There is salvation of life

The term Pikuach Nefesch (literally: "saving a life") is based on the principle that the preservation of human life overrides almost every other of our religious laws. When a person's life is in danger, almost every prohibition of the Torah can be broken.

It is known that Judaism values ​​life. We believe that all human beings are God's creatures. The commandments and ordinances in Judaism were created to guard, preserve and sustain the life of every human being - as our sages have said: "Whoever saves a soul saves a whole world."

The term »Pikuach« comes from the word »pokei’ach«, which we find in the Bracha »Pokei’ach Iwrim«. In this blessing we praise God for opening the eyes of the blind and making them see. Accordingly, Pikuach Nefesch means: to open one's eyes or to supervise affairs of the soul, i.e. to watch over the life of a person.

Shabbat The Talmud (Joma 84b) discusses a number of cases as examples of how prohibitions imposed by the Torah can be lifted when it comes to saving lives. One of the greatest mitzvot is Schmirat Shabbat, the observance of the Shabbat commandments: "Therefore keep my Shabbat, for it should be holy to you" (Exodus 31:14).

But in order to save a person's life, the work ban has been lifted in the following cases, which are described as "life-threatening situations": rescuing a child from the sea; remove a wall that has collapsed over a child; Break open a door that completely locks a child in and put out fires to save lives. The same is true when it comes to a pregnant woman in labor.

Yom Kippur On Yom Kippur, a sick person is prohibited from fasting if it interferes with their recovery. In other cases, when you are not sure whether the situation is life threatening, you should follow your heart and do what you feel like doing.

Not only Pikuach Nefesch cancels the Shabbat prohibitions, but also a "Safek Pikuach Nefesch," that is, a clue for Pikuach Nefesch, if not without a shadow of a doubt. In fact, this is true even in a situation where there are several possible doubts, for example when a building is collapsing and we don't know if anyone was inside at the time. The Halacha says that we must not omit anything in order to save this person (Mishnah Berura 328:17).

Even if a person suffers from a life-threatening illness and we are not sure whether a certain medicine or cure will help, we must override the Shabbat prohibitions in order to try to save a life (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chajim 328,2). This is because the mitzvah was not necessarily ordered by Pikuach Nefesh to heal the patient. Rather, the mitzvah is trying to save a life.

Limitations Although the Halacha makes very clear statements regarding the saving of human life, there are three limitations that one must not ignore, even if life is in danger. If a Jew is forced to worship idol, shed blood, or have sex with close relatives, he must sacrifice his life rather than breaking halacha.