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An Illness that Can Develop into a Danger on Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - An Illness that Can Develop into a Danger on Shabbat

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


May one break shabbat for an Illness that can develop into a danger?


One may perform a melachah even for a person who is not in life-threatening danger at the moment, but still presently needs assistance and if he does not receive proper assistance then his situation could escalate

into a more serious condition and result in a life-threatening situation.[1]

Therefore, a diabetic may inject himself with a dose of insulin in order to prevent himself from coming to a life-threatening situation. However, if in general, such an illness will not spiral into a life-threatening situation, one should not violate Shabbat in order to help the person in need.[2]

One who was considered a choleh sheyesh bo sakanah (a life-threatening sick person) who received treatment and now whose situation is not considered life-threatening may nevertheless continue to accept treatment on Shabbat if there is a possibility that his situation could digress and return to a status of choleh sheyesh bo sakanah. [3]

Similarly, One who has been exposed to a person with a contagious life-threatening disease, or stands a reasonable chance of contracting such a disease, may receive a vaccination even on Shabbat. [4]

Adapted From R' Yonatan Nacsons "Laws Of Shabbat" vol. 2, p. 286.


[1]. Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 149.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 373, in footnote 9, & p. 376.

[3]. Chazon Ovadia, Shabbat, vol. 3, p. 289.

[4]. Menuchat Ahavah, vol. 1, 21:16.

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