Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This Is Your Religion, Part I: Healing Clothes

Here's one of those "yeah-right" things, of which Judaism is abundantly blessed, loosely translated from the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch, 228:29.

First, some background: grinding is prohibited on Shabbos. The Sages were concerned that if people could take medicine on Shabbos, they might grind fresh remedies on Shabbos. So, they prohibited doing anything which heals on Shabbos, even if the cure does not include any grinding, such as taking non-ground medicines, massaging oneself, gargling vinegar, etc.

Says the Alter Rebbe:
It is permissible to put a dry sponge or dry pieces of cloth on a wound if they are new, because they do not heal; rather they ensure that the [injured person's] clothing do not scratch the wound. Old clothes are prohibited, because they heal. When does this apply? when the [old] clothes have never before been on a wound. But if they were already on a wound, they will no longer heal--even though they are old--and they may be placed on a wound on Shabbos.

97 comments:

  1. and here i thought one isnt allowed to take medicine on shabbat, cuz you might come to build a pharmacy.....

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  2. did I ever tell you about the psak I saw in the Tzemach Tzedek's shu't re: molestation?

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  3. Chanalia, at my blog you can learn all sorts of useful things about judaism!

    Trs: no you haven't. Please do.

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  4. Well, there was a rav in a small town who was found sticking his hands down a young boy's pants and fondling his beitzim. The rav claimed that he had a small pair himself, and he wanted to know if everyone was like him, or what? The town's people wanted to know if they should fire him. The Tzemach Tzedek paskened that he had a good reason, and they shouldn't fire him.

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  5. Doesn't sound like a good excuse to me. Why didn't he compare himself to an adult? Or he could have remained in doubt as to the relative size of his beitzim. Or he could have asked the boy's parents if they minded.

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  6. -E: Why you going there? Just go to a movie and make out with your shiksa.
    -TRS: M'kor please

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  7. e: don't ask me.

    Survivors: sounds about right.

    Mottel: re: e: be nice.

    re: me: I'll have to get back to you. I saw it last year, but I don't remember where. It's definitely in his Shu't, I think in Yoreh Deah 256.

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  8. A Rav molested a boy and got away with it? Disgusting.

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  9. Pay attention here sara-he wasn't molesting the kid, he was doing scientific research!

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  10. Pardon me as my emotions override my intellect, but that's DISGUSTING!

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  11. As e would say THIS IS YOUR RELIGION!

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  12. Mottel: I beg your pardon??

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  13. TRS: I got the line from you. Check out http://therealshliach.blogspot.com/2009/02/soaked-woman.html

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  14. Nu, so why wasn't I quoted in the post itself?

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  15. I humbly ask forgiveness.

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  16. -E: Sorry if I came off as mean. Just keep the cynical stuff for 7 fat cows or shtuff. Keep smiling dude!
    -TRS: still waiting for a mara makom

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  17. Sheesh, you would have thought that marriage would have taught you to have patience! I'm not google that you can punch in questions and get immediate answers. Sheesh.

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  18. No but I would like some Wolfram Alpha out of you

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  19. Mottel: thanks for the advice. When I need someone to tell me what belongs on my blog, I'll contact you.

    Sarabonne: let's hope TRS digs up the source, so we can sort out this sordid tale.

    TRS+Mottel: on the topic of interesting shu"t, http://therealshliach.blogspot.com/2008/08/guest-post-romantic-halacha_10.html

    Sef: Pop!

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  20. Mottel: can't you show remorse?

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  21. My religion doesn't let me . . . or maybe it's my ego . . .

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  22. e: impressed I am that you blame him, not his religion.

    Btw, the person who showed me that teshuvah was Eli (your cousin) from Alabama-you might want to ask him where it is.

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  23. great bout of commenting.
    re:the post - all these things have spritual meaning, sometimes when they make their way down to this earth the connection is a bit lost. for example, gematria - just becouse two things have the same numerical value, what does that prove? ah so the alter rebbe sais that really they are connected in a much deeper way, the number is only the most superficial part of this connection.
    oh im not talking about mollestation btw, but the medicine, self understood :)

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  24. Dowy: You're pretty much saying what Crawling Axe says in http://therealshliach.blogspot.com/2009/06/siman-69-halacha-19.html

    while CA has a valid point in that discussion, it doesn't apply here at all. The Torah invented the geder of "tereifah" or "ta'am issur" (for example), so the Torah can say, "This animal won't live out the year" or "this pot has the flavor of issur" even though science would disagree.

    But "refuah" in hilchos shabbos is not a geder the Torah invented. The rabbis forbade whatever people do in order to heal. If people started scratching their toes to heal headaches, you wouldn't be allowed to scratch your toes to heal a headache on Shabbos. Apparently, back in the day, people used old clothes to heal. The funny thing is that this ancient remedy is mentioned in Shulchan aruch.

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  25. ok too long to read what he wrote but anyway i think this applies in a much more general way. im not just saying that remedies used to work in a diferent way, which i mentioned on shabos, but that some things may be ossur becouse they are spiritually harmfull even though the way we learn them out might not be entirely logical. thats what i intended to say, but on second thoughts im not sure if that applies iether. anyway.

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  26. this is my religion? what the hell was i thinking? ask G-d to make me a goyishe athiest next time.

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  27. What's so great about being a goyishe atheist?

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  28. they dont have the same guilt as a jewish atheist.
    trs - that is a horrible, horrible, horrible story to post. now i just feel icky.

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  29. Cheerio, how do you know they don't feel the same guilt? Have you ever been one?

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  30. why would they? they dont have the same sense of obligation jews are raised with, or the same kind of soul jews are born with.

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  31. You're assuming Jews have a soul... atheist Jews don't believe it, so why should it bother them? Besides, catholics have a lot more guilt than Jews.

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  32. different kind of guilt. i'm too hungry to continue this discussion. someone else get in here and back me up!

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  33. How would you know? You've never been a Catholic or an atheist. Or a catholic atheist.

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  34. Mims: is it really that bad.

    TRS+Cheerio. It's not that Goyim have less guilt. It's that they don't need to worry about being seduced by Chabad.

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  35. goyim also get seduced by chabad.

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  36. i doubt that a cacholic athiest still calls himself catholic(and feels guilty about not practicing), whereas a jew very often calls himself a jew even though he doesnt believe in g-d.

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  37. "whereas a jew very often calls himself a jew even though he doesnt believe in g-d."

    says who?

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  38. well to be honest i dont know the statistics of these things, but its not for nothing the joke goes -
    "listen son, theres only one g-d! and we dont believe in him".

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  39. or maybe like this - theres only one g-d. and we DONT BELIEVE IN HIM!
    im not sure which looks better...

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  40. Excellent. Hopefully she'll be here soon.

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  41. Unlike other Goyim, there is such thing as a non-religious Catholic. And despite what you learn in Tanya, there are people (again, no statistics) who leave the Jewish religion and no longer consider themselves Jewish.

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  42. Dowy- definitly the second one.

    TRS- my mouth is hanging open. thanks for the referance (i think.) and i was wondering why u emailed me this wacky comment thread.

    ok, is that all? i dont have to give my opinion here, do i?

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  43. Yes you do! So tell us, dear Altie, do you think old clothes heal?

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  44. shoot, u mean now i actually have to read the post?

    k i'll try. give me 5 minutes

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  45. so u can't put an old cloth that has never been put on a wound before, cuz it will heal it, but if it has been used for a wound before, than you are not allowed to. but a new cloth is allowed in any case. (sorry i need to restate it to understand it.)

    ok whats your point? You like to mock judiasm and all it stands for?

    i dont really have an opinion on this matter. i try not to ask questions in halacha, so i wont intentionally do something wrong, through being knowledgable in that area. i say better to just do it, and there might be a chance you are commiting a sin, rather than ask, and KNOWW u are commiting a sin and do it anyway.

    interesting halacha. what prompted you to post abt it now?

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  46. sorry "but if it has been used for a wound before, than you are not allowed to"

    i meant ARE allowed to. i guess restated it didnt help me understand it better.

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  47. That's a terrible way of looking at things.

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  48. i never said it was a good thing, just that i do it. no one is perfect.

    and we never agree so its ok.

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  49. lame lame lame.

    wtvr is so my word. get your own lame comeback.

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  50. ok i tried making a stern scary face but its not working. just picture it in your mind, im looking at u. u see it?

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  51. Sorry, I only hallucinate on Tuesdays.

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  52. Altie: "an ignoramus is not a chasid." Ignorance is not the way to serve god.

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  53. i never clsimed to be a chossid.

    ''ignorance is bliss''.

    ok ok i know its better to have knowledge. teach me torah.

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  54. oh no, now i have a big dillema.

    i was actually thinking of going to college. do u think they teach anything there?

    oh oh oh i know! (frantically waving her hand) I'll read TRS's blog!!! I learn SO MUCH there!!! yay! good solution

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  55. Actually, there's lots of good shtuff on the TRS blog. Just read the archives.

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  56. maybe on a rainy day when i am so bored and have nothing else to do. hey, a little like today.

    thinking, thinking. nope. i got better stuff to do.

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  57. 70 comments! I think this is a Highway-Back-to-Krenitz record. But I'm only moderately proud. Altie and TRS could have had this discussion anywhere.

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  58. true true. but i am so proud i helped.

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  59. i just said that there's nothing to be proud of.

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  60. so i'll be proud, u dont have to.

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  61. great. now you have another reason to contribute to this record-breaker

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  62. -e: L'gufo shel inyan, shulchan forbids medicine - whatever was prevalent in those times and could lead to the issur of grinding medicin is assur. In sof mesechtas yuma there's a debate if one is allowed to eat the liver of a rabid dog to cure rabis - even though according to the rabbonim it's a shtus . . . Halacha works with the precepts and understandings of the time. As a side note: as crazy as old clothes sound try eating moldy bread and tree bark to cure your sicknesses and pains.

    -Altie: E is, in his own words: Lernin dem Aibershten's heilige Toirah . .
    . To get smicha as a rabbi - and thus must learn hilchos shabbos.

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  63. Wow! He does talk! Mottel thats the first time u addressed me directly. And *ahem* i never see u on my blog.

    E is getting smicha? Should I laught, or faint?

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  64. -Altie: you should be honored . . . I must admit that I do not recall seeing your comments until the last few hectic months. Had you commented on my blog, I do believe however, I would have commented on yours.

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  65. well thats because i only discovered some of these amazing blogs in the past few months. hence, my commentary.

    I checked out your blog, but it seems u havent updated it in a long time. and u can always do what trs does- comment on mine 1st, and ill comment on yours. (no thats not right, as i recall, i commented on hid 1st. oh well.)

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  66. e- even if they dont consider themselves jewish, they obviously still are.

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  67. oh your welcome on the comments btw

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  68. Altie: "even if they dont consider themselves jewish, they obviously still are."

    According to you they are. But not according to themselves.

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  69. if a prince 'resigns' his title, to him he is no longer a prince. but fact and bloodline say otherwise. fact is more important than personal opinion in the matter.

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  70. What does it mean to be Jewish? Genetics? And if you really look at genetics closely, then nothing? According to these people, there is no such thing as a Jew. Simple.

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  71. according to them. not according to me.

    it's ok, so they don't think jews exist, they dont think they are jewish. it's their loss. of course, thats just according to how i see it. i get it.

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  72. lol. im learning, little by little.

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  73. Impressive. Most people stop learning after they hit 18.

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  74. mottel: re moldy bread and old clothes: they both sound crazy, but the difference is moldy bread works and old clothes don't.

    re: the halachos vary according to time and place: yeah, I wrote something like that above to Dowy. I'm not sure how these healing properties apply nowadays. The funny thing is that you (pl., including Dowy too) feel the need to do mental gymnastics to make these crazy remedies make sense.

    Altie: in short, the reason why I'm learning semicha is that I started, so I might as well finish.

    Cheerio: congrats on the picture.

    trs: thanks for helping altie get the difference between reality and what she thinks is reality.

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  75. e- if u start, u finsih. good good, i like that attitude. even if along the way u change ur mind abt it, u still finish. perseverance.

    reality and wut i think is reality? sometimes what i think is just an opinion. sometimes wut i think is fact, even if u disagree. sometimes im stubborn and dont care wut u think. sometimes i dont understand what u say.

    in this case, its the last one.

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  76. trs- thank you. (though u were sarcastic.) i dont plan on stopping to learn, i think i just took a break for a while, and now i shall start again.

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  77. the cheerio as ur profile pic. its cute.

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  78. oh, thank sarabonne. she complained.

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  79. lol. wut did it used to be?

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Forth shall ye all hold.