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

Halacha is In Honor Of
 Leah Malca
"You amaze me again and again!"

Dedicated By
Her Husband

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
(File size: 4.05 MB)
Pills That are Allowed on Shabbat; Inducing Vomiting on Shabbat

The prohibition against taking medication on Shabbat applies only to medications that cure an ailment of some sort; it does not apply to pills or foods which people ingest to enhance their health or certain bodily faculties. For example, Hacham Ovadia Yosef ruled that it is permissible to take vitamins on Shabbat, since these are taken not for healing purposes, but rather to strengthen the body. And so pregnant women may take prenatal vitamins and similar pills on Shabbat.

Likewise, Hacham Ovadia permits taking sleeping pills on Shabbat. Since these are taken not to cure an ailment, but to help one fall asleep, they are not included in the prohibition against medication on Shabbat. By the same token, it is permissible to take a caffeine pill to be more alert on Shabbat, since this pill is not taken for healing purposes. This applies as well to birth control pills (assuming, of course, that the woman received approval from a competent rabbi to use birth control); since they are not taken to cure an ailment, they may be taken on Shabbat.

Another example of this Halacha is a pill that people take after becoming inebriated. The Shulhan Aruch rules that inebriation is not treated by Halacha as an illness, and thus measures to “cure” inebriation are allowed on Shabbat. In the times of the Shulhan Aruch, people would apply oil to their hands and feet to regain sobriety, and the Shulhan Aruch rules that this is allowed on Shabbat. Nowadays, then, it would be permissible to take pills that are available that help one regain sobriety after becoming intoxicated.

Similarly, some Hazanim (cantors) swallow a raw egg to enhance their voice. This, too, is permissible, since it is not done to cure any sort of ailment.

Halacha forbids taking vomit-inducing drugs on Shabbat to cure bloating. (It should be noted that the ancient Roman practice of inducing vomiting in order to restore one’s appetite after eating, so one can eat even more, is forbidden even during the week.) Since this is done to cure an ailment – uncomfortable bloating – it is forbidden on Shabbat. One who wishes on Shabbat to alleviate bloating by inducing vomiting is permitted to insert his finger into his throat, or may drink hot water, which can also have the effect of inducing vomiting. Hacham Ovadia writes that if somebody experiences considerable discomfort due to bloating, and he wishes to induce vomiting by drinking hot water but has no hot water available, he may ask a non-Jew to heat water for him.

Summary: It is permissible on Shabbat to take pills that do not serve to cure an ailment. Examples include vitamins, sleeping pills, caffeine pills, birth control pills and pills to restore sobriety after inebriation. One may not, however, take a pill to induce vomiting as a means of relieving bloating, though other vomit-inducing methods – such as inserting one’s finger into the throat, or drinking hot water – are allowed.


Recent Daily Halachot...
Pills That are Allowed on Shabbat; Inducing Vomiting on Shabbat
The Use of a Baby Monitor on Shabbat
Applying Ice to Reduce Swelling on Shabbat
Shabbat – Treating Dislocated or Broken Bones; the Use of Band-Aids and Iodine
Applying a Bandage with Ointment to a Wound on Shabbat
Food Cooked by a Gentile on Shabbat for an Ill Patient
Shabbat – Using Eyedrops for Lubrication, and Lotions for Chapped Skin
Applying Gel to a Child’s Skin or Gums on Shabbat
Applying Cotton Balls and Alcohol to a Wound on Shabbat
Turning Off a Light for an Ill Patient on Shabbat
Insulin Injections, Nebulizers, & Vaporizers on Shabbat
Desecrating Shabbat to Help a Frightened Child
Violating Shabbat to Treat a Fever
Desecrating Shabbat for a Tetanus Shot or After Ingesting Something Sharp or Toxic
Desecrating Shabbat in Cases of Severe Internal Pain
Page of 219
3283 Halachot found