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R e fu a h
O n
T he
S a b b a th
R a b b iA lfre d
5 .
C o h 'e n
I n
th e
G e m a ra , w e fin d
a p ro h ib itio n
in s titu te d
b yo u rS a g e s
c o n c e r n in g
h e a lin g ," r e fu a h " ,o n
S h a b b a t:1
,1 3 K
p t:lY "V J
""J IlJ :l
C
~
I
'
:
)
J
.
1nU (
D "'O Y tl
c ,
n " K 'o U
C 1X
.D 'JD 13D
n p 'n lU
C ,1 U tI
in u
K '" y
I f
a
p e r s o n
h a s
a n
a tta c k
o fc o n g e s tio n ,
h e
m ay
b e
m ake
t o
s ta n d
in
w a te r
t o
c o o lo ff[b u th e
m ay
n o t
ta k e m e d ic a tio n ]. U lla s a id ," I t is ag e z e r a
(p re v e n tiv e
m easure)
o n
a c c o u n t
o fc r u s h in g
h e r b s ,"
C o m m e n tin g
o n
th is ,
R ashi
e x p la in s1
'n K
M K 1 D 1
C llU
n '1 1 0
'K '
p :n
" u
m m n,
'''1 ':) ;)
.1 " 'U
'l i n
K n""K 1
K "D 'K
X lm
0 '3 1 ':) 1 3 0n p 'n lU
'1 U tn ?
S in c e
th e
c o n c e r n
fo r
p h y s ic a l
s o u n d n e s s
is
v e r y
g re a t,
a
p e r s o n
try in g
t o
a s s u r e
th a th e
w o u ld
g e t b e tte r
fro m
h is
illn e s s
m ig h t
" g rin d
h e rb s ,"
w h ic h
is
b ib lic a lly
fo rb id d e n
a s
to c h e n ,
g rin d in g ,o n e
o f
th e
3 9
a c tiv itie s
p r o s c r ib e d
o n
S h a b b a t.
1 . S h llb b llt5 Jb
2 .S ee
a ls o
R.. sh i
,0 ,
n o ,];
:n p
n ]v ;
)1 0 1 '1 (0 ,
1 " 1 '"
. r o
I " ) , ',
,'.l:J p
n ]R T
" " I ( C
;I:n K i"In 'ln
'D tI
1 :1 1 :),:,]o ,:n
n '"
: " t t I
ru R T
n U ltT ln
R a b b i, Y o u n g
Is r a e lo fC anarsie;
Rebbe, Yeshiva
U n iv e r s ity
H ig h
S c h o o l,
B oys
,
\u2022
TH E
JO U R N A LO F
H A L A C H A
I n
c o d ify in g
th e
law ,
R am bam
fo llo w s
th e
ta lm u d ic
te a c h in g
a n d
r u l e s ; 3
p M tv '
K l3 lU
il1 U
n ::1 tu :l.
n 'K !n n il'
/'('1 :"
"O K
1 :J'!IC ,
.r)Y .Il'J tm
T h e re fo re ,
i t
is
fo rb id d e n
for a
h e a lth y
p e rs o n
t o
b e
h e a le d
o n
th e
S h a b b a t;
[it is]
a
ra b b in ic
s trin g e n c y ,
le s t
h e
g rin d
h e r b s .
OUf purpose
i n
th is p a p e ris to s tu d y
th e is s u r o fr e fu a h
a n d
e x p lo re
i t s
s p e c ific
param eters
a n d
a p p lic a tio n s
to d a y ;
th is
is
n o t
a n
e a s y
ta s k
in
lig h to f
th e
c o m p le x
n a tu reo fm e d ic a l tre a tm e n ts
a n d
th e a r t o f h e a lin g in
th e m o d e r n w o rld . A
n u m b e ro f a r e a s w ill
b e
d is c u s s e d :
(1 )T o
w hom
d id
th e
ra b b is
in te n d
th is p ro h ib itio n
t o
a p p ly ?
(2 )
W hat
a c tio n
d id
C h a U ll
h a v e
i n
m in d
w hen
th e y
s a id
n :n U :l M 1 X !l1 n ilr,"C K
" it
is
fo rb id d e n
t o
b e
h e a le d
o n
S h a b b a tl"
(3 ) D o e s
th e
issur stilla p p ly
today, since
v irtu a lly
n o
p a tie n t
g rin d s
o r
m ix e s
h e r b s
o n
th e
s p o tt o
m in ister
t o
h is
i l l s ?
(4 )
H ow
d o e s
th e
issur operate
i n
s p e c ific
s itu a tio n s ?
T oW hom
I tA p p lie s
I n
o r d e r
to
h a v e
a
b e tte r
u n d e rs ta n d in g
o fth e
h a la c h a ,i t is
e s s e n tia l
fo r
u s
t o
u n d e r s ta n d
w hat
p e r s o n s
th e
S a g e s
w ere
s p e a k in gabout w hen
th e y
ta u g h tth a to n e s h o u ld
n o td oa n y th in g
t o
p ro m o te
h e a lin g
o n
S h a b b a t
n o r
ta k e
m e d ic a tio n .
Jew ish
la w
r e c o g n iz e s
s e v e r a l
d is tin c t
c a te g o rie s
o f
p e r s o n s
re q u irin g
a s s is ta n c e ,
a n d
n o t
a llo f
th e m
a re
in c lu d e d
i n
th e
p ro s c rip tio n :
(A )
m :lO
1.::1.lU 'lU
i1 7 1 n4-
A
p e r s o n w h o s e life is in d a n g e r . F o r
s u c h
a
p e r s o n ,
w e
a re
b id d e n
t o
tr a n s g r e s s
a ll
S h a b b a tlaw s, and
3 .
H i/c h o t S h llb b llt 2 1 ,2 0
4 .
W hen
th e
h a la c h a
te a c h e sth a to n e
m ay
v io la te
th eS h a b b a t in
o rd e rt o
s a v e
a
life . d o e s th a t m e a nth a to n e
m ay do
a n y
a c tio n
w h ic h
w ill helps a v e his life,
O T
d o e s itm ean
th a ta n y th in g
w h ic h
w illb e
h e lp fu lt o a d e a th ly
s ic k
p e r s o n
m ay
also bed o n e-
fo r e x a m p le ,m ay o n e
h e a tw a te rt o b a th e
th isv e ry s ic k
p e r s o n ,
e v e n
th o u g h
th e
b a th
w ill c e rta in ly
n o ts a v e
h is
lif e ?
S ee
U "1O
: n
~
7
n
'1 V '7 /C
r :r
.7
," n
n Jn
1 "l'",.
M E D IC A T IO N
O N
S H A B B A T
v irtu a lly
a ll
T o r a h
law s,
i n
o r d e r
t o
s a v e
h is
lif e .
O b v io u s ly , h e
m ay
ta k e
m e d ic a tio n
o rd o
a n y th in g
e ls e
n e e d e d
t o
h e a l
o r
s a v e
him .
(B )
117m '-
A
p e r s o n
is
c o n s id e r e d
" s ic k "
w hen
h e
fe e ls
s o
b a d
th a th e
h a s to g e t in to
b e d
or w hen
h is e n tireb o d y
isin p a in .
A
p e r s o n
this illisn o tam ong those
w ho m ay
n o t b e h e a le do n th e
S a b b a th .T he
R a m o '" s p e c i f i c a l l y
n o te s ," tU
D lV 7 3 7
? !:ll)
O f<
p l," I f
h e
is
b e d -rid d e n ,
th e n
it [h e a lin g
o r
m e d ic in e )
is
p e rm itte d ."
T he
o p in io n
o f
m ost
ra b b in ic
d e c is o r s
is
th a t c h ild re n
u p
t o
th e
a g e
o f
n in e7
a re
c o n s id e r e d
a s
" s i c k " ,a n d
th e re
i s
n o
r e a s o n
n o t
to
g iv e
th e m
m e d ic a tio n .
I t
h a s
a ls o
b e e n
re p o rte d
(b u t
n o t
r e c o r d e d
i n
p rin t)
th a t
R av
M oshe
F e in s te in
c o n s id e r s
a
p e r s o n
w ho
c a n n o t
fu n c tio n
p ro p e rly
o n
S h a b b a t
d u e
t o
h is
p h y s ic a l
c o n d itio n
-
e v e n
if
it is
n o t s u ffic ie n tly
severe to
fo rc e
h im
in to
b e d
-
t o
b e
e q u iv a le n t
t o
a
:1 :llV l'J?
?D U ,
b e d rid d e n
in d iv id u a l. A
p e r s o n
w ho
c a n n o t
d a v e n
d u e
t o
h is
c o n d itio n ,
o r
som eone
ham pered
b y
a c o n d itio n
s u c h
a s
arthritis or Parkinson's
D isease,
fo r
e x a m p le ,
w o u ld
b e
in c lu d e d ,
a c c o rd in g
to
th is
re p o rt,
am ong
th o s e
w ho
m ay
ta k e
m e d ic a tio n .
W e
will consider later the status
o f
a
p e r s o n
w ho
is
s ic k
b u t,
th a n k s
t o
th e
m e d ic in e
h e
ta k e s ,
is
a b le
t o
w a lk
a r o u n d
lik e
a
h e a lth y
p e rs o n .
(C )
A
p e r s o n
i n
e x tre m e
p a in
is
n o t
p re v e n te d
fro m
s e e k in g
tre a tm e n t.
A lth o u g h
i t
is
d iffic u lt
t o
fin d
q u a n tita tiv e
e v a lu a tio n s
o fh o w
m uch
p a in
is e x tre m e p a in , w ed o fin d
th a t ra b b in ic th e o ry
c o n s id e r s
th e
in d iv id u a l's
ow n
p e rc e p tio n s
o f
h is
w e ll-b e in g
a s
a
m ost
re le v a n t
fa c to r
fo r
th e
a p p lic a tio n
o f
th e
h a la c h a .
I n
th e
w o rd s o fR avB ro w n ,!P :l,, ' U
f< ?? 1 '"
,1 I.Y
1 ?'P 'lV ?:l"T hera b b is
d id
n o trestrict a
p e r s o n
w ho
has great pain
[fro m
ta k in g
s te p s
t o
tre a l
th e
p a in ]."
S .
I n
;'Y "1
'1 '
.:" l:l';I i'l:lO 'l'1 m
C "V IlI
R av
B ro w n
ru le s
th a t
p re g n a n t,
nursing, or
m enU ruanl w om en
are classified
a s\u00b7\u00b7s ic k "a n d
p e rm itte d1 0 ta k e m e d ic a tio n . S e e
' ' ' 7
n " ::J 1 lIn ",,.;
fo r Ih e ru le s g o v e rn in g a n u r s in g w o m e n 's e x p re s s in g m ilk w ilh
a
pum p
o n
S h a b b a l.
6 .
1 " '7
:n " :llU
7 .
D ill
;"1 '::J
m vm
8 .
~
:
u
"
o
r
' P
1 0 7 1 '1 ::1
C 'l'1 Y t:I
C " V 1 l1
,

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