פיקוח נפש

Another important Halacha regarding Shabbat that is learned from yesterday’s Parsha, is the idea of פיקוח נפש. This means that if there is a danger to one’s well being, one may violate Shabbat to protect him.

The Talmud in מסכת יומא clearly says that the source for פיקוח נפש דוחה שבת, is learned from the Pasuk, ושמרו בני ישראל את השבת, that the Jewish people are commanded  to observe the Shabbat.

The idea here from the Talmud is that there are times when in order to observe many more Shabbats, it becomes necessary to violate one Shabbat.

The overall idea is another Pasuk that tells us that we are to live by the laws and not die by the laws. Just as we are commanded to keep Shabbat, there are times of פיקוח נפש, when we are commanded to violate Shabbat.