Saturday, January 16, 2021

Pikuach Nefesh Shabbos

 there have been false repeated claims made that it is wrong for a Rav to write tshuvos about pikuch nefesh

below is a list of Rav Moshe's tshuvos that he wrote on this topic


  1. It is not assur to write a teshuva. The context of the Yerushalmi appears to be a case of immediate life or death - so the questioner is called a murderer. That is presumably because he is wasting time. A rav presumably would not write on the Shabbes.

  2. Btw, the presence of teshuvos doesn't always mean they are correct. His teshuva on smoking - widely held for decades, was obviously mistaken. Smoking being a leading cause of death for many years.

  3. Nope
    It helps to explain my original report.
    A rav does not research, write, and publish a teshuva on the same shabbat. Having guidelines is not a problem - but expending time on asking during an emergency is potentially costing lives.

  4. Pikuach nefesh is tricky because it requires violations of routines. You have a specific way to keep Shabbos that, if not met, makes you feel like you committed a sin. Along comes a pikuach nefesh situation and your first thought is "But how can I violate Shabbos?!" So people try to ignore it, or play it down, or over-analyze it.


    "In the past, rationalization has distorted the presentation
    of Judaism. R. Soloveitchik singles out for criticism-in terms
    highly reminiscent of Rabbis Samson Raphael Hirsch26 and Abraham
    Isaac Kook -Maimonides' treatment, in the Guide of the Perplexed,
    of the reasons for the commandments. "In rationalizing the
    commandments genetically, Maimonides developed a religious 'instrumentalism.'
    Causality reverted to teleology. . . and Jewish religion was converted into
    technical wisdom. "28 Maimonides had subjected the commandments to
    interpretation in terms foreign to themselves. He had sought the "why" instead of the "what," a failing he avoided in the Mishneh Torah. 29"

    R' Sacks zl reviewed Rav Soloveitchik's book "Halakhic Mind".
    Soloveitchik is criticial of Maimonides' Guide. Note that the Ohr Sameach defended the Guide for the Perplexed against criticism from the Chatam Sofer.

    Was rationalism not favoured by Rav SoloveitchiK?


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