DailyHalacha.com for Mobile Devices Now Available

Select Halacha by date:

Or by subject:

Or by keyword:
Search titles and keywords only
Search All    

Weekly Perasha Insights
Shabbat Morning Derasha on the Parasha
Register To Receive The Daily Halacha By Email / Unsubscribe
Daily Parasha Insights via Live Teleconference
Syrian Sephardic Wedding Guide
Download Special Tefilot
A Glossary Of Terms Frequently Referred To In The Daily Halachot
About The Sources Frequently Quoted In The Halachot
About Rabbi Eli Mansour
Purchase Passover Haggadah with In Depth Insights by Rabbi Eli Mansour and Rabbi David Sutton
About DailyHalacha.Com
Contact us
Useful Links
Refund/Privacy Policy
Back to Home Page

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

(File size: 5.37 MB)
Using Suppositories or an Enema on Shabbat

The Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 328:49) speaks of a certain device that was used as a type of suppository, which would be inserted into the body and then removed in order to relieve constipation. Interestingly, using this method of relieving constipation on Shabbat does not violate the prohibition of "Refu’a" ("healing" on Shabbat), and the Shulhan Aruch rules that this may be performed on Shabbat, as long as the device is pulled out gently, such that it does not remove any hairs from the skin.

On the basis of this Halacha, Hacham Ovadia Yosef rules (in Hazon Ovadia, vol. 3, p. 370) that the use of suppositories is entirely permissible on Shabbat, since the suppositories are not removed from inside the body, and instead dissolve inside the body. There is certainly no concern of hair removal, and so suppositories may be used on Shabbat.

The Mishna Berura (Rav Yisrael Meir Kagan of Radin, 1839-1933) addresses in this context the use of an enema– fluids that are inserted in order to remove all waste from the body. In the view of the Mishna Berura, the use an enema constitutes "healing" and is thus forbidden on Shabbat. Hacham Ovadia, however, writes (p. 369) that somebody experiencing considerable discomfort due to constipation may use an enema on Shabbat. He writes that this should preferably be done with a "Shinui" – meaning, in an unusual manner – but if this is not possible, it may be done normally. Hacham Ovadia explains that since there is room to contend that the entire prohibition of "Refu’a" does not apply nowadays, as it was instituted out of concern that people might grind herbs on Shabbat – a concern which is certainly not relevant in modern times – there is room for leniency if a person experiences considerable discomfort.

As mentioned in a previous edition of Daily Halacha, it is permissible to drink prune juice to relieve constipation on Shabbat, because prune juice is a beverage that even healthy people drink, and is not used exclusively as medication. Incidentally, Hacham Ovadia notes that for the same reason, it is permissible to drink coffee on Shabbat as a remedy for a headache, since coffee is commonly drunk as an ordinary beverage.

Summary: It is permissible on Shabbat to use a suppository to relieve constipation. One who requires an enema may use one if he experiences considerable discomfort, though preferably it should be administered with a "Shinui" – meaning, with deviation from the normal method.


Recent Daily Halachot...
Must One Eat Bread at Seudah Shlishit?
Must the Halla be on the Table During Kiddush?
Adding Aliyot on Shabbat
The Requirement to Eat Bread at Se’uda Shelishit
Until When Can One Recite “Asher Natan Shabbatot Li’mnuha” in Lieu of “Reseh” in Birkat Ha’mazon?
Shabbat – Practicing Penmanship in the Air; Observing a Mechanic
Having Children Perform Melacha on Shabbat; Halachot of Children During the Nine Days and Hol Ha’mo’ed
Leniencies That Apply During Ben Ha’shemashot at the Beginning and End of Shabbat
Separating Pages in a Book That are Attached
Annulling Vows on Shabbat
Shabbat – Tightening or Attaching Hoods; Using Glue; Balloons and Inflatable Mattresses; Collecting Scattered Fruit
The Prohibition of Kotzer on Shabbat
Writing on Shabbat – Fingerprints, Photographs, Writing on Windows or in the Air, Pens With Temporary Ink
Shabbat – Cutting a Cake with Letters; Putting Letters Together in Scrabble
Dancing on Shabbat; Court Cases, Weddings and Pidyon Ha’ben on Shabbat
Page of 226
3377 Halachot found