Rav Moshe Feinstein’s Approach to Medicine on Yom Kippur
Have you ever wondered about the approach of rav Moshe Feinstein to medicine on Yom Kippur? What is the difference between his approach and that of Dr. Jakobovits? Or perhaps you’ve wondered about his shoes. If so, this article will give you an idea of how he would respond to this issue. But before you decide if rav Moshe Feinstein’s approach is right for you, read on!
rav moshe feinstein’s approach to yom kippur
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein takes an unusual approach to the issue of eating on Yom Kippur. He argues that it may not be kosher to attach yourself to an IV during this time. He notes that the Torah does not explicitly list the afflictions of Yom Kippur, but it does sanction medical procedures. In fact, Feinstein even says that one can eat every nine minutes as long as the person does not fall ill.
The halachic laws relating to yom kippur are complicated and varied. Among other things, it requires a tithe of four yomim. On Yom Kippur, the fast is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. The day begins with the sage’s psalm reading, and ends with the mitzvah of the night.
As a talmudic authority, Rav Moshe Feinstein agreed that the requirements of yom kippur had changed. Women’s desires have risen in our immoral environment, and the Talmudic requirement has become more lenient. He therefore advised and obligated husbands to satisfy their wives, a requirement which he referred to as meshu’bad.
One aspect of the halakhic laws of yom kippur that was controversial was a woman’s head covering. She may be in a dating relationship, but the head covering may not reflect her unmarried status. Therefore, Feinstein permitted her to reclaim her head covering in a non-Orthodox setting. He also advised her to tell the man she was divorced as soon as possible.
This position was echoed by Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. He writes, “If a person dies without a family, he has no descendants.” The responsum of R. Zalman, published in 1977, cites the Rama ruling in Yoreh Deah 374:2, which states that the deceased person has no family.
A talmudic source on Yom Kippur is available online. While the Rambam rules that washing on Yom Kippur is prohibited, the Ran, Rabbeinu Tam and Shulchan Arukh hold that one should wash their hands upon rising. While this ruling is not based on halachah, the Rashi’s view has a great deal to do with the way the Torah interprets yom kippur.
Aside from the prohibition of smoking, the Rabbi’s opinion on Yom Kippur is based on current medical data. Despite his opposition, many Orthodox Jews have accepted smoking bans on Yom Kippur. Among the poskim who have agreed with this approach are Rav David Cohen, Rav Efraim Greenblatt and Rav Chaim David Halevi.
rav moshe feinstein’s visit to Dr. Jakobovits
The reason that rav Moshe Feinstein went to Dr. Jakobovits on Yom Kippur is still a mystery to many. His visit is known only to a few, but the visit is a pivotal event in the history of the Jewish people. Here are some facts about this famous visit.
Rav Moshe Feinstein, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Hevron and head of the Rabbinic Council for Judea and Samaria, visited Dr. Jakobovits on Yom Kippur and expressed his concerns. The rabbi, who was a star pupil of Rav Tzvi Yehuda HaCohen Kook, is a follower of Gush Emunim. He was born into a Belzer family and was hailed as an Illuy even by the Charedi population.
After the visit to Dr. Jakobovits, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein explained his views on goses and whether they are permitted in a synagogue. According to him, goses are people with a clinical profile that suggests that they will die soon. Although this may be the case, it is unlikely that R’ Moshe will allow his patients to watch the assassination on television.
rav moshe feinstein’s shoes
A prank call made by eighth-grade yeshiva students led to the question: Should you wear your rav’s shoes on Yom KIPPUR? A group of yeshiva students decided to make prank calls to the rav from 12am to 1am. Zvi was assigned to call Rav Moshe Feinstein at that time. Typically, he wakes up around 4:00am to learn before Shacharis.