Monday, November 3, 2008 "Pulling (halachic) teeth"

Halacha and dentistry!
Thinking about having a root canal before the weekend? Think again. Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, head of the Har Bracha Yeshiva, has recently published a halachic opinion stating that any elective dental procedures which may leave the patient in pain for several days should not be preformed before Shabbat, in order not to infringe on the joy of Shabbat.

The Halacha, said the rabbi, gives a parallel example, in which it forbids sailing just before the Shabbat, for feat one may get sea sick and suffer distress on the holy day.

"One should refrain from having wisdom teeth pulled before the weekend as well, for that would surely cause him pain and prevent him from eating for at least two days," wrote the rabbi, adding the same was true for any dental work which may result in prolonged pain. [...]