THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) HALACHAH: TAKING ANTIBIOTICS ON SHABBOS
QUESTION: Rav Acha bar Yosef became ill and went to Mar Ukva for advice.
Mar Ukva advised that he drink soaked Chiltis for three consecutive days.
Rav Acha bar Yosef prepared and drank the medicinal solution on Thursday
and on Friday, and then on Shabbos he inquired whether he was permitted to
soak the Chiltis and drink it on Shabbos. Rav Huna permitted him to prepare
the solution on Shabbos. Since he had already taken the medicine for two
days, if he would not take the medicine on the third day as prescribed, he
would be in danger.
The SHITAH L'RAN points out that the Gemara does not mean that he was in
actual mortal danger, because then it would certainly be permitted to do
whatever is necessary to save one's life. Rather, doing things necessary
for Refu'ah is permitted even when one is not in danger but in considerable
discomfort. The Gemara here means that Rav Acha bar Yosef would have been
in considerable discomfort, but not in danger, had he not prepared the
medicine on Shabbos. This is also the RAMBAM's understanding of the Gemara
(Hilchos Shabbos 22:7) -- Rav Acha bar Yosef would have become sick without
the medicine, but he would not have been in mortal danger.
Is the case in the Gemara comparable to the contemporary question of taking
antibiotics on Shabbos, which must be taken for a number of consecutive
days in order to be effective?
(a) RAV MOSHE FEINSTEIN Ztz"l in IGROS MOSHE (OC 3:53) writes that it is
permitted to take antibiotics on Shabbos only in the situation where a
person is experiencing considerable mental anguish due to worrying that he
will not get better without the medication, to the point that he is on the
verge of having a nervous breakdown. A normal person, though, should not
take antibiotics on Shabbos.
(b) RAV SHLOMO ZALMAN AUERBACH and others, as cited in Shemiras Shabbos
k'Hilchasah (34:17), permit taking antibiotics on Shabbos. However, Rav
Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says that it cannot be compared to the case in our
Gemara, because in our Gemara Rav Acha bar Yosef would have become *more
ill* had he not taken the medicine on Shabbos, whereas someone who misses a
day of antibiotics will not necessarily become more ill. He will not become
cured, but will not get worse either.
2) "TALYA D'BISRA"
OPINIONS: The Gemara says that it is permitted to move a "Talya d'Bisra" on
Shabbos, but it is not permitted to move a "Talya d'Kivri" on Shabbos. What
are these items?
(a) RASHI explains that "Talya d'Bisra" refers to raw meat that is hanging
after being salted, which is fit to be eaten as is ("Umtza"). Raw fish that
is hanging ("Talya d'Kivri"), however, may not be moved because it is not
fit to be eaten raw.
(b) TOSFOS (129b) disagrees with Rashi, because raw salted fish is also fit
to be eaten as is. Tosfos, as well as the ARUCH and RAMBAM, therefore
explain that "Talya d'Bisra" refers to the actual peg from which the meat
is hanging. That peg is permitted to be handled on Shabbos. The peg from
which the fish hangs, though, becomes disgusting and unfit for any other
use due to the juices from the fish, and therefore it is Muktzah (Machmas
(c) Tosfos suggests another explanation. Once again, "Talya d'Bisra" refers
to the item from which the meat hangs. Since that item was designated as a
utensil prior to Shabbos, it is not Muktzah. The item from which fish
hangs, though, was never designated as a utensil for that purpose, and
therefore it is Muktzah. (The CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN explains that the item used
for hanging fish is used only once, because it becomes disgusting, as
mentioned above (b). Since it is disposable, it is not normally designated
as a utensil and it is Muktzah on Shabbos.)