Halachic Hazards Encyclopedia Letter F

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Letter F


See “obesity”

Fear:[1] [Achronim]

Fear cools off the body, and therefore one who is in a state of fear can be stricken with shivers. This can prove to be very dangerous for the body and at times can lead to death.

Not to eat when in fear:[2] One must beware not to eat when he is in a state of anger or fear or stress, and is only to eat when he’s in a state of balanced happiness.


A. Netilas Yadayim after touching the feet:[3] [Shulchan Aruch Harav]

One who touches his feet[4] with his hands is required to wash his hands one time [immediately] afterwards.[5] [This applies even if one only touched the area with his small pinky.[6] One who touches the normally revealed areas of the body is not required to wash his hands.[7]]

B. Foot ailments:[8] [Rebbe]

Ailments relating to the feet spiritually relate to the Mitzvah of charity, and faith. One who suffers from feet ailments should increase in his giving of charity, especially to Torah institutions, and is to strengthen his faith in G-d. One is likewise to exert himself in physical charity, which is in placing efforts in performing acts of Ahavas Yisrael. One can strengthen his faith by learning by heart at least the first chapters of Shaar Hayichud Vemunah.[9] One is also to strengthen his belief and faith in Hashem that He is the healer of all flesh and that he will send a complete recovery.[10] One is to increase in charity by giving several coins to charity prior to the weekday prayers.[11] One is to increase in charity notwithstanding his financial situation.


Making a fence over one’s roof or pool-See Volume 1 chapter 3!

Fighting:[12] [Sefer Chassidim]

It is forbidden for one to enter himself into a fight with others in which he endangers his body. If one does so and is killed in the process it is considered as if he has taken his own life.

Flipping a coin:[13]

The flipping of a coin to make a future decision touches the Halachic question of making a Goral/lottery. The Poskim[14] rule that one is not to follow a lottery for decision making, as the verse states “Tamim Tihyeh Es Hashem Elokecha.”[15] On the other hand, Goralos were used in scripture for the making of different decisions, such as to distribute the land amongst the Shevatim, and to determine who sinned by taking the spoils from the city of Aiy. Accordingly, in some sources we find justification for the performance of a Goral to make a decision and that it has Halachic standing.[16] [Practically, one should avoid using a Goral to determine a decision, although may do so to decide who goes first in a ball game, and all other matters of the like in which all parties agree to flip a coin to arbitrate between a decision between them, even though such a decision may not be Halachically binding.]


Lying on the floor/ground:[17] [Talmud/Achronim]

One should not lay on the floor or ground [due to the cold[18]].


See Volume 1 Chapters 4-7!

Funeral-Hazards by a funeral:

See Volume 1 Chapter 13!


[1] Kitzur SHU”A 32:22

[2] Kitzur SHU”A 32:22

[3] Kama 4:18; See Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 54:23 footnote 31-32

[4] As for the reason the feet were specifically excluded from the rest of the covered parts of the body, Kaf Hachaim 4:73 explains that according to the Mekubalim the evil spirit which resides on the feet is very strong and does not move from its place even after being washed. [Kaf Hachaim in name of Yifei Laleiv 1:22 and Mor Uketzia 4; Rav Poalim 2:4] Thus perhaps its requirement of washing is irrelevant of whether it is considered a normally covered area. See Chapter 6 Halacha 1B.

Regarding how the Kohanim were allowed to touch their feet while washing before service: Some explain the evil spirit did not reside in the Temple. [Rav Poalim ibid] or that they did not actually touch their feet. [Levushei Mordechai Even Haezer 47]

[5] The reason washing hands is required: The normally covered areas of the body contain sweat which dirty the hands. [92:7; 164:2] This sweat is considered poison. [Yoreh Deah 116:4; Admur Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh 8] It appears from Admur that due to this there is an evil spirit that resides on the hands after touching these areas, as explained in length in Halacha 2.

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that touching the covered areas of the body does not bring an impure spirit and hence does not require washing with water. Rather the hand requires cleaning in any fashion in order to be allowed to learn Torah. [Machatzis Hashekel 4:17; Nivei Shalom 4:12; Machazik Bracha brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 4:12; Soles Belula 4:14 in name of Makor Chaim; Ben Ish Chaiy Toldos 17] Admur however rules that it causes impurity, and hence he rules only washing with water helps. So also rules Kisei Eliyahu ibid; Yifei Laleiv 4:18 in name of Mor Uketzia; Peri Megadim 4 M”Z 14; and so is implied from many Poskim. [brought in Kaf Hachaim 4:60]

[6] Ketzos Hashulchan 2:11; Kaf Hachaim 4:64 in name of Peri Megadim

[7] Michaber 4:21

[8] Igros Kodesh 2/305 [Emunah]; 6/172 [faith and charity]; 9/92 [charity with money and body]; 12/40 [faith and charity]; 19/101 [charity]

[9] Igros Kodesh 12/40

[10] Igros Kodesh 6/172

[11] Igros Kodesh 12/40

[12] Sefer Chassidim 675

[13] See Encyclopedia Talmudit “Goral”; Minchas Asher Maasei 4

[14] Michaber 179:1; Chesed Lealafim 179:4; Sefer Chassidim 701 [unlike 679]; Kneses Hagedola C.M. 173

[15] Rama ibid

[16] Sefer Chassidim 679 regarding what to throw off ship during storm [unlike 701]; Teshuvos Hageonim 645:57 that whoever argues on Goral is like one who argues on the ten commandments; Chavos Yair 61; See Bava Basra 106b regarding Chaluka of land; Regarding making a Goral to determine monetary matters: See Michaber and Rama C.M. 173:2 for a dispute; Rambam and Raavad Shecheinim 2:11 for a dispute; Shevus Yaakov 3:162; Pischeiy Teshuvah 173:3; Nesivos 154:6;

[17] Brachos 62b; Gittin 701; Shemiras Hanefesh 156; Sefer Zechira; Sefer Shemiras Haguf Vihanefesh [Lerner] 119

[18] Brachos 62b

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