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: 706 KB)
(File size:722 KB)
Is It Permissible To Take Vitamins On Shabbat

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 328) discusses the prohibition enacted by the Rabbis forbidding taking medication on Shabbat under certain circumstances. The Rabbis enacted this measure out of concern that one might grind herbs on Shabbat to produce medication, in violation of the prohibition against grinding on Shabbat. It should be recalled that in Talmudic times, medications were not purchased in capsule or tablet form as they are today; each patient would produce his own medication by grinding herbs. The Sages therefore forbade taking medication on Shabbat, as a safeguard against the prohibition of grinding.

May one eat on Shabbat regular foods, such as vegetables, for medicinal purposes? For example, if a physician tells a patient that partaking of certain foods will help alleviate his symptoms or recover from his illness, is it permissible for him to eat these foods on Shabbat?

Halacha establishes that foods normally eaten by healthy people were not included under the Rabbinic decree forbidding medication on Shabbat. Hence, one may eat any regular food on Shabbat even if he does solely for medicinal purposes.

Conversely, is it permissible for a perfectly healthy person to take medications on Shabbat?

The Beit Yosef (commentary on the Tur by Rabbi Yosef Karo, author of the Shulchan Aruch) establishes a rule that the prohibition against taking medications on Shabbat was from the outset applied only to those who are ill. Healthy people were never included under this prohibition, and thus a healthy person may take medication on Shabbat, even medications that are normally ingested only by sick patients.

This ruling of the Beit Yosef affects the question of taking vitamins on Shabbat. People take vitamins not to cure an illness, but rather to strengthen their body and help maintain good health. According to the Beit Yosef, a healthy person would be allowed to take vitamins on Shabbat, since the prohibition against taking medication applies only to those who are ill. Furthermore, today vitamins are considered food of healthy people, since many people who are healthy do take vitamins daily. This is indeed the ruling of several recent and contemporary authorities, including Chacham Ovadia Yosef, in his work Halichot Olam (vol. 4), Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Russia-New York, 1895-1986), in Iggerot Moshe, and Chacham Bentzion Abba Shaul, Jerusalem, 1924-1998), in Or Le'tziyon.

Although Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (Jerusalem, 1910-1995) disagreed, and forbade taking vitamins on Shabbat, in light of the rule established by the Beit Yosef and the position taken by the authorities mentioned earlier, it emerges that one may take vitamins on Shabbat.

Summary: The Rabbis forbade taking medication under certain circumstances on Shabbat. Ordinary food, however, may be eaten even for purely medicinal purposes, and a healthy person may take medications such as vitamins on Shabbat.

 


Recent Daily Halachot...
Asking a Gentile to Write on One’s Behalf on Shabbat
Is It Permissible To Take Vitamins On Shabbat
How Close Must One Be to the Habdallah Candle?
Must One Eat Bread at Seudah Shlishit?
Tying Neckties and Garbage Bags on Shabbat
Is It Permissible To Trap Pets in the House on Shabbat?
Is It Permissible To Eat A Meal Just Prior To Shabbat
Tying and Untying Knots on Shabbat
Is It Permissible to Lace Shoes on Shabbat?
Is It Permissible to Trap a Deer Inside a Home on Shabbat?
Is It Permissible to Set Up a Mousetrap on Shabbat?
Is It Permissible to Trap a Bug on Shabbat?
Trapping Explained- One of the 39 Forbidden Melachot on Shabbat
May One Move a Garment on Shabbat if There is Money in the Pocket?
Is It Permissible To Cover A Pot with its Cover or Tin Foil or Other on Shabbat
Page of 202
3029 Halachot found