Meikil=Less Religious?

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    >>>Is the strict opinion always the better opinion? Is being Meikil inherently worse?<<<

    The short answer is that “It Depends”…


    yungerman > doesn’t give him a right to throw away the entire Torah cause now currently he’s busy doing a mitzvah

    Right. This is why we are talking here about being meikel rather than “throwing away the entire Torah”. But it is also true some people feel that way on every chumra. I am not sure if this is more of standing for Hashem or personal insecurity that giving up on one chumra will break the person. Maybe there is a difference between someone considering adding or subtracting a chumra if you had it from childhood. Same as difference between taking and rescinding a neder in general.


    A related shaila was asked by someone involved in covid vaccine research in 2020 – whether he should continue working on shabbos. The answer (I think from someone from YU) that he should not – (1) as he needs to rest at some point, he can as well do it on shabbos, (2) there are multiple companies working on this and why do you presume that you in particular are the person to develop the right one.

    In retrospect, I do not fully understand the teshuva. Speed of vaccine development was such that there were multiple projects overlapping and dependent on each other. A lot of effort went into speeding things up. So, if someone was involved, he could have a reasonable case to work on those shabbatot when his project made a difference. A day was worth several thousand deaths.


    Research isn’t an active pikuach nefesh action… you’re not medakeach es ha’gal. That shailoh was asked by someone whose shabbos is spent reading the new york times.


    Avira, the shaila was apparently asked by a legit person. a good question when is “research is not active pikuach nefesh”? What is a direct or indirect link? In this case, vaccine development was a pretty specific set of steps, not research of some unknown things. For example, mRNA formulations were done within the first month, after that there were a number of steps testing, developing specific techniques, mitigating problems, etc. Granted, there were uncertainties in each step – some approaches did not work out, some slowed down, in some cases manufacturing failed, but it was a set of a small number of paths, each consisting

    To put it in simple turns – you hear that someone’s boat is slowly drowning in a lake. You are going to get your boat and tow it to the lake. So will 20 other people. Some of them will get stuck in traffic, some boats are old and may not start. Some on the boat may not survive until any of you will come. Is this direct or indirect?

    Another question here – how do we deal with expected results when probability of success are small but payoff is high? That is, 1% chance is multiplied by 1,000s of lives saved.


    By that logic, you should always be allowed to be mechalel shabbos for cancer research, because *maybe* you’ll find a cure…it doesn’t work that way


    > you should always be allowed to be mechalel shabbos for cancer research

    right question. Here is where logic of the teshuva applies – this is multi-year multi-person work and one needs to rest some time … even then – if a person really makes an impact on humanity with a reasonable probability, does he need to go to minyan? learn the parsha? drive to pick up kids from school and buy chalav isroel? I am not even talking about watching TV or posting on YWN …

    is this far-fetched for a regular guy who is tinkering in the lab with mice?

    a quick calculation:
    life-expectancy in US increased 10 years in last 70 years, or 1/6th of a year per year. Let’s say 25% of it is attributable to medical research, or 1/25th year per year per person

    3 mln people die per year in US. So, medical research saves 100k man-years every year.

    there are 100K medical researchers in the world, so each researcher saves on average one person every year just in USA. And surely some more than others … hope I made this correctly.


    Aaq, the examples in shas are all immediate actions, not general things which will save indeterminate lives in the bigger picture.



    Reb Eliezer

    Avira, Tosfas asks the question on hoil in Pesachim that maybe the melacha, work on Shabbos can be required for pekiach nefes, so how can any melacha be assur? Tosfas answers that cholei sheyesh bo sakana lo shechiach, a dangerous illness is not common. Similarly, cancer research is not required to be done on Shabbos.

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