1

The [laws of] the Sabbath are suspended1 in the face of a danger to life,2 as are [the obligations of] the other mitzvot. Therefore, we may perform - according to the directives of a professional physician3 of that locale4 - everything that is necessary for the benefit of a sick person whose life is in danger.

When there is a doubt whether or not the Sabbath laws must be violated on a person's behalf, one should violate the Sabbath laws on his behalf, for the Sabbath laws are suspended even when there is merely a question of danger to a person's life. [The same principles apply] when one physician says the Sabbath laws should be violated on a person's behalf and another physician states that this is not necessary.5

א

דְחוּיָה הִיא שַׁבָּת אֵצֶל סַכָּנַת נְפָשׁוֹת כִּשְׁאָר כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת. לְפִיכָךְ חוֹלֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ סַכָּנָה עוֹשִׂין לוֹ כָּל צְרָכָיו בְּשַׁבָּת עַל פִּי רוֹפֵא אֻמָּן שֶׁל אוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם. סָפֵק שֶׁהוּא צָרִיךְ לְחַלֵּל עָלָיו אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת סָפֵק שֶׁאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ. וְכֵן אִם אָמַר רוֹפֵא לְחַלֵּל עָלָיו אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת וְרוֹפֵא אַחֵר אוֹמֵר אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ מְחַלְּלִין עָלָיו אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת שֶׁסְּפֵק נְפָשׁוֹת דּוֹחֶה אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת:

2

[The following laws apply when physicians] determine on the Sabbath that a person needs [a treatment to be administered] for eight days. We do not say that we should wait until the evening so that it will not be necessary to violate two Sabbaths on his behalf.6 Instead, the treatment is begun immediately, on the Sabbath, and even one hundred Sabbaths may be violated on his behalf.

As long as a person is dangerously [ill] - or even if there is a question whether or not he is dangerously [ill] - and requires treatment, [the Sabbath] should be violated [on his behalf]. A lamp may be lit on his behalf and extinguished on his behalf.7 [Animals] may be slaughtered on his behalf, [food] baked and cooked on his behalf, and water heated for him, whether to drink or to use for bathing.

The general principle for a person who is dangerously ill is that the Sabbath should be considered as a weekday regarding all his needs.8

ב

אֲמָדוּהוּ בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת שֶׁהוּא צָרִיךְ לְכָךְ וְכָךְ לִשְׁמוֹנָה יָמִים אֵין אוֹמְרִים נַמְתִּין עַד הָעֶרֶב כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא לְחַלֵּל עָלָיו שְׁתֵּי שַׁבָּתוֹת אֶלָּא מַתְחִילִין מֵהַיּוֹם שֶׁהוּא שַׁבָּת וּמְחַלְּלִין עָלָיו אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה שַׁבָּתוֹת כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהוּא צָרִיךְ וְיֵשׁ בּוֹ סַכָּנָה אוֹ סְפֵק סַכָּנָה מְחַלְּלִין. וּמַדְלִיקִין לוֹ אֶת הַנֵּר וּמְכַבִּין מִלְּפָנָיו אֶת הַנֵּר וְשׁוֹחֲטִין לוֹ וְאוֹפִין וּמְבַשְּׁלִין וּמְחִמִּין לוֹ חַמִּין בֵּין לְהַשְׁקוֹתוֹ בֵּין לִרְחִיצַת גּוּפוֹ. כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר שַׁבָּת לְגַבֵּי חוֹלֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ סַכָּנָה הֲרֵי הוּא כְּחל לְכָל הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁהוּא צָרִיךְ לָהֶן:

3

When such treatment is administered, it should not be administered by gentiles,9 by children,10 by servants, or by women,11 so that they will not view the Sabbath flippantly.12 Instead, the treatment should be administered by the leaders of Israel13 and the wise.

It is forbidden to hesitate before transgressing the Sabbath [laws] on behalf of a person who is dangerously ill,14 as [reflected in the interpretation in the phrase of Leviticus 18:5,] "which a person shall perform to live through them," as "['to live through them'] and not to die through them."

This teaches that the judgments of the Torah do not [bring] vengeance to the world, but rather bring mercy, kindness, and peace to the world. Concerning those non-believers who say that [administering such treatment] constitutes a violation of the Sabbath and is forbidden,15 one may apply the verse [Ezekiel 20:25]: "[As punishment,] I gave them harmful laws and judgments through which they cannot live."16

ג

כְּשֶׁעוֹשִׂים דְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ אֵין עוֹשִׂין אוֹתָן לֹא עַל יְדֵי נָכְרִים וְלֹא עַל יְדֵי קְטַנִּים וְלֹא עַל יְדֵי עֲבָדִים וְלֹא עַל יְדֵי נָשִׁים כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תְּהֵא שַׁבָּת קַלָּה בְּעֵינֵיהֶם. אֶלָּא עַל יְדֵי גְּדוֹלֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְחַכְמֵיהֶם. וְאָסוּר לְהִתְמַהְמֵהַּ בְּחִלּוּל שַׁבָּת לְחוֹלֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ סַכָּנָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יח ה) "אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה אוֹתָם הָאָדָם וָחַי בָּהֶם" וְלֹא שֶׁיָּמוּת בָּהֶם. הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁאֵין מִשְׁפְּטֵי הַתּוֹרָה נְקָמָה בָּעוֹלָם אֶלָּא רַחֲמִים וְחֶסֶד וְשָׁלוֹם בָּעוֹלָם. וְאִלּוּ הָאֶפִּיקוֹרוֹסִים שֶׁאוֹמְרִים שֶׁזֶּה חִלּוּל שַׁבָּת וְאָסוּר עֲלֵיהֶן הַכָּתוּב אוֹמֵר (יחזקאל כ כה) "גַּם אֲנִי נָתַתִּי לָהֶם חֻקִּים לֹא טוֹבִים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים לֹא יִחְיוּ בָּהֶם":

4

When a person's eyes are ailing - i.e., when he has a secretion from either one or both of them, when tears flow from them due to great pain, when blood flows from them, or when they are affected by fever,17 or by other afflictions of this like - he is considered among those individuals who are dangerously ill.18 The Sabbath may be violated on his behalf, and anything necessary for his treatment may be performed for him.19

ד

הַחוֹשֵׁשׁ בְּעֵינָיו וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בִּשְׁתֵּיהֶם אוֹ בְּאַחַת מֵהֶם צִיר אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ דְּמָעוֹת שׁוֹתְתוֹת מֵהֶן מֵרֹב הַכְּאֵב אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה דָּם שׁוֹתֵת מֵהֶן אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה בָּהֶן קַדַּחַת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּחֳלָאִים אֵלּוּ הֲרֵי זֶה בִּכְלַל חוֹלִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן סַכָּנָה וּמְחַלְּלִין עָלָיו אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת וְעוֹשִׂין לוֹ כָּל צָרְכֵי רְפוּאָה:

5

Similarly, a person who has a wound20 in his body cavity - from his lips inward,21 whether in his mouth, his digestive organs, his liver or spleen, or any of the other organs in his body cavity - is considered to be dangerously ill and does not require [a physician's] assessment [of his condition]. His ailment is serious, and we should violate the Sabbath laws on his behalf immediately without [waiting for] an assessment.22

A wound on the back of the hand or on the back of the foot is considered equivalent to a wound in the body cavity. It does not require [a physician's] assessment [of his condition] for us to violate the Sabbath laws on his behalf. A fever that causes the flesh to wince23 is considered equivalent to a wound in the body cavity, and we should violate the Sabbath laws on this person's behalf.

Similarly, we should violate the Sabbath laws whenever a physician24 assesses an ailment as dangerous, even when it affects only the exterior of a person's skin.

ה

וְכֵן אִם יֵשׁ מַכָּה בַּחֲלַל גּוּפוֹ מִן הַשָּׂפָה וּלְפָנִים בֵּין בְּפִיו בֵּין בְּמֵעָיו בֵּין בִּכְבֵדוֹ וּטְחוֹלוֹ אוֹ בִּשְׁאָר מְקוֹמוֹת כָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בַּחֲלָלוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹלֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ סַכָּנָה וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ אֹמֶד שֶׁחָלְיוֹ כָּבֵד הוּא לְפִיכָךְ מְחַלְּלִין עָלָיו אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת מִיָּד בְּלֹא אֲמִידָה. וּמַכָּה שֶׁהִיא בְּגַב הַיָּד וְגַב הָרֶגֶל הֲרֵי הִיא כְּמַכָּה שֶׁל חָלָל וְאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה אֹמֶד וּמְחַלְּלִין עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. וְהַחֹם שֶׁמְּסַמֵּר אֶת הַבָּשָׂר כְּמַכָּה שֶׁל חָלָל דָּמִי וּמְחַלְּלִין עָלָיו אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת וְכֵן כָּל חֹלִי שֶׁהָרוֹפְאִים אוֹמְרִין שֶׁזֶּה יֵשׁ בּוֹ סַכָּנָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא בְּעוֹר הַבָּשָׂר מִבַּחוּץ מְחַלְּלִין עָלָיו אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת עַל פִּיהֶם:

6

When a person swallows a leech, water may be heated for him on the Sabbath, and any medical treatment that is necessary may be administered, since his life is in danger. Similarly, when a person is bitten by a rabid dog25 or a poisonous snake or other reptile, any medical treatment that is necessary to save him may be administered. [The same laws apply] even when there is merely a question of whether or not [the bite] can cause death.

ו

הַבּוֹלֵעַ נִימָה שֶׁל מַיִם מְחִמִּין לוֹ חַמִּין בְּשַׁבָּת וְעוֹשִׂין לוֹ כָּל צָרְכֵי רְפוּאָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא סַכָּנַת נְפָשׁוֹת. וְכֵן מִי שֶׁנְּשָׁכוֹ כֶּלֶב שׁוֹטֶה אוֹ אֶחָד מִזּוֹחֲלֵי הֶעָפָר שֶׁמְּמִיתִין אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ סָפֵק מְמִיתִין סָפֵק אֵין מְמִיתִין עוֹשִׂין לוֹ כָּל צָרְכֵי רְפוּאָה לְהַצִּילוֹ:

7

When physicians assessed that a sick person required a fig, and ten people ran and brought26 him ten figs at once,27 they are all absolved of liability entirely.28

[The same decision applies] if the ten people brought the figs one after another, even when he recuperated after the first fig, for all of them had license to bring them.

ז

חוֹלֶה שֶׁאֲמָדוּהוּ רוֹפְאִים לְהָבִיא לוֹ גְּרוֹגֶרֶת אַחַת וְרָצוּ עֲשָׂרָה בְּנֵי אָדָם וְהֵבִיאוּ לוֹ עֶשֶׂר גְּרוֹגָרוֹת בְּבַת אַחַת כֻּלָּן פְּטוּרִין מִכְּלוּם. וַאֲפִלּוּ הֵבִיאוּ בָּזֶה אַחַר זֶה וַאֲפִלּוּ הִבְרִיא בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁהֲרֵי כֻּלָּם בִּרְשׁוּת הֵבִיאוּ:

8

If a sick person required two figs, and two figs could be found only on two separate stems - while three figs were found on another stem - we should remove the stem that has three figs, even though only two are required.29 [It is preferable] to cut only one stem and not two stems, so as not to increase [the performance of the forbidden labor of] gleaning.30 The same applies in all similar situations.

ח

חוֹלֶה שֶׁהָיָה צָרִיךְ לִשְׁתֵּי גְּרוֹגָרוֹת וְלֹא מָצְאוּ אֶלָּא שְׁתֵּי גְּרוֹגָרוֹת בִּשְׁנֵי עֵקְצִין וְשָׁלֹשׁ גְּרוֹגָרוֹת בְּעֹקֶץ אֶחָד כּוֹרְתִין הָעֹקֶץ שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין צְרִיכִין אֶלָּא לִשְׁתַּיִם כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַרְבּוּ בִּבְצִירָה אֶלָּא יִכְרְתוּ עֹקֶץ אֶחָד וְלֹא יִכְרְתוּ שְׁנַיִם. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

9

When food is cooked for a sick person on the Sabbath and the sick person leaves some over after eating, a healthy person is forbidden to eat from the remainder, lest [this cause] more food to be added for him.31

When, however, an animal is slaughtered for a sick person on the Sabbath, it is permissible for a healthy person to partake of uncooked meat32 [from that animal].33 A decree was not enacted, because there is no possibility of an additional [activity] being performed [for a healthy person].34 The same applies in all similar situations.

ט

הַמְבַשֵּׁל לְחוֹלֶה בְּשַׁבָּת וְאָכַל הַחוֹלֶה וְהוֹתִיר אָסוּר לְבָרִיא לֶאֱכל מִן הַמֻּתָּר גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יַרְבֶּה בִּשְׁבִילוֹ. אֲבָל הַשּׁוֹחֵט לַחוֹלֶה בְּשַׁבָּת מֻתָּר לַבָּרִיא לֶאֱכל מִמֶּנּוּ בָּשָׂר חַי שֶׁאֵין בַּדָּבָר תּוֹסֶפֶת כְּדֵי שֶׁנִּגְזֹר שֶׁמָּא יַרְבֶּה בִּשְׁבִילוֹ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

10

When a sick person is not dangerously ill,35 all his needs should be cared for by a gentile. What is implied? We may tell a gentile to perform [forbidden labors]36 on his behalf and he performs them. [This includes] cooking, baking, bringing medicine from one domain to another and the like. Similarly, one may have one's eyes treated37 by a gentile on the Sabbath even though there is no danger involved.

Furthermore, if [the sick] require treatment that does not involve the performance of [forbidden] labors,38 they may be treated even by Jews. For this reason, it is permitted to perform [physical activities for the benefit of the sick]; for example, one may lift [the tendons of] the ears, lift up cartilage around the heart,39 restore broken bones to their places, or perform other activities of this like.

י

חוֹלֶה שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ סַכָּנָה עוֹשִׂין לוֹ כָּל צְרָכָיו עַל יְדֵי נָכְרִי. כֵּיצַד. אוֹמְרִין לַנָּכְרִי לַעֲשׂוֹת לוֹ וְהוּא עוֹשֶׂה. לְבַשֵּׁל לוֹ וְלֶאֱפוֹת וּלְהָבִיא רְפוּאָה מֵרְשׁוּת לִרְשׁוּת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּאֵלּוּ. וְכֵן כּוֹחֵל עֵינָיו מִן הַנָּכְרִי בְּשַׁבָּת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם סַכָּנָה. וְאִם הָיוּ צְרִיכִים לִדְבָרִים שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן מְלָאכָה עוֹשִׂין אוֹתָן אֲפִלּוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל. לְפִיכָךְ מַעֲלִין אָזְנַיִם בְּשַׁבָּת וּמַעֲלִין אֻנְקְלִי וּמַחְזִירִין אֶת הַשֶּׁבֶר וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה מֻתָּר:

11

When a woman in the process of childbirth squats to give birth,40 her life is considered in danger and the Sabbath laws may be violated on her behalf. A midwife may be called from a distant place41 and the umbilical cord may be cut and tied.

If she requires a light when she cries out because of labor pains, a candle may be lit for her. [This leniency is granted] even if she is blind, because light has a calming influence42 even if she does not see.

If she needs oil or the like, it may be brought for her. If possible, the items that are brought should be brought in an uncharacteristic manner; for example, a friend should bring a utensil tied in her hair.43 If this not possible, it may be brought in the ordinary manner.44

יא

הַיּוֹלֶדֶת כְּשֶׁכּוֹרַעַת לֵילֵד הֲרֵי הִיא בְּסַכָּנַת נְפָשׁוֹת וּמְחַלְּלִין עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. קוֹרְאִין לָהּ חֲכָמָה מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם וְחוֹתְכִים אֶת הַטַּבּוּר וְקוֹשְׁרִין אוֹתוֹ. וְאִם הָיְתָה צְרִיכָה לְנֵר בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁהִיא צוֹעֶקֶת בַּחֲבָלֶיהָ מַדְלִיקִין לָהּ אֶת הַנֵּר. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה סוּמָא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁדַּעְתָּהּ מִתְיַשֶּׁבֶת עָלֶיהָ בַּנֵּר וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָהּ רוֹאָה. וְאִם הָיְתָה צְרִיכָה לְשֶׁמֶן וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ מְבִיאִין לָהּ. וְכָל שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר לְשַׁנּוֹת מְשַׁנִּין בִּשְׁעַת הֲבָאָה כְּגוֹן שֶׁתָּבִיא לָהּ חֲבֶרְתָּהּ כְּלִי תָּלוּי בִּשְׂעָרָהּ. וְאִם אִי אֶפְשָׁר מְבִיאָה כְּדַרְכָּהּ:

12

We should not help an idolatress45 give birth on the Sabbath, even if payment is offered. We do not worry about the possibility of ill-feelings being aroused.46 [This applies even when] there is no violation [of the Sabbath laws] involved.

[In contrast,] one may offer assistance to a daughter of a ger toshav who gives birth, since we are commanded to secure his well-being.47 We may not, however, violate the Sabbath laws on her behalf.

יב

אֵין מְיַלְּדִין אֶת הָעוֹבֶדֶת כּוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשָׂכָר וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לְאֵיבָה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם חִלּוּל. אֲבָל מְיַלְּדִין אֶת בַּת גֵּר תּוֹשָׁב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאָנוּ מְצֻוִּין לְהַחֲיוֹתוֹ. וְאֵין מְחַלְּלִין עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת:

13

From the time a woman in childbirth has a flow of blood48 until the birth - [and indeed,] after birth for three days49 - the Sabbath laws may be violated on her behalf, and all her needs should be met.50 [This applies] regardless of whether she says she requires such treatment or she maintains that she does not require such treatment.

Between the third and the seventh day [after childbirth], if she maintains that she does not require treatment, the Sabbath laws should not be violated on her behalf. If she remains silent,51 and certainly if she maintains that she requires treatment,52 the Sabbath laws should be violated on her behalf. Between the seventh and the thirtieth day, her status is analogous to that of a sick person who is not dangerously ill. Even if she maintains that she requires treatment, [forbidden] labors should be performed on her behalf only by a gentile.53

יג

חַיָּה מִשֶּׁיַּתְחִיל הַדָּם לִהְיוֹת שׁוֹתֵת עַד שֶׁתֵּלֵד וְאַחַר שֶׁתֵּלֵד עַד שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים מְחַלְּלִין עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת וְעוֹשִׂין לָהּ כָּל צְרָכֶיהָ. בֵּין שֶׁאָמְרָה צְרִיכָה אֲנִי בֵּין שֶׁאָמְרָה אֵינִי צְרִיכָה. וּמִשְּׁלֹשָׁה עַד שִׁבְעָה אִם אָמְרָה אֵינִי צְרִיכָה אֵין מְחַלְּלִין עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. וְאִם שָׁתְקָה וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם אָמְרָה צְרִיכָה אֲנִי שֶׁמְּחַלְּלִין עָלֶיהָ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. וּמִשִּׁבְעָה וְעַד שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם הֲרֵי הִיא כְּחוֹלָה שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ סַכָּנָה וַאֲפִלּוּ אָמְרָה צְרִיכָה אֲנִי אֵין עוֹשִׂין לָהּ מְלָאכָה אֶלָּא עַל יְדֵי נָכְרִים:

14

A fire may be kindled54 for a woman after she has given birth55 even in the summer, since cold is very difficult for a woman to bear after childbirth in the cold regions. In contrast, a fire should not be kindled for other sick people to warm themselves.56 Nevertheless, if a person let blood and became chilled, a fire may be kindled for him even in the summer.

After cutting his umbilical cord,57 we may wash a new born baby on the day he is born, even when this requires heating the water on the Sabbath.58 Herbal powder59 can be applied to his skin and his limbs can be tied,60 for it is dangerous not to perform these activities for him.

Similarly, a baby may be washed before circumcision, after circumcision,61 and on the third day after circumcision62 with water that is heated on the Sabbath,63 because of the danger [to him].

יד

עוֹשִׂין מְדוּרָה לְחַיָּה וַאֲפִלּוּ בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַצִּנָּה קָשָׁה לְחַיָּה הַרְבֵּה בַּמְּקוֹמוֹת הַקָּרִים. אֲבָל אֵין עוֹשִׂין מְדוּרָה לְחוֹלֶה לְהִתְחַמֵּם בָּהּ. הִקִּיז דָּם וְנִצְטַנֵּן עוֹשִׂין לוֹ מְדוּרָה אֲפִלּוּ בִּתְקוּפַת תַּמּוּז. וּמַרְחִיצִין אֶת הַוָּלָד בְּשַׁבָּת בַּיּוֹם שֶׁנּוֹלַד אַחַר שֶׁחוֹתְכִין אֶת טִבּוּרוֹ אֲפִלּוּ בְּחַמִּין שֶׁהוּחַמּוּ בְּשַׁבָּת. וּמוֹלְחִין אוֹתוֹ וּמְלַפְּפִין אוֹתוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁסַּכָּנָה הִיא לוֹ אִם לֹא יַעֲשׂוּ לוֹ כָּל אֵלּוּ. וְכֵן מַרְחִיצִים אוֹתוֹ לִפְנֵי הַמִּילָה וּלְאַחַר הַמִּילָה וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי לַמִּילָה בְּחַמִּין שֶׁהוּחַמּוּ בְּשַׁבָּת מִפְּנֵי הַסַּכָּנָה:

15

When a woman dies while in labor on the Sabbath, a knife should be brought - even if it must be carried through the public domain - and the woman's womb cut open and the fetus removed, for it is possible that it will still be alive.64

[The rationale for this ruling is] that the Sabbath laws are violated even when there is only a possibility of saving a life,65 and even in such instances, where there is no chazakah on which to base our presumption that the fetus is alive.66

טו

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁיָּשְׁבָה עַל הַמַּשְׁבֵּר וּמֵתָה מְבִיאִין סַכִּין בְּשַׁבָּת אֲפִלּוּ דֶּרֶךְ רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וְקוֹרְעִין אֶת כְּרֵסָהּ וּמוֹצִיאִין אֶת הַוָּלָד שֶׁמָּא יִמָּצֵא חַי שֶׁסְּפֵק נְפָשׁוֹת דּוֹחֶה אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת וַאֲפִלּוּ לָזֶה שֶׁאֵין חֶזְקָתוֹ חַי:

16

[All] activities necessary to save a life should be performed on the Sabbath; there is no necessity to receive license from the court. The more zealous one is [in this regard], the more praiseworthy.

What is implied?67 If one sees that a child has fallen into the sea, one may spread out a net and hoist him up, although one catches fish together with him. If a person hears that a child fell into the sea and spreads out a net to hoist him up, but raises up only fish, he is absolutely free of liability.68

If he intended to raise up fish and [in fact] lifted up both fish and a child, he is not held liable.69 Since he lifted up a child together with the fish, he is not held liable even when he did not hear that the child had fallen into the water.70

טז

מְפַקְּחִין פִּקּוּחַ נֶפֶשׁ בְּשַׁבָּת וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לִטּל רְשׁוּת מִבֵּית דִּין. וְהַמַּקְדִּים לְהַצִּיל הַנֶּפֶשׁ הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח. כֵּיצַד. רָאָה תִּינוֹק שֶׁנָּפַל לַיָּם פּוֹרֵשׂ מְצוּדָה וּמַעֲלֵהוּ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא צָד הַדָּגִים עִמּוֹ. שָׁמַע שֶׁטָּבַע תִּינוֹק בַּיָּם וּפָרַשׂ מְצוּדָה לְהַעֲלוֹתוֹ וְהֶעֱלָה דָּגִים בִּלְבַד פָּטוּר מִכְּלוּם. נִתְכַּוֵּן לְהַעֲלוֹת דָּגִים וְהֶעֱלָה דָּגִים וְתִינוֹק פָּטוּר אֲפִלּוּ לֹא שָׁמַע שֶׁטָּבַע הוֹאִיל וְהֶעֱלָה תִּינוֹק עִם הַדָּגִים פָּטוּר:

17

If71 a child fell into a pit, a person may dislodge a clod of earth, and lift [the child] up, even though he creates a step when he dislodges it. If a door was locked with a child inside, a person may break the door down and take the child out, even though he chops it into pieces of wood which are appropriate to use for work,72 lest the child become frightened and die.

If a fire broke out and a person is inside the building and we fear that he may be consumed by the flames,73 a person may extinguish the fire to save him, although he prepares a pathway while extinguishing the fire. Whoever acts first to save him is praiseworthy. One does not need to ask permission from the court in all instances when there is a danger to a person's life.

יז

נָפַל תִּינוֹק לַבּוֹר עוֹקֵר חֻלְיָה וּמַעֲלֵהוּ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מְתַקֵּן בָּהּ מַדְרֵגָה בִּשְׁעַת עֲקִירָתוֹ. נִנְעַל דֶּלֶת בִּפְנֵי תִּינוֹק שׁוֹבֵר הַדֶּלֶת וּמוֹצִיאוֹ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מְפַצֵּל אוֹתָהּ כְּמִין עֵצִים שֶׁרְאוּיִין לִמְלָאכָה שֶׁמָּא יִבָּעֵת הַתִּינוֹק וְיָמוּת. נָפְלָה דְּלֵקָה וְיֵשׁ שָׁם אָדָם שֶׁחוֹשְׁשִׁין שֶׁמָּא יִשָּׂרֵף מְכַבִּין אוֹתָהּ לְהַצִּילוֹ מִן הָאֵשׁ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא כּוֹבֵשׁ דֶּרֶךְ וּמְתַקְּנָהּ בִּשְׁעַת כִּבּוּי. וְכָל הַקּוֹדֵם לְהַצִּיל הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִטּל רְשׁוּת מִבֵּית דִּין בְּכָל דָּבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ סַכָּנָה:

18

When an avalanche has fallen, and there is a doubt whether or not74 it has fallen over a person,75 it may be cleared. If the person was discovered to be alive, but was crushed [by the fallen debris] to the extent that it is impossible that he will recover, [the debris] may be cleared and the person taken out to enable him to live [however] long he does.76

יח

מִי שֶׁנָּפְלָה עָלָיו מַפּלֶת סָפֵק הוּא שָׁם סָפֵק אֵינוֹ שָׁם מְפַקְּחִין עָלָיו. מְצָאוּהוּ חַי אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְרוֹצֵץ וְאִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּבָּרֵא מְפַקְּחִין עָלָיו וּמוֹצִיאִין אוֹתוֹ לְחַיֵּי אוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה:

19

If [in the process of clearing the debris,] they [reached] his nose and saw that he was not breathing, he should be left there,77 for he has died already.78

Although it is discovered that people on the upper level of a landslide have died, one should not assume that those on the lower levels have died. Instead, [the debris] should be cleared away from all of the people, for in a landslide it is possible that those on the upper level will die, while those on the lower level will remain alive.

יט

בָּדְקוּ עַד חָטְמוֹ וְלֹא מָצְאוּ בּוֹ נְשָׁמָה מַנִּיחִין אוֹתוֹ שָׁם שֶׁכְּבָר מֵת. בָּדְקוּ וּמָצְאוּ עֶלְיוֹנִים מֵתִים לֹא יֹאמְרוּ כְּבָר מֵתוּ תַּחְתּוֹנִים אֶלָּא מְפַקְּחִין עַל הַכּל שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר בְּמַפּלֶת שֶׁיָּמוּת הָעֶלְיוֹן וְיִהְיֶה הַתַּחְתּוֹן חַי:

20

When an avalanche fell on a courtyard in which were located both gentiles and Jews - even if there were a thousand gentiles and only one Jew, we should remove all [the debris] for the sake of the Jew.79 Should one80 of the individuals leave and enter another courtyard and that courtyard collapse upon him, we should remove [the debris]. Perhaps the person who departed was a Jew, and [all] those who remain were gentiles.81

כ

הָיְתָה חָצֵר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת וְיִשְׂרְאֵלִים אֲפִלּוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶחָד וְאֶלֶף עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת וְנָפְלָה עֲלֵיהֶם מַפּלֶת מְפַקְּחִין עַל הַכּל מִפְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. פֵּרַשׁ אֶחָד מֵהֶם לֶחָצֵר אַחֶרֶת וְנָפְלָה עָלָיו אוֹתָהּ חָצֵר מְפַקְּחִים עָלָיו שֶׁמָּא זֶה שֶׁפֵּרַשׁ הָיָה יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַנִּשְׁאָרִים עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת:

21

When they all left this courtyard to go to another courtyard, and as they were proceeding, one of them whose identity is unknown departed and entered a third courtyard and was covered by an avalanche, [the debris] should not be removed from him.82

Since they left their original place, [the presence of] a Jew is not accepted as an established fact. Hence, we assume that anyone who separated from this group as it was proceeding was part of the majority. Accordingly, if the majority were Jewish,83 even a person separated from them [who entered] another courtyard after they left their original place - should he be covered by an avalanche, we should remove [the debris] from him.

כא

נֶעֶקְרוּ כֻּלָּן מֵחָצֵר זוֹ לֵילֵךְ לֶחָצֵר אַחֶרֶת וּבְעֵת עֲקִירָתָם פֵּרַשׁ אֶחָד מֵהֶן וְנִכְנַס לֶחָצֵר אַחֶרֶת וְנָפְלָה עָלָיו מַפּלֶת וְאֵין יָדוּעַ מִי הוּא אֵין מְפַקְּחִין עָלָיו. שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁנֶּעֶקְרוּ כֻּלָּם אֵין כָּאן יִשְׂרָאֵל וְכָל הַפּוֹרֵשׁ מֵהֶן כְּשֶׁהֵן מְהַלְּכִין הֲרֵי הוּא בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁפֵּרַשׁ מִן הָרֹב. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיָה הָרֹב יִשְׂרָאֵל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנֶּעֶקְרוּ כֻּלָּם וּפֵרַשׁ אֶחָד מֵהֶם לְחָצֵר אַחֶרֶת וְנָפְלָה עָלָיו מַפּלֶת מְפַקְּחִין:

22

A person who is traveling in the desert and does not know which day is the Sabbath should count84 six days and consider the seventh day as holy. He should recite the blessing of the day [Kiddush] and recite Havdalah at the conclusion of this "Sabbath" day.85

Every day, even on the day on which he recites Kiddush and after which he recites Havdalah, he is allowed86 to earn87 only enough for his livelihood, so that he will not die. It is forbidden for him to earn more than his livelihood, for there is a possibility that every day is the Sabbath.

If the person knows that the day is the eighth day or the fifteenth day after his departure, he is allowed to work on that day, for it is certain that he did not depart on the Sabbath.88 On the other days, he is allowed to earn merely his livelihood.

כב

הַמְהַלֵּךְ בַּמִּדְבָּר וְלֹא יָדַע מָתַי הוּא יוֹם שַׁבָּת מוֹנֶה מִיּוֹם שֶׁטָּעָה שִׁשָּׁה וּמְקַדֵּשׁ שְׁבִיעִי וּמְבָרֵךְ בּוֹ בִּרְכוֹת הַיּוֹם וּמַבְדִּיל בְּמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת. וּבְכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם זֶה שֶׁהוּא מְקַדֵּשׁ וּמַבְדִּיל בּוֹ מֻתָּר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת כְּדֵי פַּרְנָסָתוֹ בִּלְבַד כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יָמוּת. וְאָסוּר לוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת יוֹתֵר עַל פַּרְנָסָתוֹ שֶׁכָּל יוֹם וָיוֹם סְפֵק שַׁבָּת הוּא. וְאִם יָדַע שֶׁהוּא שְׁמִינִי לִיצִיאָתוֹ אוֹ חֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר לִיצִיאָתוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בְּזֶה הַמִּנְיָן הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לַעֲשׂוֹת מְלָאכָה בְּאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם שֶׁהֲרֵי הַדָּבָר וַדַּאי שֶׁלֹּא יָצָא בְּשַׁיָּרָא בְּשַׁבָּת. וּשְׁאָר הַיָּמִים חוּץ מִיּוֹם זֶה עוֹשֶׂה כְּדֵי פַּרְנָסָה בִּלְבַד:

23

[The following rules apply] when gentiles lay siege to Jewish cities:89 If their intent was financial gain, the Sabbath laws should not be violated because of them, nor are we allowed to wage war against them.90 If a city is located near the border, however, we should march against them with weapons and wage war against them even when they are demanding hay or straw.91

In any location, if the gentiles' intent was Jewish lives, or if they engaged in battle with a city or laid siege to it without stating a specific intention,92 we must wage war against them, and the Sabbath laws should be violated because of them. It is a mitzvah93 for every member of the Jewish people who can come [to their assistance] to go out and aid their brethren who are under siege and save them from the gentiles [although it is the] Sabbath. It is forbidden to wait until Saturday night.

After they have saved their brethren, they may return home with their weapons on the Sabbath, so that a dangerous situation will not be created in the future.94

כג

עוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת שֶׁצָּרוּ עַל עֲיָרוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל אִם בָּאוּ עַל עִסְקֵי מָמוֹן אֵין מְחַלְּלִין עֲלֵיהֶן אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין עִמָּהֶן מִלְחָמָה. וּבְעִיר הַסְּמוּכָה לַסְּפָר אֲפִלּוּ לֹא בָּאוּ אֶלָּא עַל עִסְקֵי תֶּבֶן וְקַשׁ יוֹצְאִין עֲלֵיהֶן בִּכְלֵי זַיִן וּמְחַלְּלִין עֲלֵיהֶן אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. וּבְכָל מָקוֹם אִם בָּאוּ עַל עִסְקֵי נְפָשׁוֹת אוֹ שֶׁעָרְכוּ מִלְחָמָה אוֹ שֶׁצָּרוּ סְתָם יוֹצְאִין עֲלֵיהֶן בִּכְלֵי זַיִן וּמְחַלְּלִין עֲלֵיהֶן אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת. וּמִצְוָה עַל כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁיְּכוֹלִין לָבוֹא וְלָצֵאת וְלַעֲזֹר לְאַחֵיהֶם שֶׁבַּמָּצוֹר וּלְהַצִּילָם מִיַּד הָעוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת. וְאָסוּר לָהֶן לְהִתְמַהֲמֵהַּ לְמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת. וּכְשֶׁיַּצִּילוּ אֶת אֲחֵיהֶן מֻתָּר לָהֶן לַחֲזֹר בִּכְלֵי זַיִן שֶׁלָּהֶן לִמְקוֹמָם בְּשַׁבָּת כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא לְהַכְשִׁילָן לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא:

24

Similarly, if a ship is sinking at sea95 or a city is surrounded by a [flooding] river, it is a mitzvah to go out on the Sabbath and use every possible means to save them.

Even when a single individual is being pursued by gentiles, by a snake, or by a bear with the intent to kill him, it is a mitzvah to save him, even when it is necessary to perform several forbidden labors on the Sabbath. It is even permitted to forge weapons to save him. Similarly, we should cry out [to God] on their behalf, make supplications,96 and sound the trumpets97 to summon help for them.98

We should not cry out [to God] or make supplications because of plague99 on the Sabbath.

כד

וְכֵן סְפִינָה הַמְטֹרֶפֶת בַּיָּם אוֹ עִיר שֶׁהִקִּיפָהּ כַּרְקוֹם אוֹ נָהָר מִצְוָה לָצֵאת בְּשַׁבָּת לְהַצִּילָן בְּכָל דָּבָר שֶׁיָּכוֹל לְהַצִּילָן. וַאֲפִלּוּ יָחִיד הַנִּרְדָּף מִפְּנֵי הָעוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת אוֹ מִפְּנֵי נָחָשׁ אוֹ דֹּב שֶׁהוּא רוֹדֵף אַחֲרָיו לְהָרְגוֹ מִצְוָה לְהַצִּילוֹ. וַאֲפִלּוּ בַּעֲשִׂיַּת כַּמָּה מְלָאכוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת וַאֲפִלּוּ לְתַקֵּן כְּלֵי זַיִן לְהַצִּילוֹ מֻתָּר. וְזוֹעֲקִים עֲלֵיהֶן וּמִתְחַנְּנִים בְּשַׁבָּת וּמַתְרִיעִין עֲלֵיהֶן לַעֲזֹר אוֹתָם. וְאֵין מִתְחַנְּנִים וְלֹא זוֹעֲקִין עַל הַדֶּבֶר בְּשַׁבָּת:

25

We should lay siege to gentile cities [at least] three days before the Sabbath.100 We may wage war with them on any day, even on the Sabbath, until we conquer [the city], even if the war is voluntary in nature.101 The oral tradition,102 interprets [Deuteronomy 20:20] "until you have subjugated it," as teaching that [one should wage war] even on the Sabbath.

Surely, the above applies103 with regard to a war that we are obligated to wage. Indeed, it was on the Sabbath that Joshua conquered Jericho.104

כה

צָרִין עַל עֲיָרוֹת הָעוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים וּמַזָּלוֹת שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים קֹדֶם לַשַּׁבָּת. וְעוֹשִׂין עִמָּהֶן מִלְחָמָה בְּכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׁבָּת עַד שֶׁכּוֹבְשִׁין אוֹתָהּ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא מִלְחֶמֶת הָרְשׁוּת. מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ (דברים כ כ) "עַד רִדְתָּהּ" וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּשַׁבָּת. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר בְּמִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה. וְלֹא כָּבַשׁ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ יְרִיחוֹ אֶלָּא בְּשַׁבָּת: