SECTION 330 The Laws Governing a Woman in Childbirth on Shabbos (1-11)

סימן של דִּינֵי יוֹלֶדֶת בְּשַׁבָּת וּבוֹ י"א סְעִיפִים:

1 A woman in childbirth on Shabbos is considered as a sick person in mortal danger. The Shabbos should be desecrated for her sake [to provide] for everything that she needs. A midwife may be called for her from one place to another,1 she may be assisted with the birth, and at night, a lamp may be lit for her sake. [This applies] even if [the woman] is blind, and the women who are involved with [delivering] her [baby] do not need a light and can perform all the required tasks without a lamp. Nevertheless, [a lamp may be] kindled for her sake. [The rationale is that] even though [the woman is blind, and thus] does not see, she will be calmer when she knows that a lamp has been lit. She will say to herself, “If I need anything, my friends will see and provide it for me.” When, by contrast, [the woman] knows that a lamp [has] not [been lit], there is reason for concern that [her life] will be endangered because of her fear that maybe [the women] will not [see what she needs, and thus will not be able to] effectively provide for her needs.

Nevertheless, because the pain a woman [feels] in childbirth is a natural matter and less than one in a thousand die as a result of childbirth, [unrestricted license was not granted]. For this reason, our Sages were stringent, requiring [those assisting a woman giving birth] to deviate from their ordinary pattern to whatever degree possible. For example, if it is necessary to bring a utensil for [the woman] through the public domain, another woman should bring it by hanging it from her hair. This is considered as transferring the article in an irregular manner, and is not forbidden according to Scriptural Law.2 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

If [the woman giving birth] needs oil, another woman should not anoint her [own] hair with oil and then come to [the woman giving birth] and squeeze out [the oil from her hair]. Instead, [the other woman] should bring [the oil] in a container hanging from her hair. [The rationale is that] it is preferable to carry [the oil] in a container in an irregular manner without performing another forbidden act rather than to add [a violation of] the prohibition against squeezing, even though squeezing hair is only forbidden according to Rabbinic Law, as explained in sec. 326[:6].

א יוֹלֶדֶת הִיא כְּחוֹלָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ סַכָּנָה,א וּמְחַלְּלִין עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת לְכָל מַה שֶּׁהִיא צְרִיכָה, קוֹרִין לָהּ חֲכָמָה מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם1 וּמְיַלְּדִין אוֹתָהּ,ב וּבַלַּיְלָה מַדְלִיקִין לָהּ הַנֵּר,ג,1 אֲפִלּוּ הִיא סוּמָא,ד,1 וַאֲפִלּוּ אֵין הַנָּשִׁים הַמִּתְעַסְּקוֹת עִמָּהּ צְרִיכוֹת לְנֵר, שֶׁהָיוּ יְכוֹלוֹת לְהִתְעַסֵּק עִמָּהּ כָּל צָרְכָּהּ בְּלֹא נֵר – אַף עַל פִּי כֵן מַדְלִיקִין בִּשְׁבִילָהּ,ה שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא אֵינָהּ רוֹאָה – מִתְיַשֵּׁב לִבָּהּ יוֹתֵר כְּשֶׁיּוֹדַעַת שֶׁיֵּשׁ כַּאן נֵר, שֶׁאוֹמֶרֶת בְּלִבָּהּ "אִם יֵשׁ דָּבָר הַצָּרִיךְ לִי חַבְרוֹתַי רוֹאוֹת וְעוֹשׂוֹת לִי",ו מַה שֶּׁאֵין כֵּן כְּשֶׁתֵּדַע שֶׁאֵין כַּאן נֵר – יֵשׁ לָחוּשׁ שֶׁתִּסְתַּכֵּן מִפַּחַד לְבָבָהּ אֲשֶׁר תִּפְחַד שֶׁמָּא אֵין עוֹשִׂין לָהּ יָפֶה מַה שֶּׁהִיא צְרִיכָה.ז

וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם, הוֹאִיל וּכְאֵב הַיּוֹלֶדֶת דְּבָרִים טִבְעִים הֵם, וְאֵין אַחַת מֵאֶלֶף מֵתָה מֵחֲמַת לֵדָה,ח לְפִיכָךְ הֶחֱמִירוּ חֲכָמִים לְשַׁנּוֹת בְּכָל מַה שֶּׁאֶפְשָׁר לְשַׁנּוֹתט בּוֹ, כְּגוֹן אִם צְרִיכִים לְהָבִיא לָהּ כְּלִי דֶּרֶךְ רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים – תְּבִיאֶנּוּ לָהּ חֲבֶרְתָּהּ תָּלוּי בִּשְׂעָרָהּ,י,1 שֶׁהִיא הוֹצָאָה שֶׁלֹּא כְדַרְכָּהּ, וְאֵין בָּהּ אִסּוּר מִן הַתּוֹרָה,יא,2 וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָזֶה.

וְאִם צְרִיכָה לְשֶׁמֶן – לֹא תָסוּךְ חֲבֶרְתָּהּ שֶׁמֶן בְּשַׂעֲרוֹתֶיהָ וְתָבֹא אֶצְלָהּ וְתִסְחוֹט אוֹתָן, אֶלָּא תְּבִיאֶנּוּ בִּכְלִי תָּלוּי בִּשְׂעָרָה, שֶׁמּוּטָב לַעֲשׂוֹת הוֹצָאָה בִּכְלִי עַל יְדֵי שִׁנּוּי מִבְּלִי אִסּוּר אַחֵר מִלְּהוֹסִיף אִסּוּר סְחִיטָה,יב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁסְּחִיטַת שֵׂעָר אֵינָהּ אֲסוּרָה אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים,יג כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן שכ"ו:יד

2 One should not serve as a midwife for a non-Jewish woman3 on Shabbos.4[This applies] even in matters that do not involve the desecration of the Shabbos – for example, an instance where the fetus has already detached itself and begun its departure [from the womb]. Thus, by [delivering the fetus, the midwife] is not uprooting an entity from the place where it is growing. [This prohibition applies] even when the Jewish midwife [involved] is well-known and paid for her services, in which instance, she is permitted to serve as a midwife for a non-Jew during the week lest animosity [arise].5 Nevertheless, on Shabbos, there is no concern that animosity will arise, for the midwife can excuse herself by saying, “[Since] our women observe the Shabbos, it is permitted [for me] to serve as a midwife for them on Shabbos, but it is forbidden for us to serve as midwives for your women, since they do not observe the Shabbos.

[On Shabbos,] it is even [forbidden to serve as a midwife] for a Muslim woman who does not worship false gods.6 (There is no prohibition against helping to deliver [the babies of] such women during the week as there is for non-Jewish women who worship false deities, in which instance, serving as a midwife is forbidden because [the midwife] will be delivering a child who will be an idolater. Nevertheless, on Shabbos), it is forbidden [to act as their midwife] because one will be performing forbidden labors unnecessarily, as will be explained in sec. 332[:1], (and [the midwife] can excuse herself without arousing animosity).

It is, by contrast, permitted to act as a midwife for a Karaite7 woman since they observe the Shabbos. ([One may do so only] for a wage, in a matter that does not involve the desecration of the Shabbos,8 and [only] so that animosity will not arise). Moreover, even for non-Jews who worship false deities, if it is impossible to excuse oneself without animosity arising, it is permitted [to act as a midwife] in matters that do not involve the desecration of the Shabbos.

ב נָכְרִיָּה3 אֵין מְיַלְּדִין אוֹתָהּ בְּשַׁבָּתטו,4 אֲפִלּוּ בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ חִלּוּל שַׁבָּת,טז כְּגוֹן שֶׁכְּבָר נֶעֱקַר הַוָּלָד לָצֵאת, שֶׁאֵין בְּהוֹצָאָתוֹ מִשּׁוּם עוֹקֵר דָּבָר מִגִּדּוּלוֹ,יז וְגַם הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִית הִיא מְיַלֶּדֶת יְדוּעָהיח וְנוֹתְנִים לָהּ שָׂכָר, שֶׁמֻּתָּר לָהּ לְיַלֵּד נָכְרִיּוֹת בְּחֹל מִשּׁוּם אֵיבָה,יט,5 מִכָּל מָקוֹם בְּשַׁבָּת אֵין כַּאן אֵיבָה, שֶׁיְּכוֹלָה לְהִשָּׁמֵט וְלוֹמַר "הַנָּשִׁים שֶׁלָּנוּ שֶׁשּׁוֹמְרוֹת אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת – מֻתָּר לְיַלֵּד אוֹתָן בְּשַׁבָּת, אֲבָל שֶׁלָּכֶם שֶׁאֵינָן שׁוֹמְרִים אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת – אָסוּר לָנוּ לְיַלֵּד אוֹתָן בְּשַׁבָּת".כ,5

וַאֲפִלּוּ יִשְׁמְעֵאלִית שֶׁאֵינָן עוֹבְדִים עֲבוֹדָה זָרָהכא, 6 (וְאֵין אִסּוּר לְיַלֵּד אוֹתָן בְּחֹל כְּמוֹ בְּנָכְרִים עוֹבְדֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה, שֶׁאָסְרוּ אוֹתָן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּיַלֶּדֶת בֵּן לַעֲבוֹדָה זָרָה,כב מִכָּל מָקוֹם בְּשַׁבָּת) אָסוּר מִשּׁוּם מְלָאכָה שֶׁלֹּא לְצֹרֶךְ, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן של"בכג (הוֹאִיל וְאֶפְשָׁר לְהִשָּׁמֵט בְּלִי אֵיבָה).

אֲבָל הַקָּרָאִי"ם7 כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֵם שׁוֹמְרִים שַׁבָּת – מֻתָּר לְיַלֵּד אוֹתָןכד (בְּשָׂכָר בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ חִלּוּל שַׁבָּת,כה, 8 מִשּׁוּם אֵיבָה).

וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּנָכְרִים עוֹבְדֵי עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה, אִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר לְהִשָּׁמֵט בְּלִי אֵיבָה – מֻתָּר בְּדָבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ חִלּוּל שַׁבָּת:כו

3 When is a woman considered to be in childbirth, so that the Shabbos may be desecrated for her sake? When she sits on the birthing stones,9 i.e., from the time the blood flows forth and descends,10 or from the time her friends must carry her in their arms because she no longer has the strength to walk. When any of these signs are apparent, the Shabbos may be desecrated for her sake.

[The above applies to] all of her needs that are able to be met where she is located without delay. It is, however, permitted to call a midwife [who must travel] from place to place at an earlier stage, since this is a matter that requires time. Therefore, [it is permitted to call the midwife] from the time the woman feels to a certain extent [that she is ready to give birth], and [moreover,] even if she is in doubt regarding the matter.11

It is preferable that when a woman reaches her ninth month [of pregnancy], she should prepare everything she needs [for childbirth] on Friday, so that it will not be necessary to desecrate the Shabbos.12

ג מֵאֵימָתַי נִקְרֵאת יוֹלֶדֶת לְחַלֵּל עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת? מִשֶּׁתֵּשֵׁב עַל הַמַּשְׁבֵּר,כז,9 אוֹ מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁהַדָּם שׁוֹתֵת וְיוֹרֵד,כח,10 אוֹ מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁחַבְרוֹתֶיהָ נוֹשְׂאוֹת אוֹתָהּ בִּזְרוֹעוֹתֶיהָ, שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ כֹּחַ לַהֲלוֹךְ,כט,10 כֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּרְאָה אֶחָד מִכָּל אֵלּוּ – מְחַלְּלִים עָלֶיהָ הַשַּׁבָּתל לְכָל צְרָכֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר אֶפְשָׁר לַעֲשׂוֹתָן כַּאן בְּלִי עִכּוּב, אֲבָל לִקְרוֹת חֲכָמָה מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם שֶׁהוּא דָבָר הַצָּרִיךְ שָׁהוּת וְעִכּוּב – מֻתָּר מִקֹּדֶם לָכֵן, מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁמַּרְגֶּשֶׁת קְצָת, אֲפִלּוּ בְּסָפֵק.לא,11

וְטוֹב לִזָּהֵר שֶׁכְּשֶׁתַּגִּיעַ הָאִשָּׁה לְחֹדֶשׁ ט' יַזְמִין הַכֹּל מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִצְטָרְכוּ לְחַלֵּל שַׁבָּת:לב, 12

4 For the first three days13 [after giving birth,14 a woman] is considered as being in mortal danger because her limbs are faltering and she feels crushed.15 Therefore, the Shabbos must be desecrated for [the new mother’s] sake even if she says that it is unnecessary to do so, but her friends say that it is necessary. Even if there is no midwife or doctor among them, everything that [the new mother] needs may be done for her, because the matters that are performed for a mother in childbirth during the weekdays are universally known.16

Even if [the woman] eats the same food as everyone else, we assume that she is temporarily not aware of [her true situation], and if she [were to] eat cold food or other food that people who are mortally ill do not eat, she could become dangerously ill.17 If, however, a midwife or a doctor says that it is unnecessary to desecrate [the Shabbos] for her sake, their word is heeded, because there are many women who give birth for whom hot food is not prepared each day. Indeed, this is the custom in some places: that on Shabbos, [the new mother] eats food cooked on the previous day that was kept warm.

ד כָּל14 ג' יָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים13 הִיא חֲשׁוּבָה כִּמְסֻכֶּנֶת וַדַּאי,לג,10 מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵבָרֶיהָ מִתְפָּרְקִים וּמְרֻסֶּקֶת הִיא,לד,15 לְפִיכָךְ מְחַלְּלִים עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. אֲפִלּוּ אוֹמֶרֶת אֵינִי צְרִיכָה לְחִלּוּל, אֶלָּא שֶׁחַבְרוֹתֶיהָ אוֹמְרוֹת שֶׁצְּרִיכָה,לה אֲפִלּוּ אֵין בָּהֶן חֲכָמָה וְלֹא רוֹפֵא – עוֹשִׂין לָהּ כָּל צְרָכֶיהָ, שֶׁהַדְּבָרִים שֶׁעוֹשִׂים לַחַיָּה בְּחֹל יְדוּעִים הֵם לַכֹּל.לו,16

וַאֲפִלּוּ אוֹכֶלֶת מַאֲכַל שְׁאָר בְּנֵי אָדָם – אָנוּ אוֹמְרִים שֶׁאֵין מַרְגֶּשֶׁת לִשְׁעָתָהּ, וְאִם תֹּאכַל צוֹנֵן אוֹ שְׁאָר דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין הַמְּסֻכֶּנֶת אוֹכֶלֶת אוֹתָם – יְבִיאוּהָ לִידֵי סַכָּנָה.לז, 17

אֲבָל אִם חֲכָמָה אוֹ רוֹפֵא אוֹמְרִים שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לְחִלּוּל – שׁוֹמְעִים לָהֶם, כִּי הַרְבֵּה יוֹלְדוֹת יֵשׁ שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין לָהֶן חַמִּין בְּכָל יוֹם.לח וְכֵן נוֹהֲגִים עַכְשָׁו בִּקְצָת מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁאוֹכְלוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת חַמִּין שֶׁל אֶתְמוֹל:לט

5 From three days [after childbirth] until the end of the seventh day, if [the woman] says that it is not necessary [to desecrate the Shabbos] for her sake, it should not be desecrated.18 [This applies] even when [the woman’s] friends say that it is necessary [to desecrate the Shabbos for her sake. The rationale is that] it is not assumed that [the new mother] is dangerously ill with regard to those matters that her friends are accustomed to perform for her during the weekdays, and it is possible for her to wait until the evening. Nevertheless, if a midwife or a doctor says that [the woman] requires [these matters, the Shabbos] should be desecrated, because this is what is also done for other people who are sick, as explained in sec. 328[:10].

All the above applies when the woman says she does not need [the Shabbos to be desecrated for her sake]. In general, however, when [the woman] does not say anything19 and her friends do not know [what should be done, the Shabbos] should be desecrated. If, however, her friends say that it is unnecessary, [the Shabbos] should not be desecrated, unless [the woman] says that it is necessary for her. In that instance, even if a hundred doctors say it is unnecessary, [the Shabbos] should be desecrated. [The rationale is that] the heart knows the bitterness of its soul,20 as will be explained in sec. 618[:1]21 with regard to other sick people.

From the end of the seventh [day] and onward, even if [the woman] says that it is necessary for her, [the Shabbos] should not be desecrated. Instead, until thirty days pass, [the woman] is considered like a sick person who is not dangerously ill.22 All her needs should be tended to by a non-Jew, with the exception of [kindling] a fire, [i.e.,] if [the woman] needs [a fire], a Jew may [kindle] it for her because cold is dangerous for [a new mother] during these entire thirty days, even in the summer. Whether others are permitted to warm themselves by the fire has been explained in sec. 276[:13].23

ה מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה וְעַד סוֹף שִׁבְעָה,מ,14 אָמְרָה "אֵינִי צְרִיכָה" – אֵין מְחַלְּלִין,מא,18 אֲפִלּוּ חַבְרוֹתֶיהָ אוֹמְרוֹת שֶׁצְּרִיכָה,מב לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָהּ בְּחֶזְקַת מְסֻכֶּנֶת לְאוֹתָן דְּבָרִים שֶׁרְגִילוֹת חַבְרוֹתֶיהָ לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהּ בְּחֹל, וְאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיְּכוֹלָה לְהַמְתִּין עַד לָעֶרֶב.מג

אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן שֶׁחֲכָמָה אוֹ רוֹפֵא אוֹמְרִים שֶׁצְּרִיכָה,מד שֶׁאָז מְחַלְּלִין גַּם בִּשְׁאָר חוֹלִים, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן שכ"ח.מה

וְכָל זֶה כְּשֶׁהִיא אוֹמֶרֶת "אֵינִי צְרִיכָה", אֲבָל בִּסְתָם,מו שֶׁהִיא אֵינָהּ אוֹמֶרֶת כְּלוּםמז, 19 וְחַבְרוֹתֶיהָ אֵינָן יוֹדְעוֹת – מְחַלְּלִין.מח

אֲבָל אִם חַבְרוֹתֶיהָ אוֹמְרוֹת שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה – אֵין מְחַלְּלִין.מט אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הִיא אוֹמֶרֶת "צְרִיכָה אֲנִי", שֶׁאָז אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה רוֹפְאִים אוֹמְרִים שֶׁאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה – מְחַלְּלִין,נ כִּי "לֵב יוֹדֵעַ מָרַת נַפְשׁוֹ",נא, 20 וּכְמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן תרי"חנב, 21 לְעִנְיַן שְׁאָר חוֹלִים.

וּמִסּוֹף ז' וְאֵילַךְ, אֲפִלּוּ אָמְרָה "צְרִיכָה אֲנִי" – אֵין מְחַלְּלִין עָלֶיהָ, אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הִיא עַד ל' יוֹם כְּחוֹלֶה שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ סַכָּנָה,נג, 22 שֶׁכָּל צְרָכָיו נַעֲשִׂים עַל יְדֵי נָכְרִי,נד חוּץ מִלְּעִנְיַן מְדוּרָה,נה שֶׁאִם הִיא צְרִיכָה לְכָךְ עוֹשִׂים לָהּ עַל יְדֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַצִּנָּה סַכָּנָה הִיא לָהּ כָּל ל' יוֹם,נו וַאֲפִלּוּ בִּתְקוּפַת תַּמּוּז.נז וְאִם מֻתָּרִים אֲחֵרִים לְהִתְחַמֵּם כְּנֶגֶד מְדוּרָה זוֹ – נִתְבָּאֵר בְּסִמָּן רע"ו:נח, 23

6 The days [referred to above in subsection 4] are not counted from hour to hour. Rather, if, [for example, a woman] gave birth on Wednesday just before nightfall, at the onset of Shabbos, [i.e., Friday night,] she is already [considered to be] four days after birth,24 even though the three 24-hour intervals are not completed until close to the evening on Saturday night. Similar concepts apply with regard to the seven-day and 30-day intervals [mentioned above in subsection 5].25

ו יָמִים אֵלּוּ אֵין מוֹנִין אוֹתָם מֵעֵת לְעֵת,נט אֶלָּא אִם יָלְדָה בְּד' בְּשַׁבָּת סָמוּךְ לָעֶרֶב – הֲרֵי כְּשֶׁמַּגִּיעַ תְּחִלַּת לֵיל שַׁבָּת הוּא כְּבָר יוֹם רְבִיעִי לְלֵדָתָהּ,24 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא כָלוּ ג' מֵעֵת לְעֵת עַד סָמוּךְ לָעֶרֶב בְּשַׁבָּת, וְכֵן לְעִנְיַן שִׁבְעָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים:25

7 When a woman dies in labor, a [surgical] knife may be brought on Shabbos – even through the public domain26 – [to] cut open her womb and remove the infant; perhaps he will still be found alive.27 Even though in the majority of instances, [the fetus] will die before his mother, nevertheless, in matters of life and death, we do not follow the majority.28 At times, [the fetus] will continue to live after his mother’s death. Even though this fetus never established himself as a living being,29 [the Shabbos] is desecrated for its sake because of the possibility [of saving its life,] just as it would be desecrated for someone who was already established as being alive.30

The reason that this practice is not followed in the present age, even during the week, [when there is no desecration of Shabbos involved,] is that our [medical] knowledge is not precise and we are unable to determine the death of the mother early enough to give the fetus the possibility of life. [We hesitate] because it is possible that [the mother merely] fainted, and if her stomach is cut open, it would kill her. Hence, it is necessary to wait. In this interim, the fetus will surely die.31

ז הַיּוֹשֶׁבֶת עַל הַמַּשְׁבֵּר וּמֵתָה – מְבִיאִין סַכִּין בְּשַׁבָּת, אֲפִלּוּ דֶּרֶךְ רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים,26 וְקוֹרְעִין אֶת בִּטְנָהּ וּמוֹצִיאִין הַוָּלָד, שֶׁמָּא יִמָּצֵא חַי.ס,27 וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרֹב הַפְּעָמִיםסא הוּא מֵת קֹדֶם לְאִמּוֹ,סב מִכָּל מָקוֹם בְּפִקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ אֵין הוֹלְכִין אַחַר הָרֹבסג,28 וְלִפְעָמִים יוּכַל לִחְיוֹת אַחַר מִיתַת אִמּוֹ.סד,27 וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֻבָּר זֶה לֹא הָיָה לוֹ חֶזְקַת חַיּוּת מֵעוֹלָם29 – מְחַלְּלִין עָלָיו מִסָּפֵק כְּמוֹ עַל מִי שֶׁהָיָה לוֹ חֶזְקַת חַיּוּת.סה,30

וּמַה שֶּׁאֵין נוֹהֲגִין כֵּן עַכְשָׁו אֲפִלּוּ בְּחֹל, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין אָנוּ בְּקִיאִין בְּמִיתַת הָאֵם בְּקָרוֹב כָּל כָּךְ שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לַוָּלָד לִחְיוֹת, כִּי שֶׁמָּא נִתְעַלְּפָה,סו וְאִם יִקְרְעוּ בִּטְנָהּ יְמִיתוּהָ, וּצְרִיכִים לְהַמְתִּין, וּבְתוֹךְ כָּךְ וַדַּאי מֵת הַוָּלָד:סז, 31

8 When an infant is born on Shabbos, all of its needs are attended to. He is washed; salt is applied to his body so that his flesh will become firm;32 the placenta is submerged33 so that the infant will warm up; and the umbilical cord is cut.34 [The rationale is that the infant] will experience anguish if these activities are not performed for him. Since none of them involve the violation of a Scripturally forbidden labor, our Sages permitted them.

When does the above apply? To a viable infant, i.e., one that was born in [what was definitely] the ninth month or the seventh month of pregnancy. ([One can be certain of the month when,] for example, the husband separated from [further relations with his wife] after intimacy.) If, however, an infant was [definitely] born in the eighth month [of pregnancy]35 or there is a question whether he was born in the seventh month or the eighth month, [the Shabbos]should not be desecrated for his sake. [This applies] both with regard to the above matters and [even] to matters which, if held back, could lead to [mortal] danger for the infant – for example, removing rubble that fell on him.36 An exception is when the infant’s hair and nails are fully developed. In such an instance, the infant’s development was certainly completed in the seventh month, but his emergence from his mother’s womb was delayed after the completion [of his development]. In such an instance, even though he was definitely born in the eighth month of pregnancy – for example, [the woman’s] husband separated from her after intimacy – [such an infant] is governed by all the laws pertaining to a child [who was] definitely born in the seventh month, and he may be circumcised on Shabbos.37

If, however, the infant’s hair is flawed and its nails are not developed in the normal manner, even if there is a doubt whether he was born in the eighth month of pregnancy, he is governed by all the laws pertaining to an infant definitely born in the eighth month [of pregnancy. This] even [includes the restriction against taking steps] to save the infant’s life. [True, in general, the Shabbos] may be desecrated even for a fetus when there is a doubt [whether its life will be saved], despite the fact that [the fetus] never established itself as a living being,38 because there is [a likelihood] that the pregnancy [has already reached] full term and the fetus’ hair and nails will be fully developed.39 In this instance, however, when [the infant is born and] it is evident that [his hair and nails] are not developed, it is almost certain that he is a child born in the eighth month] whose development would not be completed until the ninth month, but who nevertheless, emerged before the proper time, and [hence, is deemed as] stillborn.40

It is even forbidden to move such an infant, just as it is forbidden to move a stone.41 For this reason, [such an infant] is not circumcised on Shabbos. It is not said, “Let him be circumcised regardless. If the pregnancy lasted seven months,42 his circumcision supersedes the Shabbos [prohibition]. And if the pregnancy lasted eight months, performing the circumcision is not a violation of the Shabbos because it is comparable to merely cutting meat.” [Despite that logic,] since [based on the baby’s appearance] it is almost certain that he was [born in the] eighth [month], the Sages did not desire to permit moving [him] for the sake of his circumcision, since it is a virtual certainty that his circumcision is of no consequence.43

There are authorities who differ [with the above] and maintain that since it is possible that this is a baby who was born [in the] seventh [month], and not every baby born [in the] seventh [month] is unviable even though his hair and nails are underdeveloped,44 accordingly, there is no prohibition at all in carrying [the baby] on Shabbos. Similarly, [such a baby] may be circumcised on Shabbos in any event [i.e., either he is viable or it is like cutting meat]. All authorities agree, however, that the Shabbos should not be desecrated for [such a baby’s] sake – neither for a matter which if withheld could cause danger nor those matters which were permitted to be performed on behalf of a newborn on the day of his birth because [they relieve] anguish45 – even though they do not involve the performance of Scripturally forbidden labors.

According to this perspective, one may circumcise every [male] infant [on Shabbos], even one born in the eighth [month], for we are not well-informed about the months of pregnancy. For there are times when a woman conceives close to her immersion and other times when she conceives later. Thus, it is possible that the infant was born in the seventh [month. Hence,] even though his hair and nails are underdeveloped, [the baby] may be circumcised [on Shabbos]. Similarly, it is permitted to move [the baby] on Shabbos.

(With regard to actual practice, [since the matter is a question of] Rabbinic Law, the more lenient perspective may be followed. Therefore, one who is lenient and moves [the infant] in accordance with the latter perspective has not forfeited anything. With regard to circumcision on Shabbos, by contrast, it is preferable to remain passive and do nothing [during Shabbos], giving weight to the words of those who forbid [doing so]. Even though there is no prohibition in moving [the infant on Shabbos], there is a prohibition in circumcising him [on Shabbos]when there is no necessity,46 just as there is a prohibition in cutting the umbilical cord on Shabbos, even according to the latter opinion, as explained [above].)47

ח הַוָּלָד שֶׁנּוֹלַד בְּשַׁבָּתסח עוֹשִׂין לוֹ כָּל צְרָכָיו,סט מַרְחִיצִין אוֹתוֹ וּמוֹלְחִין אוֹתוֹע,32 שֶׁיִּתְקַשֶּׁה הַבָּשָׂר,עא וְטוֹמְנִין אֶת הַשִּׁלְיָא כְּדֵי שֶׁיֵּחַם הַוָּלָד,עב,33 וְחוֹתְכִים אֶת הַטַּבּוּר,עג,34 שֶׁכָּל דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ יֵשׁ לוֹ צַעַר מֵהֶם אִם לֹא יַעֲשׂוּ אוֹתָם לוֹ, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם מְלָאכָה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה הִתִּירוּ חֲכָמִים.עד

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בְּוָלָד שֶׁל קַיָּמָא, דְּהַיְנוּ שֶׁנּוֹלַד לְט' אוֹ לְז' בְּוַדַּאי (כְּגוֹן שֶׁפֵּרֵשׁ מִמֶּנָּה בַּעְלָהּ אַחַר שֶׁבָּעַל), אֲבָל נוֹלַד לְח',35 אוֹ סָפֵק בֶּן ז' סָפֵק בֶּן ח' – אֵין מְחַלְּלִין עָלָיו,עה בֵּין בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ, בֵּין אֲפִלּוּ בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בִּמְנִיעָתוֹ סַכָּנָה לוֹ,עו כְּגוֹן לְפַקֵּחַ עָלָיו אֶת הַגַּל.עז, 36 אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן גָּמְרוּ שְׂעָרוֹ וְצִפָּרְנָיו,עח שֶׁאָז בְּוַדַּאי נִגְמַר לְז', אֶלָּא שֶׁנִּשְׁתָּהָה לָצֵאת מִמְּעֵי אִמּוֹ אַחֲרֵי גָמְרוֹ.עט וּלְפִיכָךְ אֲפִלּוּ הוּא וַדַּאי בֶּן ח', כְּגוֹן שֶׁפֵּרֵשׁ מִמֶּנָּה בַּעְלָהּ אַחַר שֶׁבָּעַל – הֲרֵי דִינוֹ כְּבֶן ז' וַדַּאי לְכָל דָּבָר, וּמָלִין אוֹתוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת.פ, 37

אֲבָל אִם הָיָה שְׂעָרוֹ לָקוּי וְאֵין צִפָּרְנָיו שְׁלֵמִין כִּבְרִיָּתָן,פא אֲפִלּוּ הוּא סָפֵק בֶּן ח' – דִּינוֹ כְּוַדַּאי בֶּן ח' לְכָל דָּבָר, וַאֲפִלּוּ לְעִנְיַן פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ שֶׁמְּחַלְּלִין מִסָּפֵק אֲפִלּוּ עַל עֻבָּר שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה לוֹ חֶזְקַת חַיּוּת מֵעוֹלָם,פב, 38 לְפִי שֶׁחוֹשְׁשִׁים שֶׁמָּא כָּלוּ לוֹ חֳדָשָׁיו וְגָמְרוּ כְּבָר שְׂעָרוֹ וְצִפָּרְנָיו,39 אֲבָל זֶה שֶׁאָנוּ רוֹאִין בּוֹ שֶׁלֹּא גָמְרוּ – קָרוֹב לְוַדַּאי הוּא שֶׁהוּא בֶּן ח',פג שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה נִגְמָר עַד חֹדֶשׁ הַט' וּמִהֵר לָצֵאת קֹדֶם זְמַנּוֹ וְנֶפֶל הוּא.פד, 40

וַאֲפִלּוּ לְטַלְטְלוֹ אָסוּר, כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָסוּר לְטַלְטֵל אֶת הָאֶבֶן,פה, 41 וְלָכֵן אֵין מָלִין אוֹתוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת.פו וְאֵין אוֹמְרִים נִמּוֹל מִמָּה נַפְשָׁךְ, אִם בֶּן ז' הוּא42 הֲרֵי מִילָתוֹ דּוֹחָה שַׁבָּת, וְאִם בֶּן ח' הוּא אֵין כַּאן חִלּוּל שַׁבָּת בְּמִילָה זוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא כִּמְחַתֵּךְ בָּשָׂר בְּעָלְמָא,פז שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁקָּרוֹב לְוַדַּאי שֶׁהוּא בֶּן ח' – לֹא רָצוּ חֲכָמִים לְהַתִּיר טִלְטוּל בִּשְׁבִיל מִילָתוֹ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁקָּרוֹב לְוַדַּאי שֶׁאֵין מִילָתוֹ כְּלוּם.פח, 43

וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִין עַל זֶהפט וְאוֹמְרִים שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁהוּא בֶּן ז', וְכָל בֶּן ז' אֵינוֹ נֶפֶל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִגְמְרוּ שְׂעָרוֹ וְצִפָּרְנָיו,44 וְלָכֵן אֵין אִסּוּר כְּלָל לְטַלְטְלוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת, וְכֵן מָלִין אוֹתוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת מִמָּה נַפְשָׁךְ.

אֲבָל אֵין מְחַלְּלִין עָלָיו שַׁבָּת לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל,צ בֵּין בְּדָבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ סַכָּנָה לוֹ בִּמְנִיעָתוֹ, בֵּין בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁהִתִּירוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת לַוָּלָד בְּיוֹם הִוָּלְדוֹ מִשּׁוּם צַעֲרוֹ,45 אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם מְלָאכָה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה.צא

וּלְפִי סְבָרָא זוֹ מָלִין עַכְשָׁו כָּל וָלָד אֲפִלּוּ נוֹלַד לְח', כִּי אֵין אָנוּ בְּקִיאִין בְּחָדְשֵׁי הָעִבּוּר, כִּי פְּעָמִים שֶׁהָאִשָּׁה מִתְעַבֶּרֶת בְּסָמוּךְ לִטְבִילָתָהּ, וּפְעָמִים אֵינָהּ מִתְעַבֶּרֶת עַד אַחַר כָּךְ, וְאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁהוּא בֶּן ז',צב וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִגְמְרוּ שְׂעָרוֹ וְצִפָּרְנָיו מָלִין אוֹתוֹ, וְכֵן מֻתָּר לְטַלְטְלוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת.

(וּלְעִנְיַן הֲלָכָה, בְּדִבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים הַלֵּךְ אַחַר הַמֵּקֵל, וְלָכֵן הַמֵּקֵל בְּטִלְטוּל כִּסְבָרָא הָאַחֲרוֹנָה – לֹא הִפְסִיד.צג אֲבָל לְעִנְיַן מִילָה בְּשַׁבָּת – "שֵׁב וְאַל תַּעֲשֶׂה עָדִיף", וְטוֹב לָחוּשׁ לְדִבְרֵי הָאוֹסְרִים. וְאַף שֶׁאֵין אִסּוּר בְּטִלְטוּלוֹ – יֵשׁ אִסּוּר בְּמִילָתוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת שֶׁלֹּא לְצֹרֶךְ,צד, 46 כְּמוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ אִסּוּר בַּחֲתִיכַת הַטַּבּוּר בְּשַׁבָּת אַף לְפִי סְבָרָא הָאַחֲרוֹנָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר):47

9 Even when an infant was definitely born in the eighth [month of pregnancy] – in which case, he is forbidden to be carried according to all opinions – his mother may lean over him and nurse him.48 [This leniency is granted] because of the discomfort the [collected] milk causes her. Similarly, [the mother] is permitted to manually express the milk that is causing her discomfort. [The rationale is that] since this milk will be wasted, [expressing it] does not violate [the forbidden labor of] extracting, except according to Rabbinic Law.49 [In this instance, the Sages] did not apply their decree, because of [the mother’s] pain.

ט אֲפִלּוּ בֶּן ח' וַדַּאי שֶׁאָסוּר בְּטִלְטוּל לְדִבְרֵי הַכֹּל, הֲרֵי אִמּוֹ שׁוֹחָה עָלָיו וּמְנִיקָתוֹ,צה,48 מִפְּנֵי צַעַר הֶחָלָב שֶׁמְּצַעֲרָהּ. וְכֵן הִיא בְּעַצְמָהּ יְכוֹלָה לְהוֹצִיא בְּיָדָהּ הֶחָלָב הַמְצַעֵר אוֹתָהּ,צו שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהֶחָלָב הַזֶּה הוֹלֵךְ לְאִבּוּד – אֵין בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם מְפָרֵק אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים,צז,49 וּמִשּׁוּם צַעֲרָהּ לֹא גָזְרוּ:צח

10 One may straighten the limbs of a viable infant that were disordered because of the strain of the birth.50

When does the above apply? On the day of the infant’s birth. Afterwards, however, it is forbidden to do so because it appears as if one is building.51 One is, however, always permitted to wrap clothes around the baby to straighten his limbs because this is an ordinary practice, even during the week.52 Thus, it does not appear that one is building on Shabbos. However, when the limbs of an infant whose limbs are not wrapped [in clothes] during the week became crooked on Shabbos, it is forbidden to wrap him [in clothes] in order to straighten [his limbs].

י מְיַשְּׁרִים אֵבְרֵי הַוָּלָדצט שֶׁל קַיָּמָאק שֶׁנִּתְפָּרְקוּ מֵחֲמַת צַעַר הַלֵּדָה.קא,50

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים? בְּיוֹם הַלֵּדָה, אֲבָל אַחַר כָּךְ אָסוּר,קב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנִּרְאֶה כְּבוֹנֶה.קג, 51 אֲבָל לְכָרְכוֹ בִּבְגָדָיוקד כְּדֵי לְיַשֵּׁר אֵבָרָיוקה – מֻתָּר לְעוֹלָם,קו, 51 מִפְּנֵי שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ בְּכָךְ גַּם בְּחֹל,קז, 52 וְאֵינוֹ נִרְאֶה כְּבוֹנֶה בְּשַׁבָּת. אֲבָל תִּינוֹק שֶׁאֵין כּוֹרְכִין אוֹתוֹ בְּחֹל וְנִתְעַקְּמוּ אֵבָרָיו בְּשַׁבָּת – אָסוּר לְכָרְכוֹ כְּדֵי לְיַשְּׁרָם:קח

11 If the flap of tissue that covers an infant’s trachea53 falls [into the trachea], it is permitted to insert a finger into [the infant’s throat]54 and move the flap of tissue back into its place, even though at times [the baby] will vomit as a result.

יא אִם נָפְלָה עָרְלַת הַגָּרוֹן53 שֶׁל הַוָּלָד – מֻתָּר לָשׂוּם אֶצְבַּע לְתוֹךְ פִּיו54 וּלְסַלֵּק הָעָרְלָה לִמְקוֹמָהּ, אַף עַל פִּי שִׁלְּפָעִמים יָקִיא עַל יְדֵי זֶה:קט