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By Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld | Series: | Level:

It is forbidden to capture an animal (see 308:19;316:1-8,12) unless it might injure people (see 316:7,9;328:45). It is forbidden to kill an animal (see Yoreh De’ah 11:2;28:3,16) or cause it to bleed (see 316:8-9) unless it is dangerous or is chasing someone (see 316:10). It is permitted to alleviate an animal’s suffering (305:9,18-20;332:3-4), but other types of care for a sick animal are forbidden (332:2), and it is forbidden to help an animal give birth (308:46;332:1).

It is forbidden to make any use of an animal (see 305:18;339:1); but an animal is allowed to carry things that are attached to it securely (see 305:6) and are needed to protect it or are normally used to protect animals of that type (see 305:1-17). On putting things on the animal or removing them see 305:1,7-10,18; on leading animals see 305:5,15-16; on calling them see 306:2. An animal that belongs to a Jew is not allowed to do work on the Sabbath (see 305:22-23), but is allowed to eat food that is attached to the ground (see 324:13). It is permitted to give food to animals that depend on people for their food; see 324:11-12. On preparing food for animals to make it edible see 321:9 and 324:4-5,7-8; on feeding them see 324:9-10,14.

A Jewish woman who is giving birth is treated like a person whose life is in danger; anything necessary must be done for her, but things that involve violations of the Sabbath should be done in a nonstandard way if possible (330:1-2). This applies from the time she goes into labor until three days after she gives birth; for the next four days, things that violate the Sabbath may be done for her only if she says that she needs them; and for the next 23 days she is treated like a sick person whose life is not in danger (see 330:3-4,6,8).

Anything necessary must be done for a newborn child if there is any chance that it will live; see 330:5,7-11. On milk see 328:33-35 and 331:8. A boy who is definitely viable and who was born normally is circumcised on the Sabbath if it is definitely the eighth day after his birth (see 331:3-5), but the circumcision should be done only by an experienced person (331:10). Everything necessary for the circumcision may be done by Jews if it could not have been done before the Sabbath, and rabbinically forbidden things may be done by non-Jews in any case; see 331:1-2,6. On care after the circumcision see 331:7-9. A child must not be allowed to become accustomed to violating religious laws; his father must stop him from violating Biblical laws, and must teach him to observe all the laws when he becomes old enough (see 343:1).

Anything necessary must be done if there is a possibility that it will save or prolong someone’s life; see 329:1-5. On self-defense see 329:6-7; on rescue see 306:14;328:10;329:8-9; on illnesses and injuries that involve possible danger to life see 278:1;328:2-11. In such cases, the necessary Sabbath violations may be done by anyone (see 328:12,15); they must not be done in a nonstandard way, or by a non-Jew, or minimized, unless this involves no delay (328:12,14,16), and it is permitted to benefit from doing them (see 328:13). For illnesses that involve no danger to life, but that affect the whole body or require bedrest, or for care of small children, things that involve violation of the Sabbath may be done by a non-Jew, and things that involve only purely rabbinical prohibitions may be done even by a Jew; see 328:17-19. Treatment of minor illnesses, even by a non-Jew, is forbidden because it might lead to preparing medications on the Sabbath (328:1); many things that are usually eaten, drunk, or applied to the body for medical purposes are therefore forbidden (see 321:17-18;327:1-3;328:20,32,36-38,44,46). However, medical procedures that are begun during the week may be continued on the Sabbath; see 321:18 and 328:21. On treatment of wounds and abscesses see 308:24 and 328:22-29, 48; on dislocations and separations see 328:30-31,43,47; on digestive problems see 328:39-41,43,49; on exercise see 328:42; on incantations see 307:18.

Shulchan Aruch, Copyright (c) 2000 Project Genesis, Inc.