Health

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In relation to the obligation to pay the costs of saving the life of a sick person who is in danger of dying: From the straightforward reading of Sanhedrin 73a , we see that one is obligated to do everything to save him, and if not, one transgresses the negative commandment: “Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor.” (According to my humble opinion, it’s clear that the sick person is obligated afterwards to repay the expenses.) And if we say that the commandment is directed at action, and therefore one is not under an obligation to spend all his money, nevertheless 10 or 20% of his

בענין החיוב לממן את ההוצאות להצלת חייו של חולה מסוכן מפשטות הגמרא בסנהדרין ע"ג ע"א רואים דחייב לעשות הכל להצלתו ואם לאו הוא עובר בלאו של לא תעמוד על דם רעך (לענ"ד פשוט שהחולה עצמו שפיר חייב אח"כ לפרוע לו), ואם נאמר דעל לאו שחיובו מעשה ליכא חיוב לבזבז כל ממונו, מ"מ מעשר או חומש מיהא חייב, ובפרט דמסתבר יותר שלאו זה הרבה יותר חמור ושפיר חייב לבזבז כל ממונו. אך לצערנו נתקלים בזה תמיד ולא עושים כך, ושמעתי שהגאון ר' ישראל מסאלאנט זצ"ל הסתפק הרבה בענין זה.

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This means, according to the words of our Sages…there in Yevamot [78b-79a], that Saul did not actually kill even a single Gibeonite.

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The Jewish demand that everyone have access to health care does not necessarily mandate a particular form of delivery, such as socialized medicine or government-sponsored health insurance for those who cannot afford private plans. Any delivery system that provides basic needs will meet these Jewish standards.

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Globalization, writes Zygmunt Bauman, “divides as much as it unites...What appears as globalization for some means localization for others; signaling a new freedom for some, upon many others it descends as an uninvited and cruel fate” (Bauman 1998: 2). There can be no doubt that some of the economic surplus of the advanced economies of the world should be invested in developing countries to help eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, ensure universal education, combat treatable disease, reduce infant mortality, improve work conditions, and reconstruct failing economies.

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The Modern Jew is entangled in the activities of the Gentile society in numerous ways - economically, politically, culturally, and on some levels, socially. We share in the universal experience. The problems of humanity, war and peace, political stability or anarchy, morality or permissiveness, famine, epidemics, and pollution transcend the boundaries of ethnic groups.

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[Cited by the Jewish Climate Initiative, http://www.jewishclimateinitiative.org/ethics/pollution.php]

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein...takes what seems to me to be a major step towards translating the laws of damages between neighbors into an industrial context. He was asked whether a student might smoke in the study hall of a yeshiva. R. Feinstein replied that this is forbidden by halakhah as it potentially damages the health of other students.14 Then he adds the following:

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Reb Aryeh’s son recalls: Once, as we were walking, a man came over to my father and asked, “How is your relative getting along in the mental hospital?” My father answered, “The Lord be praised,” and we continued on our way. “Father,” I asked, “what relative do we have in the mental hospital?” Then he told me that once he visited the hospital to recommend that someone be taken in for treatment, and since he was already there he went through the wards, visiting the patients. One man there caught his attention.

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Rabbi Raphael Benjamin Levine, the son of the revered Jerusalem saint, Rabbi Aryeh Levine, once asked his father why, when the students came to the Etz Chayim yeshiva where he taught in the morning, Reb Aryeh would study each child who passed.

“I’ll tell you what,” Reb Aryeh answered. “You come and stand with me and take a close look at them. What do you see? What do you observe?”

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It has been enacted that in every place in which Jews live, the community sets aside a fund for care of the sick. When poor people are ill and who cannot afford medical expenses, the community sends them a doctor to visit them, and the medicine is paid for by the communal fund. Additionally, the community should provide the appropriate amount of daily food for the sick, according to the doctor's prescription. [Translation by AJWS]

בכל מקום ומקום שישראל יושבים, ליחד קופה לביקור חולים, והוא שהחולים העניים שאין ידם משגת להוצאות רפואתם, הקהל שולחים להם רופא לבקרם והרפואות מכיס הקהל ונותנים להם מזון הראוי לחולים דבר יום ביומו כפי ציווי הרופאים.

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Blessed are You, God, our God, sovereign of the universe, who formed humans with wisdom and created within him many openings and many hollows.
It is obvious in the presence of your glorious throne that if one of them were ruptured, or if one of them were blocked, it would be impossible to exist and stand
in your presence.
Blessed are You, God, who heals all flesh and performs wonders.
[translation by Hazon]

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶת הָאָדָם בְּחָכְמָה
וּבָרָא בוֹ נְקָבִים נְקָבִים חֲלוּלִים חֲלוּלִים.

גָּלוּי וְיָדוּעַ לִפְנֵי כִסֵּא כְבוֹדֶךָ
שֶׁאִם יִפָּתֵחַ אֶחָד מֵהֶם אוֹ יִסָּתֵם אֶחָד מֵהֶם
אִי אֶפְשַׁר לְהִתְקַיֵּם וְלַעֲמוֹד לְפָנֶיךָ.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְהֹוָה רוֹפֵא כָל בָּשָׂר
וּמַפְלִיא לַעֲשֹוֹת.

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