web analytics
May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Signing On Shabbat


Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha

Question: What should a person do if he brings a relative to the hospital on Shabbat and is asked to sign his name? Can he sign if the hospital will not admit the patient otherwise?

Response: I have personally been in such a situation. I explained the religious prohibition to write on the Sabbath and gave them my word that I would sign any and all required papers on Saturday night, when the Sabbath was over. Such an assurance is usually sufficient (especially nowadays with the growth of our community and consequent awareness of our needs among general society).

If the hospital is adamant, however, that one sign in order to be admitted, one may possibly do so based on the following analysis (which is taken from a teshuvah of Rabbi Tuvia Goldstein in Emek Halacha, vol. 1, siman 14).

According to the Mishnah Berurah (Be’ur Halacha 306:11), the overwhelming majority of halachic authorities maintain that writing two letters on Shabbat in any language is a biblical violation. The Rema, however, contends that writing in a language other than Hebrew is only a rabbinic violation.

This Rema seems to contradict an explicit mishnah (Shabbat 103a) that writing two letters in any language is a biblical violation. To resolve this contradiction, Rabbi Yechezkel Landau, the Noda BiYehuda, distinguished between language and script. The Mishnah, according to the Noda BiYehuda, refers to the Hebrew Ketav Ashurit script (the square font found in Sifrei Torah). One cannot write more than two Hebrew letters (even if one is using these Hebrew letters to spell a word in a foreign language) in this script. Writing in any other script is only a rabbinic violation (Noda BiYehuda Tanina, Orach Chayyim 33). Thus, writing one’s name in English on the Sabbath is a rabbinic prohibition, not a rabbinical one.

Based upon this position, Rabbi Goldstein ruled that if a doctor requests a person to sign his name on the Sabbath and refuses to take no for an answer, he may do so. Rabbi Goldstein reasons that the situation concerns a sick person, and it is a she’at ha’dechak since it is impossible to be admitted to the hospital without signing. Hence, in this circumstance, one may rely on the position of the Noda BiYehuda. Rabbi Goldstein ruled that taking care of the sick takes priority over this rabbinic violation.

If a person relies on this ruling, I would suggest that he also sign his name using a shinui. For example, a right-handed person might sign with his left hand and a left-handed person might sign with his right hand. Writing with a shinui would also mitigate the level of prohibition.

Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of seven books on Jewish law. His latest, “Shabbat the Right Way: Resolving Halachic Dilemmas” (Urim Publications), is available at Judaica stores and at Amazon.com.

About the Author: Rabbi Cohen, a Jerusalem Prize recipient, is the author of eight sefarim on Jewish law. His latest, “Jewish Prayer the Right Way” (Urim Publications), is available at Amazon.com and select Judaica stores.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Signing On Shabbat”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Judaism Stories
Leff-052215

There is a great debate as to whether this story actually took place or is simply a metaphor, a prophetic vision shown to Hoshea by Hashem.

Staum-052215

Every person is presented with moments when he/she must make difficult decisions about how to proceed.

Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

One does not necessarily share the opinions of one’s brother. One may disapprove of his actions, values, and/or beliefs. However, with brothers there is a bond of love and caring that transcends all differences.

Torah

This Shavuot let’s give G-d a gift too: Let’s make this year different by doing just 1 more mitzvah

Question: Should we wash our hands in the bathroom with soap and water, or by pouring water from a vessel with handles three times, alternating hands? I have heard it said that a vessel is used only in the morning upon awakening. What are the rules pertaining to young children? What is the protocol if […]

God and the divine origin of His Torah are facts even though we do not fully comprehend them.

So if we basically live the same life, why should he get eternal reward and not me?”

The question is: What about pidyon haben? Can one give the five sela’im required for pidyon haben to a kohen’s daughter?

In Parshas Pinchas the Torah introduces the Mussaf for Shavuos by describing it as Yom HaBikurim when we bring the new offering.

Rachel was thrown by the sight and began to caringly think whom this person might be.

The desert, with its unearthly silence & emptiness, is the condition in which the Word can be heard

The census focused on the individual, proving each is created as irreplaceable, unique images of God

Jewish survival in a dysfunctional world requires women assuming the role Hashem gave them at Sinai

The Honor Of Reading The Kesubah
‘Witnesses Sign Only After Reading…’
(Kesubos 109a)

Why does the Torah use two different words for “to count,” and what does each indicate?

From Bemidbar on and in Nevi’im, the nation is viewed primarily by its component parts, the tribes

More Articles from Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen
Cohen-Rabbi-J-Simcha-NEW

Once this took place, no Beit Din could annul its practice but for an entirely different reason. A minhag accepted by klal Yisrael becomes an obligation that must be practiced.

Cohen-080814-Sign

Is God apologizing for taking away my Father? Is God telling me that He is sorry?

Question: At Birkat Kohanim, who says the phrase, “Am k’doshecha ka’amur”?

Question: How can one determine whether someone is a true disciple of a rav, Rebbe, or rosh yeshiva?

Question: Does halacha agree with the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade permitting women to have abortions?

Question: When someone puts on a talit to lead services, should he recite a berachah?

Question: A number of synagogues feature bar mitzvah celebrations for elderly Jews. Is this proper?

Hashem understood their complaint and therefore selected the ritual mitzvah of sukkah to test them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/signing-on-shabbat/2011/12/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: