Torah Riddles Test #65

  1. Question: Why does the Rambam rely on the majority in this case of Yom Kippur when the doctors say he does not have to fast but in all other life and death situations the rule is we don’t rely on majority?


A. The Rambam (Hilchos shvisas ishur 2:8) poskins that if some doctors say one has to eat on Yom Kippur because of a life threatening situation and others say he can fast we go by the majority.

 B. The Rambam (Hilchos Shabbos 2:20) says if there was an apartment building with 1000 non-Jews and 1 Jew and one of them left the building on Shabbos and went next door to a building that then collapsed . The halacha is we must go through the building to see if the person survived since it might be a Jew even if it means profaning Shabbos.

C. The Gemara in Yoma 84b says we don’t rely on majority in life threatening circumstances.

D. For the sake of the severity of Shabbos one can only break Shabbos if a Jew, who has the potential to keep future Shabboses, is in life threatening danger.

Answer: By the Yom Kippur case the doctors are making a decision if it is a life threatening case or not therefore one must rely on a majority but by the Shabbos there is clear and present danger therefore we are not allowed to rely on a majority.