Medical & Health

120 Year Lifespan - I was curious about the blessing we give people to live till 120 years. What is the origin of the expression? Is that just a nice, very high number, or is that considered the upper limit? I wouldn’t think so since... More »
Animal Castration - We have a 9-month-old dog that the vet said should be castrated due to his hyperactive and obsessive behavior. We know that according to Judaism, a dog should not be castrated. But in this instance the dog may have to... More »
Assisted Suicide - I am a university student in Alberta, Canada and I am doing a research paper on euthanasia from the Jewish perspective. Can you direct me to more information? Thank you. More »
Blessing on Medicines - I am currently taking a liquid medication which has a flavoring but does not exactly taste good. Do I recite a blessing over it? More »
Body Piercing - Everybody in my high school is getting their body parts pierced. I think some of the piercing is attractive – like multiple earrings or the navel. But some of them are gross – studs in the tongue or pierced... More »
Cloning & Immortality - In the various life choices I’ve made – career, family, etc – I notice one common denominator: I am on a quest for immortality. I want to leave a legacy. Wouldn’t it simply solve this... More »
Cosmetic Surgery - What does the Torah say about nose jobs – both from a legal and philosophic point of view? Are they permitted, or is this considered tampering with Creation? More »
Cousin Marriages - Does the Torah permit cousin marriages? Is the topic discussed at all? I’m concerned in particular because the inbreeding is likely to cause genetic disorders, as historically happened to many royal families. I have... More »
Dangerous Occupation - Is it permissible to engage in work which carries occupational hazards and even danger to life, such as a firefighter, rescue worker, construction worker, and the like? More »
Defining the Moment of Death - It is my understanding that in order for someone to be a candidate to donate their organs, they need to be declared "brain dead" by two to three physicians, one of whom, I believe, must be a neurologist. Only... More »
Eating on Yom Kippur? - It has come to that time of year again when my family argues over whether my 81-year-old grandfather should fast on Yom Kippur. This year, however, the situation is slightly different, since less than a year ago he was... More »
Exercise on Shabbat - How would you explain why my rabbi says not to exercise on Shabbat, although I find it fun and relaxing? More »
Gene Therapy - The Genome Project is looking like it will change the entire future of the medical and pharmaceutical fields. Does Judaism have anything to say about this? Are there dangers to watch out for? Are there ethical issues... More »
Human and Animals Medical Experimentation - I’m wondering what the Jewish view is on animal as well as human medical experimentation. More »
Human Cloning - My neighbor recently cloned their pet dog, so that they could enjoy the dog for years after he is dead. This got me thinking – should we be doing this with our best and brightest people? I mean, why not keep the... More »
Marijuana - I have always smoked marijuana. I find it to be less harmful then alcohol. I want to know if there is any Jewish law against doing this. I feel the civil laws against this are ridiculous. I know three cancer patients... More »
Medical Help - Unfortunately my young child has been diagnosed with a serious disease. I am terrified trying to wade through all the tests and doctors on my own. Do you know anyone who can help guide me? More »
Nicotine Patch - I'm trying to kick the smoking habit, but I still need my daily fix. Am I allowed to use a nicotine patch on Yom Kippur? More »
Organ Donation - What is the Jewish position on organ donation? I have been told, albeit by someone relatively uneducated, that a Jewish body must be "whole and intact" for Jewish burial. But what confuses me is that, since... More »
Pedometer, Fitbit on Shabbat - My family has become very health-conscious lately and we all have our own Fitbits which we wear all the time. It has really helped us maintain our health. Is there any issue with wearing it on... Shabbat? More »
Prayer for Taking Medicine - I just began taking an antibiotic for a minor ailment. Is there anything religious I should be doing together with taking the medicine? It seems odd that we turn to doctors for our healing but not... to God! More »
Praying for the Terminally Ill - I have a friend who is dying from cancer. His condition is terminal and he realizes he only has a few months to live. Is it appropriate to add a request in my prayers that he recovers, knowing that this is impossible?... More »
Risky Surgery - My uncle, who is 72, was in excellent health until recently diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The doctors feel that with his condition, he only has 6-9 months to live. There is, however, an experimental surgery... More »
Shoes of Deceased - We are in the process of disposing of the belonging of our late father, of blessed memory. I have heard that some people throw out the deceased’s shoes. Is there any basis for this? Is it a superstition? We were... More »
Siamese Twins - A case of Siamese twins has hit the media and I wondered what the Jewish position would be. The twin girls are joined at the lower abdomen. One has no heart or lungs and is being kept alive by her sister. The medical... More »
Smoking - I am a long-time cigarette smoker and have recently become more observant of Judaism. Just as we make blessings over food, is there a blessing to be said when smoking? More »
Sneeze - "Bless You!" - Sneezing seems to carry with it many superstitions. In Ancient Greece, sneezes were believed to be prophetic signs from the gods. In Chinese culture, a sneeze is perceived as a sign that someone was talking about the... More »
The Ethics of Cloning - My experience is that scientific breakthroughs (e.g. man on the moon, invitro fertilization, etc.) are greeted by the general public with accolades and enthusiasm. The idea of human cloning, meanwhile, has been... More »
Tzara’at versus Leprosy - Do we know the identity of the disease of tzara’at in the Torah (Leviticus 13-14)? Is it the identical disease when a person contracted it as when it appeared on a garment? More »

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