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Shabbos 140


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.


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 Mi'us).

(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.)

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