one's enthusiasm by talking about a mitzvah that he is afraid he might be remiss in performing otherwise.
928. It is forbidden to make calculations out loud on Shabbos if there is a possibility that the calculations may be of use to one. There is no prohibition in making calculations about various things just for fun, if those calculations are of no practical use. Calculations for a mitzvah are permitted as well, even verbally.
929. One may talk on Shabbos about the price one paid for an article if the price is fixed and does not require a calculation, or if one has already paid for it. One should not, however, talk about prices or store names, if that information may be of practical use to the other person, such as where that person is thinking of purchasing an article of that kind.
930. One ought to refrain on Shabbos from too much idle, useless talk. It goes without saying that one must not discuss distressing subjects, nor engage in conversation which is in any event forbidden, for example, by making false or defamatory statements. However, since the verse says 'And [by not] speaking about [forbidden] matters', only speech is forbidden, whereas thought is permitted.
931. A person may say on Shabbos that they plan to go to a particular place on the following day, even though one has in mind to travel there by car, since thoughts of forbidden acts (melachos) are permitted on Shabbos. Thinking about one's business on Shabbos is, as such, permitted, but not if one will peruse one's accounts, nor if it will cause one to feel anxiety or uneasiness, since these feelings are inconsistent with the spirit of Shabbos.
932. Worry is inconsistent with the “rest” of Shabbos. It is inherent in one's obligation to enjoy Shabbos that one not give a thought to one's business, but should rest as if all one's work were done. This is how one should understand the verse in Exodus 20:9 'You should labor for six days and do all your work' - a person cannot always complete all of his work in six days, but, when Shabbos arrives he should have the same peace of mind as if he had completed everything he had to do.
933. It is ideal to have the holiness of Shabbos so close to heart that one only talks on Shabbos about Torah topics and things one needs. Each day of creation G-d said 'Let there be such and such ... and on the seventh day he rested', from what? He rested from speech. So should we rest from workday speech, if we wish to truly feel the sanctity of Shabbos.Non-Jews
934. It is prohibited, both on Shabbos and Yom-Tov, to tell a non-Jew to perform an act for a Jew which a Jew is himself forbidden to perform. It does not matter if the act is forbidden by the Torah or by a Rabbinical prohibition. One may not even tell the non-Jew on a weekday to do this act on Shabbos, nor may one tell the non-Jew on Shabbos to do this act on a weekday. We will explore exceptions to this rule in the coming Halachos.
935. It is prohibited to hint to a non-Jew to do a prohibited action for one on Shabbos, unless one hints indirectly without mentioning the forbidden act at all. We will explore examples of this in the coming Halachos. It is permitted however, to hint on Shabbos, even directly, for a non-Jew to do something prohibited for one AFTER Shabbos, or, to hint BEFORE Shabbos begins to the non-Jew to do something prohibited ON Shabbos.
936. One may hint to a non-Jew on Shabbos to perform a forbidden act if one does not use expressions or motions which directly indicate to him what he should do. One should merely describe the situation so that he can put two and two together and does it of his own accord. For example, one may say to a non-Jew, 'it is difficult to sleep with the light on' so that he understands himself that he should turn it off. One may not say, 'why didn't you turn off the light last week?' to make him understand to turn it off now, since this is mentioning the forbidden act itself.
937. One may say to a non-Jew on Shabbos, 'What a pity all that gas is being wasted', so that he understands himself to turn it off. One may not, however, say to him, 'Whoever turns off the gas won't lose by it' (implying compensation after Shabbos), so that he understands to turn it off. Here again, (as in the previous halacha), the mention of the forbidden act is considered as if one had asked him directly and is forbidden.
938. Although there are circumstances in which it is permissible to hint to a non-Jew that he should perform a forbidden activity on Shabbos, there may still be a prohibition against deriving a benefit from that activity on Shabbos. Indeed, even if the non-Jew performed the act of his own accord, it may be prohibited for a Jew to derive from it anything other than an indirect or non-substantive benefit. We will explore examples of this in the coming Halachos.
939. If there is light in the room on Shabbos, but not enough to make reading easy, one may say to a non-Jew, 'I can't read, because there isn't enough light' or 'it's rather dark, because there's only one light on'. Here too, one is merely stating the facts to make it apparent that another light needs to be turned on. One may derive benefit from the new light as long as the old light continues to burn. The mere improvement of one's convenience in reading is not substantial enough to fall into the prohibition of receiving benefit from a forbidden act performed for a Jew by a non-Jew.
940. One may not say to a non-Jew on Shabbos, 'Do me a favor'. There's not enough light in the room.' By using this turn of phrase, one is plainly telling the non-Jew what to do. Nevertheless, before Shabbos, one may use even such a thinly veiled hint to indicate to the non-Jew to turn on another light once Shabbos has begun.
941. If there was no light in the room previously, one may not benefit at all from a light turned on by a non-Jew on Shabbos, since the benefit in this case is both direct and substantive since one could not see at all previously. This prohibition applies even if the non-Jew turned on the light of his own volition, and even if one desires to benefit from the light only for the sake of a mitzvah, such as to learn or pray.
942. One may say to a non-Jew on Shabbos, 'Why didn't you come and pick me up with your car last week, after Shabbos?' so that he understands to come after the current Shabbos. Even though the hint contains a direct reference to the forbidden act, it is permitted since the act is to be performed after Shabbos. The same applies to a hint given before Shabbos. For example, one may say before Shabbos begins, 'Why didn't you open my mail last Shabbos'? so he understands to open it on this coming Shabbos. One must not express oneself in this manner on Shabbos, for an act that is to be done on Shabbos.
943. Generally, one may tell a non-Jew on Shabbos to do something which is required in the treatment of a person who is ill, even if it involves an activity prohibited by the Torah (as opposed to a Rabbinical prohibition) and even if the person in question is not seriously ill. For example, one may tell a non-Jew to turn on the light so that one can see to the needs of a sick person. Similarly, one may tell him to put out the light so the sick person can sleep.
944. If a person is suffering from the cold, or if there are small children in a cold climate, they may be considered in the same category as someone who is ill, and one may tell a non-Jew on Shabbos to turn on the heating. On a very hot summer's day as well, one may tell a non-Jew to turn on the fan or air-conditioner to alleviate the discomfort of one who is suffering. If the weather changes on Shabbos and the continued operation of the air-conditioner can be injurious to one's health, one may tell a non-Jew to switch off the system.
945. One may tell a non-Jew on Shabbos to put out a fire to save sacred writings from being destroyed, even if there is no danger to life. The Talmud, halachic works, prayer books and other study books, as well as extracts from them and commentaries, are all considered to be sacred writings. From this stems the practice to tell a non-Jew to put out a fire in a house even when there is no danger to life, in order to save the meuzoth fixed to the doorposts (since a Jew is not allowed to remove them on Shabbos).
946. It is the practice to tell a non-Jew to turn off the candles in the synagogue after the Friday night service, for fear of there being a fire which could destroy the sacred writings kept there. A person who finds sacred writings in a public place without an eiruv and is afraid that they may become destroyed or damaged if left where they are, may tell a non-Jew to carry them to his house.
947. One is allowed to hint to a non-Jew on Shabbos that he should carry out some action to prevent a serious loss of property even by using an expression which directly indicates what is to be done. Consequently, when there is a fire, one may say to a non-Jew 'Whoever puts out the fire or calls the fire department won't lose by it' (meaning he will be compensated after Shabbos).
948. One may tell a non-Jew on Shabbos directly (and not just by a hint) to perform a Rabbinical prohibition (but not a prohibition of the Torah) in the following cases: 1) For someone who is slightly ill; 2) to avoid serious loss; 3) in a case of great need; 4) for the purpose of a mitzvah; 5) in honor of unexpected guests.
949. One may tell a non-Jew to save property from a fire on Shabbos as long as the non-Jew doesn't have to do an action that, for a Jew, would transgress a Torah prohibition. Therefore, one may tell him to move even muktza items through a place without an eiruv, as long as that place is not a reshuth ha-rabbim.
950. One may not tell a non-Jew to extinguish a fire on Shabbos where 1) there is clearly no danger to human life, 2) there are not three or more people in the vicinity who may be injured 3) there are no mezuzoth or other sacred writings which may be destroyed.
951. If a Jew finds chametz in his home on Pesach or on Shabbos occurring during Pesach or the day before Pesach, he may not handle it, as it is muktza. However, he may ask a non-Jew to remove it from the house (unless there is an actual reshus harabim outside) or to dispose of it in the toilet bowl or in the sea.
952. One is permitted to tell a non-Jew on Shabbos to wind up a watch that is still going, if one needs it for a mitzva, such as to know when to go to a study session or to pray. One may tell a non-Jew to move a Kli shemelachto le-issur (see halacha 201) such as a hammer, even if one's purpose is only to prevent it from getting spoiled or stolen. The reason is, because the Jew himself would be allowed to move it, if he needed it for a permitted purpose or if he needed the place it occupied (see halacha 153).
953. One is allowed to request a non-Jew on Shabbos to do something which involves a Torah prohibition (if not possible through a Rabbincal prohibition) if it will save the public from an unwitting transgression. One is therefore allowed to tell a non-Jew to repair the torn wire of an eiruv by tying it together with a double knot. If, however, it is possible to repair it by making a bow tie, then that is the preferred course.
954. It is permitted on Shabbos to tell a non-Jew to wash the dishes, since the Jew is also allowed to wash the dishes, even if one knows that, in order to wash the dishes, the non-Jew will turn on the light, heat the water or operate a dish washer. One should not, however, ask this of the non-Jew if one's intention is to wash the dishes with him once he has turned on the light or heated the water.
955. If a non-Jew has begun washing the dishes for a Jew on Shabbos, one may help him by the light of the lamp which the non-Jew has switched on. However, one should not wash the dishes in the water that the non-Jew heated on Shabbos for that purpose.
956. One may ask a non-Jew on Shabbos to bring something from a dark room, knowing that he will have to turn on the light to find it. Yet, one should not ask the non-Jew to come with him, if, in doing so, the non-Jew will have to turn on the light. This is because the direct and immediate benefit derived from the light by the Jew, coupled with the fact that the non-Jew is coming for the purposes of the Jew, makes it clear that the non-Jew is in reality turning on the light for his Jewish companion.
957. The period between sunset and the stars coming out on Friday night is known as bein hashmashot. During this period, one may ask a non-Jew to perform a prohibited act if indeed 1) its performance is a matter of importance, 2) it is required for Shabbos or 3) it is done for the purpose of a mitzvah. Examples would be, asking a non-Jew to turn on the light in the room where one is planning to eat, or to put on a memorial light.
958. It is forbidden to order work from a non-Jew, even at the beginning of the week, if the non-Jew will be compelled to perform the work on Shabbos, as in a case where he doesn't have enough time to finish the work before Shabbos. It makes no difference if the performance of the work involves the violation of a Torah prohibition or of a Rabbinical prohibition. One may order work from a non-Jew even on Friday, as long as one does not lay down a time limit that would force the non-Jew to work on Shabbos.
959. If one orders work from a non-Jew before Shabbos without putting down a time limit that forces the non-Jew to work on Shabbos, but the non-Jew nonetheless wishes to work on Shabbos, this need not concern one, subject to two conditions: a) the non-Jew's motivation must be self-interest; b) the non-Jew must not do the work on the Jew's premises, and indeed any items requiring to have work done to them must be removed from the Jew's premises before Shabbos begins.
960. A non-Jew may perform work on Shabbos for a Jew if he does so in his own self interest, without any time limit set by the Jew. The non-Jew's motivation is presumed to be self interest when he knows how much he will be paid, or, if the Jew has promised to reach an understanding with him on the amount of his fee. It can even be considered the non-Jew's self interest if the non-Jew, on his own initiative, volunteers his unsolicited services without charge (the assumption being that he is doing this to return an old debt of gratitude, or the like).
961. Based on the previous few Halachos we learned, one may ask a non-Jew, just before Shabbos, to repair one's shoes or to wash one's laundry, but a. one must not require the shoes or the laundry to be ready immediately upon the termination of Shabbos and b. the shoes or the washing must be removed from one's house before the Shabbos begins.
962. A Jew is not allowed to ask a non-Jew to fix his electricity, plumbing or any domestic appliances on Shabbos, since the non-Jew will be doing the work in the Jew's house. It makes no difference if the Jew asks the non-Jew before Shabbos, nor does it matter that the non-Jew is doing it for self interest, in order to receive payment.
963. One may not pay a non-Jew on Shabbos for a service one was allowed to have performed by him on Shabbos. One must not even indicate to him where the money is, so he can take it himself. A reward other than money, such as a slice of cake, may be given to a non-Jew on Shabbos. Where it is likely that the non-Jew will take the piece of cake out into the street where there is no eiruv, it is better not to hand the piece of cake to him directly, but rather to put it down in front of him, letting him take it by himself.
964. One may hire a non-Jew before Shabbos to perform on Shabbos an activity which a Jew would be allowed to perform, such as washing dishes. It is forbidden to discuss the non-Jew's payment with him on Shabbos. On Shabbos itself, one must not hire a non-Jew to perform an activity of this type, even without discussing his payment.
965. A non-Jewish domestic who works in the house of a Jew is not allowed to perform for him on Shabbos any activity which the Jew himself is forbidden to perform, for example, darning socks, even if she does it in her own room and even if the Jew does not tell her to do it specifically on Shabbos but benefits from the fact that she is freeing herself to do his other work in the week that follows.
966. A non-Jewish domestic may perform forbidden activity for a Jew on Shabbos with certain conditions; a) the terms of her employment stipulate a specified number of hours, b) her purpose in working on Shabbos is to make more free time for herself on weekdays, c) the Jew has not required her to finish the work on Shabbos, d) and she works only inside her room (this is considered not in the Jew's house).
967. A Jew is obligated to protest if a non-Jew comes to his house to perform for him there, on Shabbos, an activity which a Jew is not allowed to perform. This is so even if the Jew does not intend to benefit from the act on Shabbos. The reason is that people would be led to suspect that one told the non-Jew to carry out the work on Shabbos.
968. One may tell a non-Jew to perform an act which is forbidden even by the Torah on Shabbos, if the materials or objects used in the performance of the act belong to the non-Jew and the non-Jew performs the act for his own needs. Thus, one may tell a non-Jew to cook something for himself, provided that the basic ingredients he uses are his. It does not matter if he uses one's appliances, matches or stove, so long as one does not expressively tell him to use them.
969. We learned that one may not tell a non-Jew to extinguish a fire in one's own house (if there is no danger to life or to sacred writings, such as Mezuzoth). However, one may tell a non-Jew to extinguish a fire in his (the non-Jew's) house, or in that of another non-Jew, even if one's intention in doing so is to avoid the fire's spreading to one's own house and damaging property there.
970. A Jew is generally forbidden to tell a non-Jew to perform a prohibited activity on Shabbos with an article belonging to the Jew, even if he tells him before Shabbos and even if the non-Jew does the activity for his own purposes. Therefore, one may not tell a non-Jew, even before Shabbos, to use his (the Jew's) car on Shabbos, even if the journey is for the purpose of the non-Jew.
971. As we learned before, not only may one not tell a non-Jew to do a forbidden act on Shabbos, but there is also a Rabbinical prohibition against benefiting from a forbidden act performed by a non-Jew in specified circumstances. The reason for this additional prohibition is that, if one were permitted to benefit from the non-Jew's act, one might come to tell him to do it on Shabbos. In the case of a Torah prohibition, the benefit remains forbidden even after Shabbos, until such time would pass as would suffice for the performance of the prohibited act.
972. In general, no Jew is allowed to derive a direct, substantive benefit on Shabbos from a light which a non-Jew has turned on for a Jew on Shabbos, even if the non-Jew turned on the light without any hint from a Jew, and even if the Jew who wants to use the light was not the Jew for whom it was turned on, and, even if the intention of the Jew is to use it for a Mitzvah, such as Torah study or praying.
973. If a Jew tells a non-Jew to turn on a light on Shabbos, even if only through a direct hint, he must leave the room and not benefit from the light. If the non-Jew insists on turning on the light for the Jew of his own accord, one must protest even to the point of driving the non-Jew out of the room.
974. If a non-Jew turns on a light for a Jew on Shabbos and the Jew failed to protest, the Jew may stay in the room only to do something which he would have done even without the light having been turned on, such as hold a conversation, but he must not do something which he would not have done without the light, such as read or eat. If a non-Jew puts on a light for a Jew despite his genuine protest, the Jew may benefit from the light in the normal way, since it is considered as if the non-Jew turned it on for his own purposes.
975. Food cooked by a non-Jew for a Jew on Shabbos may not be eaten on Shabbos, even if he was not the one the food was intended for. The food itself is muktzah. The food may not be eaten even after Shabbos, for a period of time that would suffice to cook food of the same kind.
976. A Jew may not wear shoes that were repaired for him on Shabbos by a non-Jew, until he waits a period of time after Shabbos as would suffice for repairing them. This is true even if the shoes were given to the non-Jew before Shabbos to be repaired in a permissible manner, as we learned in previous Halachos. The same applies to the case of a non-Jew polishing the shoes of a Jew on Shabbos (although it is forbidden to ask a non-Jew to do this). If it was done, one must not wear the shoes until after Shabbos, for the time it would take to polish them.
977. A Jew is not allowed to eat food that was brought by a non-Jew through a reshus harabim for a Jew on Shabbos, despite the fact that the Jew could have gone to the place where the food was and eaten it there. However, after Shabbos, one may eat the food and need not wait the amount of time it would take to bring the food, since the benefit he had through the non-Jew bringing the food was not so substantial (since he could have gone there and eaten it).
978. One may derive benefit on Shabbos from a forbidden act performed by a non-Jew on Shabbos for a Jew who is ill, even if not seriously ill, provided that a) (if the act is a Torah prohibition) there are no grounds to suspect that the non-Jew did more than he would have otherwise done for the benefit of the healthy person, and b) the product of the non-Jew’s act is not muktza. If the non-Jew did more for the benefit of the healthy person, one may not benefit from it on Shabbos but may benefit from it immediately after Shabbos, with no need to wait.
979. A light turned on by a non-Jew on Shabbos for a Jew who is ill, may be used also by someone who is healthy on Shabbos. However, if the non-Jew cooked food for a person who is ill, a healthy person must wait until after Shabbos to eat it. This is because in this case we have grounds to suspect that the non-Jew cooked, or will cook, more food for the healthy person as well. And indeed, the food is also muktzah. However, in the case of the light, a light for one person is the same as a light for one hundred people.
980. A Jew may benefit from a light turned on by a non-Jew on Shabbos if there are indications that the non-Jew turned it on for his own use, as where the non-Jew makes immediate use of the light. The same remains true even if the non-Jew turned on the light to do work for the Jew, such as to do the dishes. The Jew may benefit from the light even after the non-Jew leaves, and may even request that the non-Jew not shut the light when leaving.
981. A Jew is not allowed to use water boiled by a non-Jew for himself on Shabbos since there are grounds to fear that the non-Jew added, or will add, more water for the Jew. This water may be used by the Jew as soon as Shabbos is over. If the non-Jew does not know the Jew at all, or if the Jew is staying in a guest house whose clientele is mostly non-Jewish, the Jew may drink the boiled water on Shabbos. This is because there are no grounds for fear that the water was boiled up for the Jew as well.
982. A Jew may not drink milk or eat fruits on Shabbos if there is even a doubt that a non-Jew milked his cow or picked the fruit on Shabbos. Both the milk and the fruit are muktzah in such a case.
983. Lights switched on by a non-Jew to enable him to go up or down the stairs on Shabbos, may also be used by a Jew. The case would be different if a Jew asks a non-Jew to accompany him upstairs, intending the non-Jew to turn on the lights. In this case, since the non-Jew is present only in compliance with the Jew's wishes, it is for the Jew that the lights were turned on and it is therefore forbidden to benefit from the light.
984. In an apartment building occupied by both Jews and non-Jews, one may benefit on Shabbos from the turning on, by the non-Jewish care taker, of the central heating system serving the whole building. This is because it is the duty of the care taker to turn on the heating even if the Jewish occupants are not home. Nonetheless, one must not turn on the taps of the radiators, as the cold water inside the pipes would thereby be heated.
985. One may use an elevator on Shabbos that is run by a non-Jewish attendant for both Jews and non-Jews, as long as the attendant doesn't set it in motion especially for the Jew nor perform any particular forbidden action for the Jew. It follows that the Jew should only enter and leave at floors where it is also being entered or left by non-Jews. However, it is better, if possible, not to use an elevator on Shabbos at all, lest someone else see and learn from his example without being careful of the above conditions. In all events, it is proper to use it only for ascending and not for descending.
986. One may travel on Shabbos on a ship owned and operated by non-Jews, if it sails at fixed times regardless of whether or not there are passengers. This is because all of the operations would be performed even if there were no Jewish passengers on board. As a result, it doesn't matter if most of the passengers are Jews.
987. One may not eat food cooked on a ship on Shabbos. The reason is that account is taken, when preparing the food, of each and every passenger, and the non-Jews will obviously do more because of the presence of the Jews than they would have done in their absence. If one's journey is for the purpose of a mitzvah or business, one may set sail even on Friday, so long as it is not yet Shabbos. On the other hand, if one is traveling for pleasure, one should set sail only during the first three days of the week (if the trip will take one into Shabbos).
988. If one must travel by ship right before Shabbos, for business or for a mitzvah, one should consult a qualified halachic authority about how one should conduct oneself with reference to such matters as departure, taking luggage on board and handling items which are muktzah. A person whose ship reaches its destination on Shabbos should try to remain on board until Shabbos ends. If this is not possible, he may not take his luggage or even his passport with him when disembarking, since this would be carrying. He may be able to use a non-Jew to help him, subject to various conditions which we will see in the coming halachos.
989. A Jew may eat the contents of a can of preserves which a non-Jew opened for him on Shabbos in a prohibited manner. He may likewise read a letter whose envelope has been cut open by a non-Jew on Shabbos. In neither case is a benefit derived directly from the article opened (the can or the envelope), but rather from the contents (the preserves or the letter), which one is enabled to reach as a result of the act of opening. It should be remembered that one must not tell the non-Jew to open the can or envelope on Shabbos. (One may only hint indirectly, by explaining the situation to the non-Jew).
990. Should a non-Jew turn on an extra light in a room, one may do by the additional light whatever one would have done, albeit with difficulty, by the original light, (as long as the original light continues to burn). Similarly, if a non-Jew polishes one's shoes without being asked on Shabbos, one may wear the shoes if he would have worn them without them being polished as well. In both these cases, the benefit derived from the non-Jew is not considered substantial.
991. One may, on Shabbos, request a non-Jew to take something out of, or put something into, a refrigerator, even if the act of opening the door causes a light to go on. The reason is because the non-Jew's mind is not on the light, but rather on taking out or putting something into the refrigerator. Similarly, one may ask a non-Jew to close the door of the refrigerator, even if this will cause the light to go off.
992. One may ask a non-Jew on Shabbos to turn on the heating if one is bothered by the cold. This is because someone who is suffering from the cold is placed in the same category as someone who is ill. Where there are small children, one may ask the non-Jew to turn on the heater for the children, since they are generally more sensitive to cold. Once the heat is on, the adults may benefit from it too.
993. A Jew must not ask a non-Jew, even before Shabbos, to make a carbon copy of something that he (the non-Jew) will be writing on Shabbos. One may, however, tell the non-Jew, before Shabbos, to make an extra copy for himself, and promise to buy it from him for a small sum, after Shabbos. In such a case it is considered that the non-Jew is acting in his own self interest.
994. One may give a non-Jew money shortly before Shabbos commences and ask him to buy something, without being concerned that he may buy it on Shabbos. However, one must not tell him specifically to buy it for one on Shabbos, and the non-Jew must be acting for his own gain, in other words, with the object of receiving a reward.
995. One may tell a non-Jew to buy something for himself on Shabbos, and even lend him money for this purpose right before Shabbos begins. One may also promise to buy it from him after Shabbos and reward him for his trouble. In this case it is considered that the non-Jew is acting in his own self interest. When there is enough time still before Shabbos for the non-Jew to buy it, and one does not ask the non-Jew to buy it specifically on Shabbos, one may ask the non-Jew to make the purchase for him (for the Jew) even without offering the non-Jew a reward.
996. One may not give merchandise to a non-Jew to be sold specifically on Shabbos. However, if one does not ask the non-Jew specifically to sell it on Shabbos and the non-Jew is acting in the interest of profit or reward, one may give it to him even shortly before Shabbos to sell. If one gives the merchandise to the non-Jew with enough time to sell before Shabbos, then the non-Jew may sell it for the Jew even without the interest of profit, and the Jew need not be concerned if it is sold on Shabbos.
997. One may mail a letter on Friday in a place where the post office employees are not Jewish. One must not however, mail an express delivery letter just before Shabbos because this is like specifying to the non-Jew to perform the required prohibited activities on Shabbos. Nevertheless, in a case of great need or for a mitzvah, there is room for permitting an express letter to be sent off right before Shabbos.
998. One is allowed to ask a non-Jewish mailman who brings a letter on Shabbos to put it down on the table, but one should not accept it from his hand. It is not one's concern if the mailman notes in his book that he has delivered the letter. If it is necessary to sign for the letter, one should inform the mailman that one is not permitted to sign that day and let the mailman sign instead, of his own accord.
999. One is forbidden to insert any advertisement or article in a newspaper that is to appear on Shabbos. It is also forbidden to make a recording for broadcasting on Shabbos.
1000. In a country where Shabbos has ended already or hasn't started yet, one may talk to a non-Jew who is in a country where it is Shabbos, on the telephone. By way of contrast, one may not hold a conversation with a non-observant Jew who has telephoned him from a place where it is Shabbos.Saving Human Life
It is permitted to violate the Shabbos in order to save a human life; indeed there is a positive obligation to do so whenever there is a danger, or a possibility of danger, to life. What is more, in a situation of this kind, the more diligent and speedy one is in violating the Shabbos, the more praiseworthy are one's actions.
1002. One should violate the Shabbos to save human life, even if what one does cannot be effective to prolong life for more than a brief time. One may violate the Shabbos to save either oneself or another person who is in danger, adult and child alike.
1003. If a person whose life is in danger refuses to violate the Shabbos to save himself, or he refuses to let others violate the Shabbos to help save him, one should convince him that violating the Shabbos to save a life is a mitzvah. If he continues to remain unconvinced, one should compel him to take the necessary action, or violate the Shabbos for him, notwithstanding his protests.
1004. When it becomes necessary to violate the Shabbos to save a human life, one should not look to act through the agency of a non-Jew (unless this be more expedient) but should try to do whatever is needed oneself. It is also preferable that the violation not be performed by a Jew who is not particular about Shabbos observance.
When one has violated the Shabbos for the purpose of saving a life and it subsequently transpires that there was no need to do so, because, for example, a) the condition of the patient has already improved, b) the patient has died or c) someone else has already done what was necessary, one has, nonetheless, performed a mitzvah and will receive a worthy reward from the Almighty for one's good intentions.
1006. In the following cases, the opinion of a doctor justifies (and indeed makes obligatory) the violation of the Shabbos for the patient’s sake: a) where the doctor says that the patient's life is in danger; b) where the doctor fears that the patient’s life may be in danger; c) where the patient’s condition is not dangerous for the moment, but the doctor fears that it may worsen and endanger his life if he is not provided with a particular treatment that day.
1007. If a patient himself feels that his condition is serious and that his life is in danger, he comes within the definition of a dangerously ill person, and one violates the Shabbos for him. This is so even if the doctor's opinion differs from that of the patient.
1008. In a place where there is no doctor around to determine if the condition of the patient is life threatening and warrants the desecration of Shabbos, one can rely on whoever claims he has sufficient acquaintance with the condition in question to say that it is, or may be, or may develop into, a dangerous one. However, the person expressing his opinion must be G-d fearing and have an appreciation of the sanctity of Shabbos, or, one must be able to tell from what he says that he is speaking in earnest.
1009. In the following cases, one should act on Shabbos as if the patient's life were in danger, even when this has not yet been established by a medical opinion: 1) Where the patient has a temperature considerably above the normal, for which no cause has yet been determined, and feels ill. 2) Where the patient has an above normal temperature resulting from a disorder of the lungs or other internal organs, in circumstances which usually give rise to a suspicion that an element of danger may be present.
1010. We began in the previous Halacha to state cases where one should act on Shabbos as if the patient's life were in danger, even when this has not yet been established by a medical opinion. Here are another few cases: 1) where there is a wound within the body (including the mouth, from the gums and inwards); 2) in the case of internal hemorrhage; 3) in the event of a strong internal pain, whose cause is unknown and which arouses a suspicion of a serious complaint.
1011. Here are some more cases where one should act on Shabbos as if the patient's life were in danger, even when this has not yet been established by a medical opinion: 1) when a patient has, or is suspected to have, a compound fracture, a fracture of a long bone--involving a displacement of the broken ends, a fractured skull, a fractured spine or any other fracture within the trunk of the body, 2) if an artery of a vein hemorrhages (but not if blood is merely oozing slowly from a vein and ceases within a reasonable time).
1012. Here are some more cases where one should act on Shabbos as if the patient's life were in danger: In the case of an injury on the back of the hand or on the instep, where damage to blood vessels is feared. Also, where the patient has sustained either; a) a deep wound caused by a knife or other metal instrument b) a heavy blow from a metal object c) a cut caused by something dirty, or d) a wound which has been contaminated by anything that can cause an infection, and which, if not properly treated, could endanger the patient's life.
1013. More cases where one should act on Shabbos as if the patient's life were in danger: 1) in the case of an infected wound which is swollen or which has caused inflammation of the lymphatic glands behind the ear, in the armpit, in the groin or down the neck; 2) where a wound has a red line coming from it and there is suspicion of blood poisoning; 3) where a thorn or splinter has penetrated beneath a fingernail.
1014. More cases where one should act on Shabbos as if the patient's life were in danger: 1) in the event of heatstroke or sunstroke; 2) in the event of serious and extensive burns; 2) when a wasp, bee or other insect has stung a person who is particularly sensitive to that type of sting; 3) where the patient has been bitten by a rabid dog, a scorpion (including a black scorpion) or any other creature, such as horse or donkey, whose bite could be dangerous, or where he has been scratched by a stray cat.
1015. Here are some more cases where one should act on Shabbos as if the patient's life were in danger, and should violate the Shabbos if necessary: 1) in the case of an ailment of one of the organs in the body, if there are grounds to fear that a danger to the whole body is liable to develop; 2) where a person has swallowed a poisonous substance, an overdose of pills or a needle or other sharp object; 3) in the case of loss of consciousness, or, shock or suspected shock (resulting, for example, from the falling of a heavy weight on the person or from an extremely severe pain).
1016. hours being reckoned as a day. From the fourth day to the seventh day (inclusive), one may still violate the Shabbos, but only if the mother feels she needs it. After the seventh day, one may violate the Shabbos only where a complication of some kind has come to light and one fears it may involve a danger to life, or where the mother has developed a higher than normal temperature as a result of the birth.
1017. One may violate the Shabbos to protect a healthy person from a risk of contracting a contagious disease which could endanger his life. Consequently, one may drive a person suffering from a contagious disease to a place of isolation, such as a hospital, even if the person being transported is himself out of danger. However, this is only if it is not possible to keep him in isolation until after Shabbos and there is fear he will infect his family or others. One may violate the Shabbos in these circumstances even if one cannot be at all sure that one's actions will indeed help avert the danger.
1018. If there exists the slightest chance that a Jewish person may be buried beneath fallen debris, one violates the Shabbos in order to save him, even when it is doubtful that he is still alive. The following situations are dangerous for a child and one should violate the Shabbos if necessary; if a child is trapped behind a locked door, has fallen into a hole, is missing, or is found wandering about, in a distraught state, and cannot be quieted without being restored to his family.
1019. One should violate the Shabbos, in the hope of saving life whenever a disaster or an accident occurs, or if a dangerous situation arises. This can happen, for example, when a fire breaks out, when flooding takes place, when a severe electric shock has been sustained, or when electric wiring is exposed and there is a risk that someone will touch it, thus endangering his life.
1020. Even when a patient's condition is such that it is doubtful whether his life is in danger at all, one should violate the Shabbos, if necessary, to protect him against whatever risk there may be. The rules applicable are the same as those applying where one is sure the patient's life is in danger. Shabbos should be violated in the use of instruments to effect resuscitation, even if the prospects of success are the faintest.
1021. One should follow a doctor's instructions in doing anything which he says needs to be done to bring about the recovery of a patient whose life is, or is suspected to be, in danger or to prevent a worsening of his condition, and which he says cannot be put off until after Shabbos. The instructions should be followed even if they infringe on Torah prohibitions, and even if the doctor is non-observant or a non-Jew.
1022. One may do on Shabbos anything which, although not specifically connected with curing the dangerously ill patient, is pressingly needed to alleviate his suffering or to make him feel stronger or refreshed. This may be done, even if it involves the infringement of Torah prohibitions and even if it is clear that withholding the attention in question from the dangerously ill patient will not result in an increase of the danger with which he is threatened.
1023. There are activities that, on the one hand, if they are not performed at all, the life of the patient will be, or could possibly be, endangered, whereas, on the other hand, there is plainly no need for them to be done specifically before Shabbos ends. This can happen, for instance, where it is close to the end of Shabbos and one can put the matter off until afterwards. In such a case, if the activity involves the transgression of a Torah prohibition, it should not be carried out on Shabbos. If it involves the transgression only of a Rabbinical prohibition, it may be done on Shabbos, but, when possible, with a shinui (i.e. in a different way than one would do on a normal weekday).
1024. One may violate Rabbinical prohibitions on Shabbos in order to do an act which is needed in some way for a dangerously ill person, but which failure to perform would not bring about an aggravation of his condition or reduce his prospects of recovery. It makes no difference whether the act relates to the patient's medical, nutritional or other needs. However, when possible, one should do the act with a shinui (i.e. in a different way than one would do on a normal weekday).
1025. One may violate Rabbinical prohibitions on Shabbos in order to do an act which a dangerously ill person requests and which would set his mind at ease, even if it is unconnected with his medical treatment. However, here too, one should do the act with a shinui where possible (i.e. in a different way than one would do on a normal weekday).
1026. There are dangerously ill patients whose prospects of overcoming their illness and recovering their health depend on their mental state. In such cases, one should be lenient and perform even acts prohibited on Shabbos by the Torah, if their omission might possibly result in a disturbance of the patient's mental equilibrium. One should beware that the patient does not fall into a state of depression out of fear that he is not being properly taken care of. One may violate Shabbos in cases of this kind, even when one has not been requested to do so by the patient.
1027. One violates the Shabbos in order to save human life only if there is no other equally effective way of achieving the object without violating the Shabbos. If, however, such a way does exist, it is prohibited to violate Shabbos, unless there are grounds for fearing that the alternative, permissible method may result in a delay which is liable to endanger the life of the patient. Also, if treatment in the manner that violates the Shabbos is more effective than the alternative method, one should act in the forbidden manner and violate the Shabbos.
1028. When violating the Shabbos in order to save human life, one should (where the patient will not be adversely affected) reduce to a minimum the number of violations perpetrated and mitigate, as far as possible, the severity of the prohibitions infringed. Thus, for example, if the life can be saved by the infringement of a Rabbinical prohibition, it is forbidden to infringe a Torah prohibition.
1029. As we learned before, when violating the Shabbos in order to save human life, one should (where the patient will not be adversely affected) reduce to a minimum the number of violations perpetrated and mitigate, as far as possible, the severity of the prohibitions infringed. Other examples would be, if the prohibited act could be done with a shinui (in a different way than normally done) then it should be done in this way. Also, a prohibited act which is normally performed by one person alone should be performed by two people together. If it cannot be performed by two people together, and it is normally done with one hand, one should do it with both hands at the same time.
1030. Shabbos should be violated only to save human life. It is absolutely forbidden to perform any act which is prohibited on Shabbos in order to save property. Even the infringement of only a Rabbinical prohibition is forbidden (with certain specific exceptions in defined circumstances, which we will explore in later Halachos).
1031. One may only violate the Shabbos to save human life and not for something that is popularly regarded as 'essential'. For example, bread is popularly considered essential to survival, as it is a crucial constituent of a human being's nourishment. Nevertheless, it is forbidden to violate the Shabbos in order to prepare bread for someone who can survive on other food for one day without endangering his life. It is even forbidden to violate the Shabbos to prepare food for a person who has no food at all, but can fast for one day without endangering his life.
1032. Someone who has to undergo an operation which is not urgent, such as the removal of tonsils, should, if the possibility exists, arrange it for the beginning of the week. From Wednesday and onwards, it is prohibited to create a situation where Shabbos will need to be violated, such as in the course of post operative treatment. Nevertheless, if, contrary to the requirements of the Halacha, a person has undergone the operation at the end of the week, one may violate the Shabbos to do whatever is necessary for him now that he is in the category of a patient whose life is in danger.
1033. A person is obliged to prepare, before Shabbos starts, everything he will need on Shabbos for a dangerously ill patient. He must not rely on the fact that he will be allowed to violate the Shabbos. In a doctor's house or hospital, it is not obligatory to make preparations in advance, even though a situation in which one has to save human life is liable to arise on Shabbos. Nevertheless, one should prepare what one can before Shabbos to reduce as much as possible the necessity to violate the Shabbos if and when such a situation may arise.
1034. One may violate the Shabbos to summon a doctor for a person whose life is in danger, or for a person who feels unwell and may possibly be dangerously ill, if one cannot summon the doctor without violating Shabbos, or, if time is of essence and summoning the doctor in a permitted manner will delay his arrival. In such cases, one may telephone the doctor or travel to him by car, even if it is not certain that one will indeed find the doctor at home.
1035. Sometimes, if one leaves the house on Shabbos to summon a doctor, the dangerously ill patient will remain himself and is liable to be afraid. In such a case too, one is permitted to call the doctor, or ask him for instructions, by telephone. Where the doctors are Jewish and there is a choice of doctors, one should call a doctor who lives nearby. There will, thus, be no need for the doctor to violate the Shabbos in coming to see the patient.
1036. In the following cases one may call a doctor on Shabbos who lives far away, for a person who is dangerously ill, even if this will require the doctor to violate the Shabbos: 1) if the doctor who lives far away is more competent than doctors in the area; 2) if this doctor has been treating the patient regularly and knows his medical history; 3) if the patient demands his own private doctor (believing that he will give him more devoted attention).
1037. If one’s motives are purely financial, one may not call a doctor on Shabbos who lives far away for a person who is dangerously ill, if this will require the doctor to violate the Shabbos and there are other doctors closer by who would not have to violate the Shabbos. Examples of purely financial motives: 1) If the doctor is a relative and will not make any charge for the visit, or 2) if the doctor works for a sick fund (medical insurance scheme) to which the patient belongs, so there will be no need to pay him for the visit.
1038. Even when a doctor has already been brought to a dangerously ill patient on Shabbos, one may call a second doctor, notwithstanding that this may unavoidably involve violation of the Shabbos, if there is a need to call a greater specialist, or one wishes to obtain a second opinion.
1039. When one has to telephone a doctor on Shabbos, to come, or for instructions as to treatment, one should, where possible, remove the receiver in a manner which differs from the ordinary manner (i.e. to use a shinui). For instance, one should displace the receiver with one's elbow or wrist. If this is not possible, one should lift it off its rest together with another person, or if one else is there, one should take it off with both hands at the same time.
1040. When speaking on the telephone, on Shabbos, for the purpose of a dangerously ill patient, one is not obliged to be sparing in words, weighing each word to see whether it is required, but should say everything that has to be said concerning the patient. One may even end the conversation with some such phrase as, 'Good-bye', or, 'Thank you very much'. However, one should certainly not talk about matters which have no connection with the patient or his treatment.
1041. After talking on the telephone with a doctor or hospital on Shabbos for the sake of a dangerously ill patient, one must replace the receiver on the rest, because, until one does, the doctor or hospital will not be able to receive another incoming call on that line, nor will they be able to use it to contact anyone else (in case of need). Where this is not the case, one should not replace the receiver on the rest. Even where it is permitted though, one should replace the receiver with a shinui, such as with one's elbow's or wrists, or, if this is not possible, with another person, or, if one is alone, with both hands at the same time.
1042. Someone who is sent to summon a doctor on Shabbos to a person whose life is in danger may accompany the doctor back in a car to show the doctor the way or to ensure that the doctor comes to the patient's house as fast as he can. One may also join the doctor in the car if there is a possibility that he may be required to run another errand for the patient, or if there is a possibility that the patient may need him or is afraid to be without him.
1043. If the telephone rings in a Jewish doctor's home, he may pick up the phone, if there is a possibility that someone is trying to contact him about a person whose life is in danger. He would be well to pick up and replace the receiver in a manner different from that which he uses during the week.
1044. One may write anything on Shabbos that has to be written for a person whose life is in danger. This could include urgent prescriptions, a letter referring a patient to a hospital, and important medical particulars which are liable to be forgotten, or confused with other patients, if not recorded. However, it is forbidden to write anything that does not directly affect the patient's treatment (for instance, that he belongs to a certain medical insurance plan). Moreover, one must write only the absolute minimum of what one is allowed to write, and not even one letter more, nor even a period at the end of the sentence.
1045. When writing essential prescriptions or referrals for a dangerously ill patient on Shabbos, one should try to write in a manner different from that which one would adopt on another day of the week, for example by using one’s left hand. Of course, where speed is vital and writing in a different manner is liable to result in delay, one should write in one's usual way.
1046. If one has to travel to bring medicines for someone whose life is in danger, it is preferable to use public transportation rather than operate a special motor vehicle (provided that the delay caused will not have an adverse effect on the patient's condition). Wherever possible, one should use a means of transport that will not infringe on a Torah prohibition, such as riding a bicycle (in a place with an eruv).
1047. When one is in a place without an eruv and one must carry medicines for a patient whose life is in danger, one should try, as much as possible, to carry them in a different manner than one would adopt during the rest of the week. By way of example, one could put them 1) on one's head, under one's hat, 2) inside one's shoes or 3) between the clothes one is wearing. One should not keep them in one's hand or inside one's pocket, unless adopting an alternative method might result in a delay which could further endanger the life of the patient.
1048. Where the pharmacist requires payment on Shabbos in return for medicines he is supplying for a dangerously ill patient, it is best to put him off until after Shabbos, giving him, if necessary, some object by way of security. In the event that this is not possible, one may pay him, but one must not accept change from him on Shabbos, since this does not benefit the patient in any way, and one should pay in cash and not write out a check, unless there is no alternative.
1049. Insofar as taking nonessential medication is concerned, the dangerously ill patient is on the same footing as a patient whose life is not in danger. It is therefore permitted for a dangerously ill patient to take even medicines which are not essential for saving his life. For instance, he may take a pill to ease a toothache. However, for such medications one may not violate Torah prohibitions. Thus, one must not write out prescriptions for such medicines, nor drive in a car to bring them.
1050. One may turn on the light on Shabbos for a person whose life is in danger, 1) whenever the dark or the poor light hinder one in doing what is required to save him, or 2) so that he should not be afraid of the dark, or 3) to make him feel he is being taken care of and not neglected, which is an impression which is liable to have a detrimental effect on his state of health.
1051. Where possible, if one has to turn on a light for a dangerously ill patient, one should do so in a different manner from that which one would adopt on an ordinary day of the week. For example, one should switch on the light with one's elbow, and not with one's hand.
1052. One should only turn on as many lights as necessary for a dangerously ill patient. For example, if one switch will turn on only one bulb, whereas another will turn on two, and all that is required is the light of one bulb, then one should operate the switch that turns on only one bulb. Likewise, if one has to turn on the electricity by means of a main switch and yet only needs the light urgently in one room, one should first turn off the switches in the other rooms and only afterwards turn on the main switch. When there are two bulbs, one big and one small, it is better to turn on the smaller bulb.
1053. A light which was turned on on Shabbos for a person whose life is in danger may also be used by other people. Since a light which is sufficient for one person is equally sufficient for any number of people, there is no reason to fear that permitting other people to use the light will lead to the turning on of additional lights. However, food which was cooked for a dangerously ill person through violation of Shabbos, may not be eaten by healthy people until after Shabbos.
1054. Before Shabbos, one should disconnect, or remove, the internal light of a refrigerator one is going to use on Shabbos, so as to prevent its being automatically turned on by the opening of the door. Nevertheless, even if one has not done so, one may open the refrigerator and remove whatever one needs for a patient whose life is in danger, despite the fact that this will cause the light inside to come on. While the door is open, one may also make use of the opportunity to take out food for other people.
1055. One should not close the door of a refrigerator whose internal light will thereby be extinguished, unless this is essential for the purpose of a patient whose life is in danger. This would be the case if there are still things in the refrigerator which are, or may possibly be, required that Shabbos, or even after Shabbos, for a person whose life is in danger, and these items will spoil if the door is not closed. Also, this is only permitted if one will not be able to obtain other such items in their place and there is no other place where these items could be kept, for example in a neighbor's refrigerator.
1056. If one needs to close a refrigerator with a light bulb on Shabbos, for a patient whose life is in danger, and one may have to open the refrigerator for the patient again that Shabbos, one should, before closing the door, disconnect or remove the bulb (and, if possible, one should do so in a manner one would not normally adopt). This will prevent its being turned on and off again every time one has to open and close the door.Cooking for a Dangerously Ill Patient
1057. One may cook on Shabbos for a dangerously ill person who needs hot food to strengthen and refresh him, if there is no suitable hot food at hand or the hot food which is available is not fresh enough for the patient. Similarly, if there is no hot water at hand, one may boil up hot water on Shabbos for a dangerously ill patient who needs a hot drink. If possible though, one should ask a non-Jew to do these things.
1058. One may cook on Shabbos for a dangerously ill patient who (despite the fact that Shabbos is dear to him and he would not violate it unjustifiably) demands fresh, hot food, claiming that the food prepared before Shabbos is liable to harm him. However, this is only provided that the patient gives a reason for what he is saying and one can tell that his fears are sincere.
1059. When one needs to cook on Shabbos for a dangerously ill patient, one should cook only the quantity of food required and no more. It is forbidden to add more food than necessary even if one puts the additional food in the same pot as the required food and even if one adds it before turning on the stove. Nonetheless, if time is pressing, there is no need to be particular about the quantity, and one should put into the pot a generous estimate of the amount the dangerously ill patient will require.
1060. When heating water or cooking for a dangerously ill person, one should reduce the violation of Shabbos to the minimum necessary. Therefore, if the gas stove is already burning, one should not ignite another flame. Also, if there is a candle burning, one should not light the stove with a match but rather touch the burning candle to the gas to light it. If one has a choice between an electric stove and a gas stove, one should use the electric stove. If possible, one should also turn on the stove with a shinui, such as rotating the knob with one's elbow, or with the back of one's hands.
1061. When one has finished cooking on Shabbos for a dangerously ill person who is in need of cooked food, one may neither extinguish nor reduce the power of the burner. This applies whether the stove is powered by gas or electricity.
1062. Because one might come to cook more than is required for a dangerously ill person on Shabbos, the Rabbis prohibited another person (even if ill, but not dangerously ill), to eat the remains of food or water which was cooked or boiled for a dangerously ill person on Shabbos, by a Jew. One may, however, taste the food that one is cooking for a dangerously ill person to find out if it is good for him. Also, the leftover food may be eaten immediately after Shabbos without any waiting period.
1063. One may heat water on Shabbos to wash a dangerously ill patient if this will invigorate his body and have a favorable effect on his state of health, provided that there is no non-Jew at hand to heat the water. One may do so even if a failure to wash him with warm water will not increase the danger that threatens him. If possible, one should take care not to heat the water on Shabbos to a temperature of 45 degrees centigrade (113 F) or more.
1064. When heating up water with an electric boiler for a dangerously ill patient on Shabbos, one should preferably use a boiler that can be adjusted to prevent cold water from flowing in to replace the hot water flowing out. If such a boiler is not available, it is forbidden to turn off the hot water tap since this will stop the inflow of cold water and cause the water that has already flowed in to heat up faster. However, where one might need more hot water for the patient later on, and leaving the tap open would prevent it from heating up, one may close the tap.Heat & Cold for a Dangerously Ill Patient
1065. Since the cold is liable to harm a person who is dangerously ill, one may, if the patient is cold, turn on a heater for him, provided that there is no non-Jew on hand to do it, and that the heater warms the patient more satisfactorily than one could warm him by giving him additional blankets. When possible, one should vary one's normal method of turning on the heater.
1066. If the heat from a heater in the room of a dangerously ill patient is oppressive and burdensome to him, and there is no possibility of either taking the heater out of the room or transferring the patient to another room without disturbing him excessively, then one is allowed to lower the heat or, should this be insufficient, to turn the heater off altogether. When possible, one should vary one's normal method of lowering the heat or turning off the heater.
1067. On a hot summer's day, when the heat is oppressive and burdensome to a dangerously ill patient and there is no non-Jew at hand, one may activate a fan or an air conditioner on Shabbos. Where equipment of this kind is producing a chill which disturbs the patient and is liable to harm him, one may turn it off, provided there is no other manner of achieiving the same object, such as by swiveling the fan to face another direction or by transferring the patient elsewhere. Where possible, one should vary the normal method of turning the air conditioning on or off. By way of example, one should use one's elbows or wrists instead of one's hands.Illness on Shabbos
1068. Whenever possible, the medical needs of a person who is ill, but not dangerously so, should be attended without infringing any prohibitions. Where this is not possible, one may attend to all the patient's needs through the agency of a non-Jew, even to perform an act which is the subject of a Torah prohibition. The non-Jew's services should be used only to do things which are required for the patient on Shabbos, and not things which are required for after Shabbos.
1069. The following are considered by Halacha to be persons who are ill but without danger to their lives: a) a person who is confined to bed on account of his illness; b) somebody who, although not confined to bed, is suffering from what for him is an above normal temperature, if the same complaint would, as a rule, inhibit a person from leaving the house; c) an individual who, although not confined to bed, is suffering from pain to such an extent that his whole body feels weakened, as in the case of a migraine attack.
1070. In continuation of yesterday's Halacha, the following are considered by Halacha to be persons who are ill but without danger to their lives: a) a person who walks about like a healthy person but is liable to become confined to bed if he does not receive proper treatment in time, as where he suffers from asthma, diabetes or a heart disease; b) a person who is in danger of losing the normal use of one of his limbs or organs, provided that there is no fear that delaying the treatment until after Shabbos will endanger the patient's life, for example, in the case of a simple fracture, with no displacement of the broken ends of the bone.
1071. In continuation of the past two Halachos, the following are considered by Halacha to be persons who are ill but without danger to their lives: a) a woman who has given birth to a baby, from the eighth day after the birth until thirty days after the birth (compare with Halacha 1016); b) a small child also has the Halachic status of someone who is ill; c) someone who is suffering from an eye inflammation.
1072. A Jew must not violate the Shabbos for a patient who is ill by committing an act forbidden by the Torah, even if the patient is in danger of losing the use of a limb or organ, as long as it is clear that no danger to his life will develop as a result. Some great Halachic authorities hold that if one varies the usual method of performance (shinui), one may perform even an act forbidden by the Torah for a patient who is ill, even if not in life-threatening danger. (Other authorities disagree, therefore one should ask his own Rabbi).
1073. For a person who is ill, but not dangerously so, one may perform an act on Shabbos that is subject to a Rabbinical prohibition, provided he does it with a variation in the normal method (a shinui). If it is impossible to do with a shinui, one should ask a non-Jew to do it. If there is no non-Jew available, one may do it even without a shinui. In the case where there is a risk that the patient may lose the use of a limb or organ, even if it is definitely not a life threatening situation, one may infringe on a Rabbincal prohibition even without a shinui.
1074. A person who is ill on Shabbos (see halachos 169-171 for those who fall into this category) may take medicine, such as pills, syrup and drops, even though his life is not in danger. If one does not have the required medication in the house, one may go to a pharmacy to acquire them as long as one does not transgress any Torah prohibitions. (As far as payment is concerned, see halacha 148). One may tear the wrapping around a pill but should make every effort to tear it only in a place where there is no lettering.
1075. For an person who is ill on Shabbos, one may cut a pill or a suppository in half (even if one is particular to cut it into two equal halves), with the object of using only one half, or one half at a time. One may also crumble a pill and dissolve it in water; however, one should not mix the crumbled pill with only a very small quantity of water, rather one should make a thinner solution.
1076. A person who is ill but whose life is not in danger may handle and eat something which is muktza, if nothing else is available. Examples of such items are: a) food cooked by a non-Jew on Shabbos, b) milk milked on Shabbbos by a milking machine, in a permissible manner, or by a non-Jew, or c) fruit which droppped off the tree on Shabbos. These things are muktza because they were not ready to be eaten before Shabbos. Even another person, who is not ill, may handle items of this nature for the purpose of the patient. One should not, however, handle muktza items more than is essential for the patient.
1077. One may move a lamp on Shabbos (including an electric light), in order to see, with its aid, what an ill patient needs. Nonetheless, it is forbidden to turn on a light on Shabbos for a patient who is not dangerously ill. Also, one should try and vary the manner in which one moves the muktza item from that used on an ordinary week day.
1078. A person suffering on Shabbos from severe diarrhea or indigestion is considered someone who is ill and he may take medication. A child who is suffering from severe diarrhea is to be treated as a person whose life is in danger, and a doctor should be consulted immediately.
1079. A person with a wound on Shabbos that causes him so much pain that his whole body feels weakened by it, is considered ill. One may therefore place a dressing with ointment on the wound, as long as the ointment was spread on the dressing before Shabbos. If one has not prepared a dressing before Shabbos, one may squeeze ointment out of a tube or take it out of its container with a stick. One may then put it onto the patient's body, for instance onto the wound, or onto the gauze of a dressing. However, one must be extremely careful not to smear the ointment onto the body or onto the gauze. Nevertheless, one may then apply the dressing to the skin and not not be concerned if ointment underneath it is thereby spread over the dressing and the skin.
1080. One may use a hot-water bottle to ease pain from a bad stomachache on Shabbos (after consulting a doctor) or from a severe earache, but one should take care that the inside of the bottle is dry before it is filled. One may also fill the bottle with ice and use it to bring down a fever. Furthermore, lumps of ice may be made smaller, so that they will go into the bottle.
1081. A person who suffers greatly from lack of sleep may take sleeping pills on Shabbos. A person suffering from diabetes, who receives an injection before each meal to reduce the quantity of sugar in his blood, may be given that injection on Shabbos as well.Minor Ailments on Shabbos
1082. A person who is suffering on Shabbos merely from a slight pain is forbidden to take any medication, such as pills or drops. Examples of such minor ills could be a toothache, a sore throat, a headache, colds or coughs. A person who is suffering from a more severe pain, as a result of which he has to go to bed or feels weak all over, is placed in the category of someone who is ill, but whose life is not in danger, and he may take medication on Shabbos.
1083. As stated in the previous halacha, one who is suffering on Shabbos from slight pain is forbidden to take medications. However, he is permitted to eat food which healthy people eat and which is likely to cure him. Consequently, someone who has a sore throat may eat honey, drink a solution of milk and honey, suck ordinary candies (but not medicated candies), eat lemon, squeeze lemon onto sugar and eat that, or even suck a lemon. Someone who is horse may eat a raw egg.
1084. The prohibition to take medication on Shabbos for minor pains, only applies to taking the medication in the normal manner. If however, the drops or tablets were dissolved in water before Shabbos, one may drink them on Shabbos. This is provided that it is not usual to take these drops or tablets in this manner, and that other people cannot tell that one is drinking the mixture for medical reasons. It is not permitted to mix or dissolve the drops or tablets in the liquid on Shabbos itself.
1085. A person who has a headache on Shabbos, but summons up his strength and walks about like a healthy individual and, he does not have what for him is an above normal temperature, may not take medication on Shabbos. If, however, he feels that he cannot stand on his feet, or he has above normal temperature, he is treated as a person who is ill and he may take medication on Shabbos.
1086. Somebody who has a slight toothache should not take a pill to ease the pain on Shabbos. He may, however, have a strong drink, of a kind which healthy people are accustomed to drink as well, such as brandy or whiskey, but he should take care to swallow it straight and not rinse his mouth out with it and then spit it out, nor even retain it in his mouth for longer than usual before swallowing. Someone who has such a painful toothache that he feels weak all over may take medication for the pain and, in case of need, may ask a non-Jew to extract the tooth. If there is any question as to a danger to life, such as when a large amount of pus is present, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
1087. A person suffering from slight pain in the eye on Shabbos, should not receive treatment. In case of a more severe pain in the eye, or if the eye is inflamed, one is permitted to put drops in the eye or to apply ointment to the eye. This should be done however, by squeezing the ointment directly out of the tube or by means of a stick, but not by applying it onto an absorbent cloth. One may also bathe the eye with boracic solution with the assistance of an eye cup. Serious eye ailments can endanger life, and a doctor should be consulted.
1088. One may press a piece of unshaped, absorbent cotton into one's ear on Shabbos to help sooth an earache, since this is not considered medical treatment. However, one may not roll up the cotton into a ball. One may go outside on Shabbos with the cotton in his aching ear, even in a place without an eruv.
1089. Someone who is suffering on Shabbos from a mere cold or cough is not allowed to receive any medical treatment. This includes even treatment that provides only temporary relief, such as the application of nasal drops, taking cough syrup or even medicated cough candies, and the use of an inhaler. If, however, the cough or cold is severe enough that the patient feels weak all over, or is forced to lie down, he may receive treatment, whether it affords temporary relief or has a more lasting effect.
1090. Someone who is suffering on Shabbos from slight skin irritation may smear oil on his skin, but not ointment or cream. However, if the skin is peeling because of the irritation, one is not allowed to rub even oil on the skin, however, one may pour oil on a part of the body which is not peeling, so that the oil should run from there onto the area that is peeling. If one is suffering from dry or cracked lips, one should not smear them with lipstick or any other material, nor oil them. The same applies in the case of dry or chapped hands.
1091. A person suffering from rheumatism is not permitted to bathe in a therapeutic hot spring on Shabbos or Yom-Tov. One may wear copper necklaces and bracelets which are reputed to be effective in relieving rheumatic pains on Shabbos and may go out wearing them, even in a place without an eruv.
1092. As we explained in previous halachos, a person who is suffering merely from a slight pain on Shabbos is forbidden to take any mediation. If, however, there is a fear that failure to take the medication will lead to an aggravation of the pain and to the classification of the sufferer as a person who is ill, he is allowed to take medication to avoid this happening. An example would be the case of a person who is suffering from a headache and has a tendency to migraine headaches.
1093. In a case where someone is ordered by a doctor to take medicine for several consecutive days, Shabbos included, there are authorities who permit the taking of the medicine on Shabbos, even if failure to do so would not cause the person to become ill. A person who has been ill (even if not dangerously so) may continue taking medication after he has recovered, to prevent a relapse.
1094. One may not take preventive medication on Shabbos as a protection against pains or minor ailments. However, if there is a risk that failure to take it may result in actual illness, all authorities agree that one may take the preventive medication. If it is a preparation that needs to be taken for several consecutive days, than some authorities permit taking it, even to prevent pains and minor ailments that wouldn't lead to actual illness.
1095. A woman who has to take medication for several consecutive days to enable her to become pregnant need not interrupt her prescribed course on Shabbos. The same applies (in cases sanctioned by a qualified Rabbi) when a woman has to take contraceptive drugs for a period of consecutive days.
1096. One should not take vitamins on Shabbos unless one is ill, even if he is used to taking them daily. In countries where vitamins are commonly taken at every meal, there are authorities that permit taking them on Shabbos as well. Other authorities take a stricter view and permit the taking of vitamins only when they are taken as a substitute for a particular food.
1097. On Shabbos, one is not allowed to treat a person for drunkenness by giving him an infusion nor may one administer an emetic to make him throw up the liquor he has consumed. What he may do is drink strong, black coffee (without sugar), or insert his finger into his throat to induce vomiting.
1098. One may not do strenuous physical exercises on Shabbos. Nor may one engage in muscle-building exercises with the aid of spring-fitted, physical-training apparatus. One may do simple exercises with one's hand, even if one's purpose in so doing is to relieve or alleviate pains. One may also take a pleasant Shabbos walk, even with the intention of keeping fit, but not a strenuous walk with the intention of sweating or muscle building.
1099. It is not permitted to engage in physiotherapy or in occupational therapy on Shabbos. For someone who is in the category of a person who is ill, it may be allowed, depending on the prohibitions involved in the particular kind of treatment. Inflatable, rubber cushions may be blown up on Shabbos. One may even blow them up with a special pump designed for that purpose. Nevertheless, one should not blow them up if they have never been used before.
1100. An invalid who is unable to walk by his own unaided efforts may be transported in a wheel-chair on Shabbos in a place where there is an eiruv. In a place without an eiruv, the invalid may travel in the wheelchair on Shabbos only to the synagogue or for the purpose of another mitzva, and then only if the wheelchair is pushed by a non-Jew and the invalid turns the wheels himself at the same time. If the place is not considered fully a reshus harabim, it is enough that a non-Jew pushes it, OR that the invalid turns the wheels himself.
1101. A Jew should not push a wheelchair on Shabbos in a place without an eiruv . Wherever it is permitted for a non-Jew or the invalid himself to propel a wheelchair through a place where there is no eiruv and carrying articles is forbidden, everything that is not necessary to enable the invalid to sit in the chair should be removed from it, and the invalid should not keep anything in his pockets. However, the cushion on which the invalid sits is treated as if it were an article of clothing which he is wearing, and may be wheeled about with him.
A person who is hard of hearing may use an electric hearing aid on condition that it was switched on before Shabbos. The volume may be adjusted on Shabbos, provided that increasing or decreasing the current does not make the wire glow red or cause the red glow fade away. It is recommended that a person wishing to use a hearing aid should consult an expert before Shabbos to ascertain the facts as to his particular device.
1103. One may not go out on Shabbos wearing a hearing aid, into a place without an eiruv, if part of the hearing aid, such as the battery, is in one's pocket. Some authorities permit one to go out in a place without an eiruv wearing a hearing aid which is entirely contained in the frame of a pair of glasses, whereas others forbid it.
1104. A person who wears a dental brace for straightening his teeth may put it in on Shabbos. He may also go out in a place without an eruv wearing it. A person who wears an orthopedic brace for the correction of a deformity may put it on on Shabbos, and he may go out with it into a place without an eruv wearing it. The brace may be fastened on by means of 'velcro' strips.
1105. In Halacha 1012 we learned about types of wounds that are considered a danger to the patient's life. Such wounds may be treated on Shabbos in anyway necessary. Where possible, an infected wound should be cleaned with non-absorbent, synthetic material or by pouring the cleansing liquid onto the wound. Where this is not plausible, one should not hesitate to use absorbent cloth or cotton soaked in liquid. One may also cut away the hair around the wound, if there is fear that the hair may be a cause of infection. However, one should be careful to remove only the hair which is essential to remove.
1106. One may snip off the edges of a dangerous (to life) wound that is infected on Shabbos, in order to prevent it from becoming inflamed. The wound should not be stitched until after Shabbos if it can be left that long without risk of aggravating the patient's condition. This is because a permanant knot needs to be tied in the stitch to hold it, and this is forbidden on Shabbos where life is not in danger.
1107. One may take an X-ray on Shabbos in the event of a fractured bone, or even for a suspected fracture. Yet, the application of a plaster cast should be postponed until after Shabbos, provided it is clear from the X-ray that the patient's condition won't be aggravated as a result of the delay.
1108. One may catch a dog on Shabbos which has bitten someone, in order to check whether it is healthy or is infected with rabies. This is essential for deciding how to properly treat the person bitten. Incorrect treatment could endanger the patient's life.
1109. A person suffering from wounds on Shabbos which are not dangerous, but which cause a pain so severe that it effects his whole body, or give rise to fear that the normal use of the injured limb or organ may be at risk, is considered to be within the category of someone who is ill but whose life is not in danger. Therefore, one may attend to his needs through a non Jew, even if the action involves a Torah prohibition. A Jew may also violate a Rabbinical prohibition in attending to the patient's needs. However, if there is no danger to the normal use of the organ or limb, the Jew must vary his normal manner of performing the Rabbinically prohibited act.Superficial Wounds on Shabbos
1110. One should not violate the Shabbos in the case of superficial wounds, such as slow bleeding from a cut (unless it does not stop in a reasonable amount of time). The bleeding can be generally stopped by applying direct pressure to the wound or by raising the injured limb. A more serious hemorrhage however, can present a danger to life and one should have no hesitation in taking whatever steps are necessary to stop it. Thus one may tie an artery from which blood is gushing (or apply a tourniquet, in extreme cases).
1111. Ons should preferably not try to stop a nosebleed on Shabbos with a handkerchief or cloth, but rather with tissues. If one has no alternative, or if the blood will not stop flowing, one may stop it in this way. It is also permissible to stop the bleeding by the application of pressure to the sides of the nose.
1112. A thorn or splinter which has penetrated the skin on Shabbos, may be extracted with the fingers, with tweezers or with a needle. One need not be concerned if a little blood unavoidably comes out with the thorn. Yet, in this case too one must be careful not to extract blood unnecessarily. If the thorn or splinter is under a fingernail, there may be a danger to life. One should accordingly do anything necessary in the circumstances, including cutting the fingernail open with a pair of scissors.
1113. If one has to dress a bloody wound on Shabbos with material that is not intended for that purpose, one ought to wash the blood off first (so as not to color the material). However, if that is not practical, or if the wound anyway continues to bleed, one may still apply the dressing. Gauze, a bandage, a paper pad or any other dressing specifically intended for the purpose, may be applied to a bloody wound in any case.
1114. One should not make cotton swabs on Shabbos. They should be prepared before Shabbos. It is desirable to refrain from tearing cotton on Shabbos. One is allowed to tear the paper wrapping around a dressing, provided one takes care not to tear it in a place where there is lettering.
1115. It is prohibited on Shabbos to cut a bandage which is too long. Instead, one should wrap the whole bandage around the wound. It is also forbidden to cut a bandage along the middle of its length two produce two ends which can be tied. One should also be careful not to pull threads out of a bandage on Shabbos.
1116. One should not tie a bandage on Shabbos with a double knot. A bandage may be secured however, with a bow, that is to say a loop, or a pair of loops, over a single knot, or with a safety pin, or with special bandage clips. One may also tie a bandage with a loose, double knot, if it is changed every day, and the knot is untied for that purpose.
1117. One must not tear a bandage or plaster on Shabbos to size. One may bring the edges of a wound together and stick a specially shaped plaster over it to hold it together. One is not allowed to stick scotch tape or adhesive plaster onto a bandage or dressing in order to secure it. This is forbidden whether the plaster attaches one part of the bandage to another or attaches the dressing itself directly to the patient's skin.
1118. It is forbidden on Shabbos to remove adhesive plaster from a dressing which it secures. Nonetheless, when the presence of the dressing bothers one, it may be cut, in a way which spoils it, even if a pair of scissors has to be used for the purpose.
1119. It is better not to pull an adhesive bandage or plaster off a hairy part of the body on Shabbos, since some hairs are bound to stick to the plaster and be torn out. If one had benzene ready for the purpose before Shabbos, one may pour some onto the plater so that it comes away without the hair.
1120. One may remove a scab from a wound with one's hand on Shabbos, unless one has reason to believe that this will cause fresh bleeding. Warts or dry skin may neither be cut away nor removed by hand on Shabbos.
1121. Small pieces of skin which are peeling off around a fingernail, or on any other part of the body, but which are still connected, may not be pulled off or cut off with an instrument, by hand or even with the teeth, on Shabbos. One must not scratch parts of the body which are tender if one knows that scratching will cause bleeding.
1122. One is allowed to press a knife or a similar object against the skin on Shabbos, where a blow has been received, to prevent or minimize swelling. Likewise, one is allowed to wash a swollen limb with water. One is not allowed to apply a compress, unless the pain is so severe that the whole body is effected.
1123. A person who has sustained light burns on Shabbos and does not have severe pain should not be given any medical treatment. In the case of more severe burns, which cause severe pain, one may pour oil onto the affected area and cover it with gauze. One may also sprinkle the area with a powder, such as 'Dermatol'. One may squeeze ointment onto the burns from a tube, but one must not smear the ointment on. One may also take medication to ease the pain. In the event of severe burns, which cover an extensive area of skin, one should immediately consult a doctor, as danger to life could be involved.
1124. If one has been stung by a wasp or a bee on Shabbos, one may wash the affected part with diluted vinegar, lemon juice or ice water to prevent irritation. However, one should not soak the affected part in any of these, since it would be obvious that one was doing so in order to heal the wound. If the sting is still in the wound, one may take it out.
1125. When a person is stung by an insect on Shabbos and he is particularly sensitive to that kind of sting, a danger to his life may be involved, and one should immediately consult a doctor as to the appropriate treatment. A person who has been stung by a scorpion on Shabbos, even a black scorpion, is considered to be in danger of his life and should be treated accordingly.
1126. A pregnant woman may take all necessary medications or vitamins on Shabbos to avoid any risk of injury to her health or that of her baby. Nevertheless, this does not permit her to take any other remedy which she may require in order to treat some other, minor ailment that she happens to have. For example, if she is suffering from a slight headache or toothache, she may not take a pill to relieve the pain.
1127. One violates the Shabbos to save the life of a fetus. This is so even in a case where the length of the pregnancy is less than forty days. When a doctor has determined that there are fears for the life of the fetus, and in order to save it, one must operate on the mother, the operation may, if necessary, be performed on Shabbos.
1128. A woman who gives birth to a baby is treated like a patient whose life is in danger. One is allowed (and indeed is obligated) to violate Shabbos for her. However, since the pain and danger of childbirth are a natural and accepted phenomenon, one should try, where possible, to vary the manner of the forbidden acts, from that which one would adopt on another day of the week. No such variation should, of course, be made where it could result in a detrimental delay in doing what is necessary.
1129. The rules governing the violation of Shabbos are the same for a woman who unfortunately had a stillbirth as for a woman whose baby is born alive. The rules affecting a woman who gives birth are also applied to a woman who has an abortion or a miscarriage more than forty days after the commencement of her pregnancy.
1130. A woman who reaches the ninth month of pregnancy should prepare before Shabbos everything she will need in the event that the birth takes place on Shabbos. Thus, she should leave a light on to be able to find what she needs, and she should write her name and details down on two slips of paper before Shabbos to hand to the ambulance driver and to the hospital reception clerk, to avoid their having to write down her details on Shabbos. Of course, if she has failed to make suitable preparations, she may, nonetheless, ride to the hospital and be admitted, even if the clerk will note down her registration particulars on Shabbos.
1131. An expectant mother is not required to stay within the vicinity of the hospital, in order to avoid the necessity of traveling on Shabbos should she need to give birth. However, intelligent anticipation is in order, and if she begins to feel labor pains before Shabbos, she should not wait until the pains become worse but should proceed immediately to the hospital.
1132. From the moment a woman feels the time has come to give birth, one may telephone for an ambulance and she may travel to a hospital. That moment is considered to have arrived when she feels regular labor pains, even if it is doubtful whether the birth is immediately imminent.
1133. A woman who feels the need give birth on Shabbos, may travel to the hospital she has been registered in, even if there is another hospital nearer. However, this is only if 1) she is afraid she will not be admitted to the nearer hospital or 2) she fears that there may be delays in admitting her there or 3) she thinks she will not receive the necessary attention there or 4) she believes there are more proficient personnel at he hospital where she has registered. She may not travel to the more distant hospital for purely financial reasons, or because they provide more comfortable beds or service.
1134. A woman who feels the need give birth on Shabbos, may be accompanied to the hospital by a relative, or any other person in whom the expectant mother has confidence, to keep her company. Even if there is no eiruv en route to the hospital, the mother may take with her anything which is essential for her on Shabbos and which she would not be able to attain at the hospital.
1135. Once a woman is in the process of giving birth, she is related to fully as a patient in danger of life and one may; - boil up water to make the patient a cup of tea, - activate an air conditioner or similar apparatus or - turn on the light so the patient can see. A woman is considered to be in the process of birth the moment that; - the womb opens to an extent that indicates the birth is imminent, - the waters break, - the bleeding which precedes the birth starts or - the patient is no longer able to walk.
1136. If a woman arrives at a hospital on Shabbos to give birth, and it transpires that she has arrived too early, she is not allowed to return home in a vehicle driven by a Jew. There is room to permit her to return home in a vehicle driven by a non-Jew, if there is nowhere for her to stay till after Shabbos in the vicinity of the hospital and it is a hardship for her to remain outside the hospital until after Shabbos. Also, this is only permitted if her home is within the techum Shabbos (2000 cubits), and she would be permitted to walk home if she wanted to.
1137. One violates the Shabbos to serve all the physical needs of the newborn baby, so long as there is hope that it will live, or that its life can be prolonged, for however short a time. One the other hand, one may not write the mother's name on a strip of material and tie it to the baby's hand on Shabbos. This is not done for medical reasons but for the purpose of identification. If identification strips were not prepared before Shabbos, one may request a non Jew to prepare them on Shabbos.
1138. For the first 72 hours after the end of birth, the mother is regarded by Halacha as a patient whose life is in danger. One should do everything for her which she demands for the sake of her health or to make her feel better, even if the doctor says she has no need for it. By way of illustration, one may heat water for her if she needs hot water and none is available. If she is suffering from the cold, one may turn on a heater for her, even in middle of the summer. In both of these cases though, if a non-Jew is available, it is preferable for him to do what is required. If not, one should try as much as possible to do the actions in a different manner than usual (with a Shinui).
1139. For the first 72 hours after birth, one violates the Shabbos to do whatever anyone who has some acquaintance with medical matters sees as being necessary for the mother. This is so, even if there is no doctor or midwife at hand and the person whose opinion is being relied upon is just a friend with a little medical knowledge. This also applies even if the mother herself says that she does not need what is being done for her. However, one does not violate the Shabbos if the mother herself says there is no need and the doctor and / or the midwife agrees with her.
1140. After the first 72 hours after birth, for the next four days (96 hours), the mother is still considered a patient whose life is in danger. However, a distinction is made between the first three days and the subsequent four days. In these latter four days, one does not violate the Shabbos for the mother for anything she says she doesn't need, so long as a doctor or midwife do not say the violation is necessary for her. However, if the mother requests, and she is G-d fearing and would be afraid to profane the Shabbos for no good reason, OR, one can tell she is speaking sincerely and is not telling a lie, then one violates the Shabbos for her even when the doctor says there is no need.
1141. From and including the eighth day (168 hours after the end of the birth) until the termination of the thirtieth day after birth, the mother is considered to be out of danger. She is regarded during this time as a person who is ill but whose life is not threatened. One may therefore do anything necessary for the mother's health through a non-Jew. A Jew may perform an act required in the patient's medical treatment if it involves only a Rabbincal prohibition, but he should do it in a different way than that which he would adopt on another day of the week (using a shinui).
1142. Even a woman who has just given birth is obligated to light the Shabbos or Yom-Tov candles. It is proper for her to light them at the table at which the Shabbos or Yom-Tov meal is to be eaten. If she cannot rise from bed, her husband should light them instead. While in the hospital, she should light the candles where the meal is to be eaten or by her bed (and she should insist that the candles not be removed).
1143. While expressing milk (from a mother's breasts) is generally prohibited on Shabbos, if the baby will not begin to suck, the mother may express some of her milk into its mouth, to encourage it to take hold of the breast and suck. She may not express the milk into a vessel.
1144. The Rabbis forbade the expressing of milk on Shabbos even where it goes to waste, but not when the object is to relieve the mother's pain or discomfort. Thus, a nursing mother who is suffering discomfort because she has too much milk may dispose of the surplus by expressing it into the sink or onto a diaper or some other cloth which one does not mind being wet. If the mother finds it difficult to express milk in this way, she may even use a special (non-electric) suction pump for the purpose. Care should be taken, however, to empty out the accumulated milk at frequent intervals, in order to prevent more than a small quantity from collecting.
1145. A mother may express milk from her breasts into a receptacle for her baby even on Shabbos, if, for some reason, the baby cannot suck from its mother's breasts or the baby is in the hospital and the mother has to bring it fresh milk every day. However, this is only if the main item of the baby's diet is the mother's milk. The reason for this is that the baby is liable to be endangered if fed other milk.
1146. A nursing mother whose nipples have become inflamed and will require attention on Shabbos should, before Shabbos starts, spread the necessary ointment on the dressings she will need (and keep them covered until use, to avoid contamination). She will then be able to apply the dressings to her breasts on Shabbos. A nursing mother is permitted to take medication on Shabbos to avoid inflammation of the breasts.
1147. A change of food is liable to upset the stomach of a baby who is used to a certain type of food, such as it's mother's milk or any other kind of milk, or baby formula. Consequently, if its regular food was not prepared prior to Shabbos, one may violate the Shabbos in order to prepare it, and one should not experiment with other types of food. Obviously though, one should not rely on this and should prepare the baby's food before Shabbos starts.
1148. A child up until the age of 9 or 10 (depending on the stage of his development) requires special treatment on account of the sensitivity of his constitution. Therefore, the Rabbis permitted one, when indeed the need arises, to do on Shabbos for a child of this age whatever one may do for a person who is ill but not dangerously so. This applies to the preparation of food as well as any other need the child has which affects his health. If it is possible to satisfy the child's needs with something one has on hand without having to violate the Shabbos, then obviously it is prohibited to violate even a Rabbinical prohibition or perform the forbidden act even through a non-Jew.
1149. Milk extracted on Shabbos, even in a permissible manner, is muktza. However, when a child needs milk and no other is available, one may give it such milk on Shabbos, or milk that was milked by a non-Jew on Shabbos. The milk should not be handled however, besides for the purposes of the child.
1150. A child who, on the instructions of the doctor, has to be given daily vitamins or fish oil may be given them on Shabbos too. If necessary, one may weigh or measure the amount of food which a child requires, but it is better if one is not exact in the weight or measurement. It is permissible to even weigh the child himself, when one has to ascertain how much weight, if any, he has gained after a meal.
1151. Even though we learned that an adult should not use oil on Shabbos for chapped hands or lips, in the case of a baby, oil may be applied to parts of the body where skin has become chafed, for instance, from wet diapers. One may also apply oil to the scalp of a baby suffering from scurf, if one would do so also on another day of the week. In this case however, only a little oil should be used.
1152. The spreading of ointment is forbidden on Shabbos, even on a child. However where necessary, we learned in the previous halacha that oil may be used. One may apply the oil with one's hands or by pouring it on the baby's skin and gently wiping over it, even with absorbent cotton which was torn off the wad and compressed before Shabbos. One may not pour the oil onto the cotton and then smear it on the baby, since this would cause some of the oil to be squeezed out of the cotton, which is a violation of the Shabbos. The same applies to any absorbent material, even synthetic.
1153. It is permitted to give a child medication on Shabbos, including nose, ear or eye drops and any pills or syrups which he needs to make him well. One may even crumble a pill for him and dissolve it in water.
1154. One is allowed, when treating a child on Shabbos, to wash a wound, to sprinkle styptic surgical dusting powder on a wound in order to stop it from bleeding, to dress a wound in order to avoid contamination and to remove a thorn which has penetrated the skin. One is not allowed to smear ointment onto a wound.
1155. A baby or a small child may be in danger, and one should contact a doctor right away on Shabbos, if it is suffering from acute diarrhea or it has severe stomach pains. If a baby's navel bleeds, it may be treated with styptic powder to stop the bleeding. One may also change the dressing. When necessary, one may even violate the Shabbos, since the life of a baby in this condition is regarded by Halacha as being in danger.
1156. As a rule, when circumcision of a baby can take place on the eighth day (counting the day of the birth as the first), its performance overrides the laws of Shabbos. However, all the dressing which will be required, should be prepared before Shabbos, covered with any necessary ointment, and covered to keep them clean. Likewise, if there is no eiruv and carrying articles is forbidden, one must, before Shabbos, bring everything one needs for the circumcision to the place it will be performed.
1157. If one did not make the necessary arrangements before Shabbos for a bris milah, and one cannot, without violating the Shabbos, make up for the deficiency, then the circumcision may not be carried out on Shabbos and must be postponed until the next day. Nonetheless, in a case where the circumcision has taken place on Shabbos, one may, of course, do whatever is needed on Shabbos, regardless of what was forgotten before Shabbos.
1158. Just as it forbidden on Shabbos to bring things one needs for the circumcision through a place where there is no eiruv, so it is forbidden to bring the baby through a place where one may not carry, to the synagogue for the circumcision. This is so even if the Mohel is unable to come to the house where the baby is and the circumcision will have to be postponed.
1159. One may request a non-Jew to bring things one needs for the circumcision to the house where it is to take place, through an area where carrying is forbidden, so long as that area does not fall within the strict definition of a reshut harrabim. Similarly, one may tell him to bring the baby to the synagogue for the circumcision. One must remember that, subject to the above, no violation of Shabbos other than the circumcision itself may be performed on Shabbos, even if the infringement is only a Rabbinical prohibition, and even if it is done by a non-Jew.
1160. When a baby is suffering from an earache on Shabbos, a Jewish doctor is allowed to switch on the light of the instrument he needs to make an examination, since the pain could be evidence of a dangerous condition. Furthermore, if there is a reasonable prospect that the doctor will be called upon to make a similar examination on the same day, he may even switch off the light, to prevent the batteries from being used up.
1161. One may have an operation performed, have an X-ray taken or have a plaster cast fitted by a non-Jew for a dangerously ill patient on Shabbos, even though it is close to the termination of Shabbos and one could wait until then. One may request a non-Jewish doctor to write a letter, on Shabbos, referring a dangerously ill patient for admission to a hospital on the following day.
1162. If a dangerously ill patient asks for his relatives to be called to visit him, one may tell a non-Jew to ride or drive to where they live and alert them. Alternatively, a Jew is allowed to walk there even where it is beyond the distance normally permitted, but he may not telephone or travel by car.
1163. For a patient who is sick, but not dangerously so, one is allowed to tell a non-Jew to switch on the light, so that one can see what the patient needs and one is allowed to tell the non-Jew to switch the light off, so that the patient can sleep. One may also tell the non-Jew to do such things as telephone a non-Jewish doctor, purchase medications for use on Shabbos and drive the patient to the doctor.
1164. In the case of a very painful toothache on Shabbos, one may go to a non-Jewish dentist for the appropriate treatment, including the extraction of the tooth causing the pain. In the case of a fractured bone, even where it does not constitute a danger to the patient, one may ask a non-Jewish doctor to take an X-ray or make a plaster cast.
1165. In countries with a cool climate, one may tell a non-Jew on Shabbos to turn on the heating if one is troubled by the cold. This is because a person suffering from the cold is placed in the same category as someone who is ill. If there are small children in the house, or a person who is ill, one may tell the non-Jew to turn on the heating even when the cold is not enough to bother adults or healthy people.
1166. On a hot summer's day, one may request a non-Jew to switch on an electric fan or the air conditioning, when one is suffering a great deal from the heat or due to the presence of a person who is ill, albeit not dangerously so.
1167. It is permissible to tell a non-Jew to cook or warm food or drink on Shabbos for a person who is ill, even though his life is not in danger. The prohibition which generally forbids one to eat food cooked by a non-Jew does not apply to the person who is ill when he eats the food on Shabbos.
1168. If a non-Jew cooks food for an ill person on Shabbos, a Jew may not assist in any way with the cooking. One may not even put the food in the pot before it is placed on the fire, cover the pot - as long as the food is not fully cooked, or stir the food in the pot. A healthy person may not eat this cooked food on Shabbos, and the food itself may be for him.
1169. If a Jewish doctor needs to reach an ill patient on Shabbos, even if he is not dangerously ill, the Jewish doctor may travel through the town by means of transport operated by non-Jews if it is too far for him to walk. He may also return in the same way. The best is if he could arrange with the driver to pay him the fee after Shabbos, or to request a non-Jew to pay the driver in his place. If this is not possible, he may take with him a pre-paid ticket (if there is an eiruv). If he doesn't have a pre-paid ticket, he may take money to pay with, but he should not accept the change.
1170. In the event of a bad cold on Shabbos, one may have nasal drops or nasal ointment administered by a non-Jew. One may not have a vaporizer turned on by a non-Jew (since this could involves the infringement of a Torah prohibition), unless one is confined to bed or feels weak all over as a result of the cold.
1171. A small child is treated by Halacha on Shabbos as someone who is ill. Therefore, one may tell a non-Jew on Shabbos to cook or heat food for a baby who needs it. One may also ask a non-Jew to grate an apple for a baby who needs it. One may request a non-Jew to turn on a light for a small child who is frightened or is liable to become frightened. Others may benefit from this light once it is on. One may also tell the non-Jew to close the light so the child should sleep.
1172. It is permitted to measure body temperature on Shabbos with a mercury thermometer if one suspects illness, or for a woman to ascertain the days on which she is capable of becoming pregnant. One may shake down the mercury in the thermometer after use, as long as one intends on using it again that day. Likewise, one may measure a patient's blood pressure or take his pulse on Shabbos, as long as one does not use an electric device.
1173. If one needs to record the details of the treatment of a patient on Shabbos, in order to prevent confusion with those of another patient, and there is a non-Jew present, one should ask him to write them down. One may do this even in the case of a patient who is not dangerously ill. One may also ask the non-Jew to make note of matters which the patient will not need until the next day, such as tests requested by the doctor, if there is fear that they will be forgotten.
1174. Although it is prohibited to soak laundry in water on Shabbos, one may soak the laundry of a patient suffering from a contagious or infectious disease in disinfectant, in order to prevent the illness from spreading. One must not, however, do anything else towards washing the laundry.
1175. If a doctor orders a patient not to leave the house unless he takes with him a particular medicine for use in case of emergency, or a diabetic person who may always have to carry sugar with him, the rule is as follows; If the patient needs to go out on Shabbos in a place without an eiruv, in order to perform a mitzva, for example to go to the shul or to study Torah, he may be lenient about taking the medicine or sugar with him, provided that he: 1) does not go through an actual reshus harabbim (according to the Torah), 2) he carries it in an unusual way, such as under his hat, and 3) he does not carry with him more than he needs.
1176. Similar to the previous Halacha we learned, a patient who suffers from a dangerous condition may go out on Shabbos into a place without an eiruv to perform mitzvos, wearing medical instructions around a chain on their neck, so that, in case of emergency, one will know right away what treatment to give him. The patient, in this case and in the case of the previous halacha, should try not to stand still while he is in the street. If the need to take the medication on him (or the sugar) arises when the patient in in the street, he should, where possible, hurry into a nearby building or house, (which is a ) and swallow the medicine or the sugar there, before going back out into the street.
1177. A person who is ill but whose life is not in danger should, if it is Shabbos, preferably go to a doctor who observes the Torah and its Mitzvos, rather than to a non-religious doctor. Thus, he will avoid unjustifiable violation of the Shabbos. If it is not possible to go to an observant doctor, or the non-observant doctor has more expertise, he should go to the non-observant doctor. This is so even if he knows the doctor will, for instance, turn on a light, note down details and write him out a prescription on Shabbos. In any event, if one can prevail on the doctor not to violate Shabbos, one is definitely obliged to do so.
1178. A patient who is not dangerously ill may not call or visit a non-religious doctor on Shabbos instead of a religious one, for purely financial reasons. This is because the non-religious doctor will probably violate the Shabbos unjustifiably. If a non-religious doctor writes out a prescription on Shabbos for a patient who is not dangerously ill, the medicine should not be picked up from the pharmacy until after Shabbos. This is because one is not allowed to benefit on Shabbos from a forbidden activity performed by a Jew on Shabbos (the writing of the prescription).
1179. In a place without an ).
1180. When washing his hands before or after attending to a patient on Shabbos, the doctor should use liquid soap. If there is none available, he can use a bar of soap, but, where possible, only under the running tap.
1181. When a Jewish doctor is required to violate the Shabbos for a non-Jewish patient whose life is in danger, he may do so if the activity he is required to perform is the subject only of a Rabbinical prohibition. If Torah prohibitions are involved, he would be well advised to seek detailed instructions from an expert authority on the laws of Shabbos.
1182. It is permissible for a patient to stay in a hospital where Shabbos is violated (for example, by Jewish nurses writing down the patient's temperature). This is so even if the patient is not dangerously ill. Of course, the patient must try and minimize the extent to which Shabbos is violated for him. He should bear in mind that this is more likely to be achieved by a soft-spoken request than by a peremtory demand.
1183. A patient who is not dangerously ill, who is staying in a hospital where Shabbos is violated by Jewish staff, should take care not to eat food which Jews cooked on Shabbos. This is the case even if the food is cooked together with food for dangerously ill patients, and even if the actual food was given to a dangerously ill patient who, for some reason, did not eat it.
1184. If a Jewish, non-religious doctor turned on a light in a hospital ward on Shabbos, a non-dangerously ill person may benefit from this light only if there is another dangerously ill patient in the room for whom it was permitted to turn on the light to deal with his urgent needs. Otherwise, while the non-dangerously ill patient is not obliged to leave the room to avoid benefiting from the light, he should not do anything that he would not have done without it.
1185. One may violate even a Torah prohibition on Shabbos to bring Kosher food to a dangerously ill patient, for example, by bringing it through a place without an eiruv. This is because if the patient would know that he must eat non-Kosher food, it could cause a disturbance in the patient's mental equilibrium and bring about a deterioration in his condition. However, this is only if the patient is in a hospital where the food is not kosher and he does not have any kind of kosher food available sufficient to meet his needs. When bringing the food, one should try to carry it in a different way (use a ).
1186. One should not violate the Shabbos to bring kosher food to a dangerously ill patient if his condition is such that he does not know what type of food he is eating or if the patient is a child too young to appreciate that there is anything wrong with the hospital food. In any event, even for a patient that one would be allowed to violate the Shabbos to bring him kosher food, one must do whatever is possible before Shabbos to have the necessary food available and should not rely on the fact that one will be permitted to violate the Shabbos.
1187. A patient who is confined to bed may use a bell on Shabbos which is not electrically operated to ring for assistance. This is the case even if the patient's life is not in danger, and it makes no difference if the patient is hospitalized or at home. He may not use an electric bell unless he is sure that ringing the bell will not make a light come on, and only if he needs immediate attention to his medical needs. Even so, he should ring the bell in a different way than usual (use a ), for example, by ringing the bell with his elbow.
1188. A dangerously ill patient may use an electric bell on Shabbos to call for assistance, even if the bell makes a light go on, if ringing the bell may help to save or prolong his life. The bell should be rung in a different manner (with a , unless this could be detrimental to the patient's condition or treatment.
1189. A patient who is confined to bed on Shabbos and needs to relieve himself should try to find someone who can call for assistance or ask a non-Jew to ring the electric bell. If these options are not available, a dangerously ill patient may ring an electric bell on Shabbos, even if a light will go on. If possible, he should do it with a . This was permitted by the Rabbis due to the importance of the preservation of human dignity.
1190. One may sign a consent on Shabbos to the performance of an urgent operation, but only if the patient's life is, or may be in danger. Also, this is only if the hospital management makes the performance of the operation conditional on the prior consent of the patient or his relatives, and the hospital management will not be satisfied with an oral consent given before witnesses.
1191. One may sign on Shabbos when required to do so by a doctor, before he will give urgent treatment to a dangerously ill patient. One may sign in this case, even if the doctor needs the signature for his own purposes and not for the welfare of the patient. However, one should try to (gently) persuade the doctor to forgo his demand, if possible. If, however, one must sign, one should try to sign in a different way than usual (i.e. with a ).
1192. If someone needs to sign on Shabbos for a dangerously ill patient, as we discussed in the previous halachos, one should try to sign as briefly as one can, in order to write as little as possible. This could be done for instance, by signing just one's initials, or, better still, with a mere, meaningless mark. It is of course forbidden to sign on Shabbos purely to save money, as where one wishes to be exempt from paying for an operation or treatment.
1193. A Shabbos observant doctor who is on duty in a hospital on Shabbos, may well be apprehensive about performing acts which would normally be forbidden on Shabbos. However, he should not exchange his duty with another Jewish doctor who does not observe Shabbos. On the contrary, he should conscientiously carry out his duty, in accordance with the halacha, and he will receive his just reward from the almighty. If the patients in the hospital are all non-Jews, he must exchange his duty with a non-Jewish doctor who will be able to do freely whatever their welfare requires. He should not work on Shabbos in this case even if it causes him the loss of time or even a monetary loss.
1194. Even inessential treatment may be given to patients in a hospital on Shabbos, if the delay in these treatments may somehow cause that dangerously ill patients will not receive proper attention later, even after Shabbos. Nevertheless, hospital managements would do well to consult a halachic authority for his advice on how to avoid this situation, in which the holy Shabbos is turned into just another day of the week.
1195. One may donate blood on Shabbos for a patient who is in urgent need of a transfusion, if it is not available from a blood bank. In these circumstances, one may donate blood even if this will necessitate one's having to sign one's name or have one's name noted down. When necessary, one is allowed to use a vehicle to bring donors or the equipment required.
1196. When taking blood for a number of different tests on Shabbos for a dangerously ill patient, one should take the blood out from one place if possible, and not take blood both from a vein and from a finger. Certain dangerously ill patients need to have a blood count taken or their sugar checked several times a week, but not every day. In such cases, one should avoid Shabbos, unless there is a special reason for performing the tests on predetermined dates (for comparison of results) and one or some of those dates fall on Shabbos.
1197. To operate some instruments, one has to turn on a number of different controls. In the event that one needs to use such an instrument on Shabbos for a dangerously ill patient, one should first adjust the various controls, and only then, connect the instrument to the electric current. In order to identify material sent for lab testing, the request should be attached to the tube or jar containing the specimen with a rubber band on Shabbos. This will avoid the need for sticking on a label.
1198. A Jewish doctor may administer treatment of an experimental nature to a dangerously ill patient, even if the efficiency of the treatment is in doubt, and even if the treatment involves the violation of Shabbos by the infringement of Torah (and not just Rabbinical) prohibitions.
1199. All medical treatments for a dangerously ill patient that involve the infringement of a Torah prohibition, such as an operation, should be postponed until after Shabbos if there is no risk of an aggravation in his condition which could further endanger his life. Similarly, one should not, on Shabbos, perform laboratory tests or x-rays needed for surgery to be carried out on the following day, unless the operation is urgent and might otherwise be delayed.
1200. A dangerously ill patient may be transferred from one floor to another by means of an elevator, if he cannot easily be taken up or down the stairs. Furthermore, a friend or relative is allowed to accompany him in the elevator, to keep his mind at rest.
1201. A person who is ill and must eat on Shabbos before his morning prayers should recite kiddush before he eats. He should preferably first say at least the birchas haTorah and the first paragraph of Shema. On weekdays too, a person who has to eat before morning prayers ought first to say at least birchas haTorah and the first paragraph of shema.
1202. It is preferable for someone who is weak on Shabbos, to say his morning prayers by himself and eat afterwards rather than to eat before his prayers so that he can say them with the congregation. However, he should go to the synagogue after eating in order to participate in and to hear the reading of the Torah.
1203. A patient who is not allowed to drink wine or grape juice, should preferably not make kiddush for a number of individuals with the intention that another one of the company should drink the wine in his stead. Rather, another of the company (even the patient's wife) should make kiddush for them all. Another option is that the patient should recite the kiddush himself, taste at least a drop of the wine and then pass the cup to another of the company to drink the prescribed quantity. The last option is that the patient should make kiddush over bread, and the others should make kiddush separately over wine.
1204. A patient who cannot drink wine and cannot eat enough bread to make kiddush on, should have the intention of fulfilling his obligation to make kiddush by the very recital of the Friday night Amidah prayer. He may then eat his meal without making the usual kiddush. If, on Shabbos morning, he is able to drink wine or eat bread, he should recite the usual Friday night kiddush then, omitting, however, the verses which precede the blessing on the wine.
1205. It is permitted to visit the sick on Shabbos and Yom-Tov. One should not wish the person who is ill a recovery on Shabbos, but rather should bless him with he words 'Shabbos hi M'lizok' etc... (meaning 'it is a day of rest from crying out, and a cure is near at hand'). On Rosh Hashana and Yom-Kippur one may wish an ill person a complete recovery and pray for him in the same way as on any other day, even if they occur on Shabbos. The reason is that these days are in their very essence days of repentance and prayer.
1206. One should preferably not pray for the recovery of a sick person on Shabbos, since the sadness engendered detracts from the spirit of the day. However, for an ill person whose life is in immediate danger, an individual or even a congregation, may pray and recite Psalms. They may also pray for a patient who specifically asks for them to pray for him, even if the danger is not so immediate. An ill person himself, may pray privately and recite psalms on Shabbos for his own recovery, even if he is not dangerously ill.
1207. If a fire breaks out on Shabbos and there is even the remotest fear that human life might be in danger, one must do all one can to see that it is put out. This would be the case if, for example, there was a fear that the fire could spread to a nearby house where there is an elderly or sick person, or a baby, who cannot be taken out on time. Also, in an apartment building, smoke inhalation can be dangerous and even life-threatening for those who are slow to get out. In such circumstances, one may put out the fire oneself in any way necessary, as well as call the fire department. Even if ten people called the fire department in the end, all have done well.
1208. If a fire breaks out on Shabbos in a place where there will certainly be no danger to human life, it is forbidden to extinguish it on Shabbos. One must not transgress even a Rabbinical prohibition in order to save property and one must certainly not call out the fire department.
1209. One may extinguish a fire on Shabbos that threatens to injure three or more people, even if it poses no threat to human life. This could apply, for example, to the remains of a bonfire whose embers are still hot, if there are children in the vicinity whom it is impossible to keep at a distance, giving rise to fear that one of them might burn himself. This is permitted because extinguishing a fire on Shabbos is only a Rabbinic prohibition. However, one may not call the fire department, since this involves a Torah prohibition.
1210. If a fire breaks out on Shabbos, the general rule is that it is forbidden to save property by taking it out of the house into the common courtyard or the street. This is so even if there is an eiruv. The prohibition is a Rabbinical one, imposed because people tend to lose their presence of mind when faced with the sudden prospect of financial calamity. If their were no restrictions, then, in the panic of the scramble to save as much property as possible, one might forget it was Shabbos and come to put out the fire. Therefore the Rabbis restrained one's freedom of action, while still allowing one to save limited quantities of food, eating utensils and clothing. Having resigned oneself to one's loss, one will not come to extinguish the fire.
1211. One may save all of one's property from a fire on Shabbos if one brings it to a place that does not require an eiruv. For example, one may move his property from one part of the house to another, from one part of one's courtyard to another, from one's burning house to one's own private courtyard (which he does not share with anyone else and which does not need an eiruv), or from one's apartment to the common staircase, or to the apartment of a friend in the same house (as long as there is an eiruv permitting one to carry there).
1212. In a place with an eiruv, one may save on Shabbos from a fire, a limited amount of food and eating utensils, and take them to a street or courtyard that is shared by a few people. The basic quantity that one may save is sufficient food and utensils for as many of the three Shabbos meals that one has not yet eaten. One may save this quantity even if he has food and utensils elsewhere. Likewise, one may rescue this amount for each of the members of one's household and any guests he may have, as well as for his animals.
1213. In case of a fire on Shabbos, each member of the household, and each individual guest, may separately rescue from the house as much as he needs for the Shabbos meals that he has not eaten yet. This applies even though the house owner has already saved food and utensils for them as well. One may also save more food, of a different variety, on the grounds that one now prefers this variety for one's Shabbos meal. One may save as much drink and as many drinking utensils as one thinks one needs for the whole day, since the amount a person drinks during the course of the day is not a fixed quantity.
1214. The restrictions discussed in the previous Halachos in regard to saving food from a burning house on Shabbos, only apply if one takes them out in a number of separate containers. However, if large quantities of food or utensils are in one big container, one may take the entire container out, despite the fact that there is more than required for the Shabbos meals. One may even empty a number of small containers into a large container, so that one will be able to save more by taking the latter. One may not however, save more by putting the smaller containers into the larger container.
1215. In the same way as one may rescue food from a fire on Shabbos, one may also pick up and take out a sufficient quantity of clothing for oneself and the members of one's household to wear that Shabbos. Furthermore, one may save articles of clothing from the fire by putting them on and going out wearing them. In doing so, one may put on as much as one can, even one garment over another. One may also go into a place where there is no eiruv, wearing clothes in such a manner. And after one has removed the clothes, one may go back and put on more in order to save them too from the fire.
1216. The owner of a burning house who is restricted as to the property he may save on Shabbos, in accordance with the rules set out in the previous halachos, may not, once he has rescued as much as he is allowed, tell other people to rescue more for him. Yet, he may tell them to rescue things for themselves. In that event, each of them may save whatever he would be permitted to save if the house were his. However, what they save belongs to them, and they need not return it to the owner of the house, since he told them to save it for themselves. They may, however, return it to its owner and request a fee, after Shabbos, for their trouble. A righteous person would give back what he has saved without asking to be paid for his exertions at all.
1217. It can be argued that if somebody, of his own accord, comes to rescue property for the owner of a burning house (on Shabbos), without having been requested by him to do so, he may save whatever he can, without the restrictions discussed in the previous halachos. This is because such a person is not likely to lose his presence of mind and come to put out the fire. Similarly, the inhabitants of nearby houses who fear that the fire may spread to them are allowed to take anything out of their houses, as long as it is to a place in which one may carry. Since the fire has not yet reached their homes, they are not likely to be so alarmed as to lose their presence of mind.
1218. On Shabbos, everybody, including the owner of the burning house, is permitted to take out sacred writings which are liable to be burned. Sacred writings include sifrei Torah, the Prophets, the Talmud, halachic works, prayer books and other Torah books, as well as tefillin, even though they are normally muktza.
1219. One need raise no objection if a non-Jew comes of his own accord to put out a fire on Shabbos, without having been told to by a Jew. One may even call a non-Jew when there is a fire and say to him 'whoever puts out the fire won't lose by it', or, outside Israel, where the firemen are not Jewish, 'whoever calls the fire department will be rewarded.' In other words, one may hint to the non-Jew as to what one wishes him to do.
1220. It is forbidden to tell a non-Jew directly to put out a fire on Shabbos in order to avoid material loss, unless there is a possibility of danger to human life or there are three or more people about and one of them might be physically injured. Even if the non-Jew comes to put out the fire on his own, one may not urge him to speed up his efforts. Nonetheless, a Jew may tell a non-Jew to put out a fire in another non-Jew's home, even if the Jew's intention is that the fire should not spread to his own house, causing him a monetary loss.
1221. One may tell a non-Jew directly on Shabbos to put out a fire in order to save sacred writings from being burned. One may also tell him to take them out of the house, even if the non-Jew will carry them in a (in a place without an eiruv).
1222. Although we have learned that one is not allowed to put out a fire on Shabbos merely to avoid a monetary loss, one is permitted to perform an act which will indirectly result in its extinction. Thus, if one side of a cupboard catches fire, one may pour water over the side that is not burning or cover the side which is not burning with wet clothes so that the fire will die out when it reaches there. One may also put plastic bags filled with water near the fire with the object that they should burst in the heat and release the water on the fire. If one end of a tablecloth has caught fire, one may pour water on the other end which is not yet burning.
1223. If a burning candle falls onto a tablecloth on Shabbos and there is a risk of the table cloth catching fire (and there is no non-Jew around to remove it), the Jew himself should carefully remove the cloth, with the burning candle on it, lower it until it is near the floor and then gently tilt the cloth so that the candle rolls off. This may be done despite the fact that the candle may go out when it falls to the floor. If this is not possible, the Jew may pick up the candle and take it away, in order to avoid the risk of the tablecloth catching fire.
1224. A spark that falls onto a tablecloth on Shabbos may be shaken off to prevent the cloth from being burned. If the cloth catches fire from the spark or from a candle that fell on it, one may not extinguish the flames unless there is fear of danger to human life or if there are three or more people in the vicinity and one of them might suffer physical injury.
1225. If there are exposed electric cables or wires in the house on Shabbos and there is a danger of someone touching them, one should act as follows. If possible, it is best to leave the house for the duration of Shabbos or to lock it up that no one can enter the dangerous area. This way, one can delay the repair until after Shabbos. If there are children or sick people in the house who cannot be taken out, one should cut the electric current off by removing the fuse. If this too is impossible, or if one needs the electricity for a dangerously ill person, one would be allowed to repair them or to call a repair man to fix them, since they comprise a hazard to human life.
1226. When electric cables have fallen in the street on Shabbos and there is fear that someone may touch them, one may alert the electric authority which supplies the electricity, so that they should cut off the current. One could avoid violating the Shabbos in this way, if he stood near the cables for the duration of the Shabbos in order to warn people of the danger involved in touching them, but the strict letter of the halacha does not oblige one to take this course. Nevertheless, if one wishes to take it upon oneself to wait near the cables and warn passers-by, there is merit in doing so.
1227. The bite of a dog with rabies can endanger human life. As a result, if one fears that a stray dog is infected with rabies and is liable to bite someone, one may catch it or even kill it on Shabbos. Similarly, one may catch a dog which has bitten someone in order to investigate if the dog is healthy or has rabies. Otherwise one would not know how to treat the victim, since unnecessary treatment for rabies is in itself dangerous. Likewise, one may catch a snake which has bitten someone on Shabbos, so that one can classify its venom.
1228. Usually, when a burglar breaks into an apartment, there is fear that he will attack anyone he finds inside. In view of this danger, the occupant, a neighbor or anyone else may telephone the police on Shabbos if he cannot chase the burglar off without endangering himself. This applies even when the burglar is breaking into an empty apartment, if it seems likely that he may also break into another apartment with occupants inside. However, when there is no fear of danger, it is prohibited to call the police, even if one is liable to lose one's whole fortune. Thus, one may not telephone the police if one sees a thief breaking into a place where there are no people around, such as a bank or a store.
1229. I would like to share this with everyone! In response to yesterday's Halacha (click link below) someone wrote to us today... 'Very appropriate halacha! Someone was held up at gunpoint R'L on a Friday night, and did not call the police saying he was not in sakana anymore. I gently told him how very wrong he was - that the broader kehilla was still in sakana, so long as the perpretrator was still on the loose. He dismissed my point entirely,stating that calling the police would be chillul shabbos D'oraisa. We subsequently found out that 3 more people were held up that same Friday night!'
1230. A person witnessing a quarrel on Shabbos which is liable to degenerate into a fight a lead to bloodshed, is allowed to alert the police (even by telephone). The same applies upon the occurrence of any event which is liable to bring about danger to human life. One may catch and hold a dangerous thief or violent combatants, with the view of handing them over to the police.
1231. One may notify the police on Shabbos (even by telephone) if a small child is lost or found wandering about, in a distraught condition, and the only way one could calm him is by asking the police to find his family. It is forbidden to give or take fingerprints on Shabbos.
1232. One is permitted, and indeed obligated, to stand guard on Shabbos, in the war against hostile infiltrators and terrorists in their various guises, even if they only come to steal. This halacha is especially applicable in Israel. In the course of his duty to guard against danger, a Jewish soldier may go out, even where there is no eiruv, wearing around his neck a chain with an engraved disc bearing his name, military number and his blood group.
1233. A member of the home guard, the civil defense or the security forces who has to stand guard on Shabbos, or is on active duty, may, if the potential danger warrants it, take a gun or other weapons with him, even to a place where it is forbidden to carry, and even beyond the limit to which it is permitted to walk on Shabbos. If he has to go out with a gun, he should, as much as possible, mitigate the violation of Shabbos by wearing it slung over his shoulder, instead of carrying it in his hand.
1234. A soldier who is standing guard on Shabbos against dangerous enemies, may take with him a flashlight, wherever he has to go, if there is a possibility that he may need it for an essential purpose, such as looking for suspicious people or objects. If he has to use the flashlight, he may switch it off afterwards. Otherwise, the batteries may run out and the flashlight will not be fit for further use that night. In any event, he should try to minimize the severity of the prohibitions by doing things as much as possible with a (in a way different than which he would normally use to turn the flashlight on and off during the week).
1235. A Jewish soldier who is ordered to report for duty on Shabbos at a time of emergency may take with him all the vital items required by the military which help safeguard human life. In addition, he may also take with him his Talis and Teffilin, a prayer book and other essential personal effects, such as toilet paper. He should put his personal effects into his kit bag together with the other items. If he has to go through a place without an eiruv, he should try to put the kit bag into a vehicle and not carry it himself. The vehicle should be one whose journey is justified by the aim of saving human life and not, for instance, a press car.
1236. A Shabbos observant soldier whose turn for standing guard comes out on Shabbos should not exchange his duty with a soldier who does not keep the Mitzvos, since the latter is also under an obligation to observe Shabbos. On the contrary, if the observant Jew stands guard, he may well be able to avoid superfluous violation of the Shabbos.
1237. A member of the security forces who has to be on essential duty in another part of town on Shabbos should go there on foot (or before Shabbos). He should not travel by car, even if the vehicle is in any event being driven to the same destination. If it would be impossible for him to walk all the way to his place of duty, he must insure that he is within it's vicinity when Shabbos commences. He must not rely in advance on the fact that human lives may be dependent on the fulfillment of his duties and that, as a result, he will be permitted, in the last resort, to travel there in a vehicle.
1238. A person who finds a potentially dangerous, suspicious object on Shabbos in a place where there may be people, or where people may pass, should alert the police immediately. He should do so even if a violation of Shabbos is involved. He need not stand there and warn people not to come close for the duration of the Shabbos, according to the strict letter of the law. Indeed, he must not so unless he can be certain that nobody is endangered by the risk of an imminent explosion and that there are no additional explosive charges in the vicinity.
1239. In the past Halachos we have discussed many cases of emergencies and danger to human life on Shabbos. However, the amount of possible situations are far too many to discuss them all. Therefore, let one take this rule in hand. The Torah lays down laws 'which a person shall perform and by which he shall live' (Leviticus 18:5) and not by which he shall die. The Torah does not require a person to observe the Mitzvos if their observance could endanger life (besides for in 3 cases). Quite the reverse! The Jew is commanded by the Torah to transgress the commandments in order to avoid the risk of danger to life. And as Chaza'l say in regard to Shabbos, 'It is better to violate one Shabbos and be able to keep many more Shabbosim.'