Causing a Bruise on Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Causing a Bruise 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)


Question:

May one cause a bruise or one to bleed on Shabbat?


Answer:

Causing a living creature to bleed on Shabbat is considered the biblical prohibition of Shochet, [1] if one has a purpose for the blood. [2] However, it is only rabbinically prohibited to hit another person and causing him to bleed (regardless one should not hit any jew even on a regular day, disciplining a child may be different one should consult one's rabbi). [3]


Even causing a bruise to a living creature, even though the blood is still under the skin is prohibited.[4] Similarly, one may not pinch someone to the point where the skin turns red and leaves a mark under the skin. [5]


Sources:

[1]. Gemara, Shabbat, 106a. Rashi, Chullin 46a; Tosafot, Shabbat 107 a, “Shmoneh”; Ramban, Shabbat 107a; Rashba and others state that causing bleeding or bruising is the melachah of Shochet. See also in Mishnah Berurah 316:30. The Rishonim cited above also state that this can also fall under the melachah of Tzoveah, since one is causing a discoloration of the skin. According to Rambam, Shabbat, 8:7 it is an issue of Mefarek, which is a Toldah of Dash, since the blood becomes extracted from the blood vessels.

[2]. Rambam, Shabbat, 8:7; Mishnah Berurah 316:30.

[3]. Yalkut Yosef, Shabbat, vol. 2, p. 550 states that when disciplining a child, one must be extremely careful not to cause a bruise, and one who does so, needs to do teshuvah for performing this melachah.

[4]. Shulchan Aruch 316:8; Mishnah Berurah 316:29 explains that causing bleeding is prohibited since blood is considered the “nefesh” – the soul. Therefore, the Torah regards the blood as a form of life. Therefore, drawing blood from a living being is to some degree equivalent to killing. A bruise is viewed the same as causing bleeding, since a bruise is caused by the rupturing of blood vessels and the blood seeps just beneath the skin, so it is essentially the same.

[5]. Ben Ish Chai, Vaera, 2:12; Kaf HaChaim 316:61.


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