In Devarim 4:9 the posuk tells us one should be careful and guard your soul. In 4:15 the posuk says guard your souls very much. In Berachos 32b we learn from both these pesukim that a person should not put himself in danger. There are a number of circumstances in which the concept of sakana dictates what we do or don’t do.
Liquids should not be left open (giluy). Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 116:1 says that in our day and age it is allowed, but the Pischei Teshuva brings in the name of the Shela that someone who values his life should stay away from it. The Gra was also very makpid on this. The Rambam in Shmiras Hanefesh 11:7,8 says liquids included in this are: water, wine that is uncooked, milk, honey and fish brine. These are not recommended if left uncovered both over a day or overnight. The same would apply to ground garlic and or cut watermelon.
In Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 116:2 we are told not to eat meat and fish together as it causes tzora’as. In Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 173:2 we learn that one must wash his hands between the eating of fish and meat. In addition, a person should eat and drink something between eating fish and meat. The Tur 116 says that fish should be cooked in special fish pots. The Darchei Teshuva 116:13 says that fish and meat should not be on the same table. The Magen Avraham 173:1 says that in this day and age, there is no danger if fish and meat are on the same table. The Shvus Yaakov says we should be machmir since it is a safek sakana. The Rema says one should not fry fish and meat together, even on the stovetop. The minhag ha’olam is to eat fish before meat. The opposite is also okay; to eat meat, rinse out the mouth and then eat fish.
All sweat is poisonous with the exception of sweat from one’s face, based on Shulchan Aruch 116:4. It is important not to let sweat drip into food one is preparing. Food should not be held under a person’s underarms. Coins should not be put into one’s mouth as it has sweat on it. In addition, a person might come to swallow it by accident. Similarly, one should not hold small needles or pins in his mouth.
Food or drink should not be put under a bed, based on Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 116:5. The Gra did not eat such food or drink those liquids, even b’dieved. If a person fell asleep and then awoke finding a candy or the like in his pocket, it would not be a problem to eat it. Food under a carriage of a sleeping baby would not be a problem.
Garlic, onion or eggs that were peeled and left overnight raw should not be eaten, based on Gemara Nida 17a. Birkei Yosef Yoreh Deah 116:10 says that it would also be a problem b’dieved. If part of the peel is left on the food, then it is okay. If one adds spices or salt or oil to it, then it would be permissible.
One should not walk in a danger zone, for example, under a wall that is listing, or walk alone at night in a desolated area. One should not walk on a shaky bridge nor should one wade in rushing waters that reach above the hips. One should not sleep alone in a house, unless he leaves a light on.
A man should not walk between two women or a woman between two men. This is limited to if the two women or two men are stationary. If they are all walking, it would not pose a problem. In one’s own house it would not be a problem. If the two women are not facing each other or are more than four amos, apart then it would not be a problem.
One should not put shoes or socks on while one’s feet are still wet, based on Pesachim 111b. The Machatzis Hashekel brings a Tosfos Shabbos that it is not a problem today, as we use the phrase, Shomer – Pesa’yim Hashem.
One should not blow out a candle with his mouth.
One should not wear shoes of someone who was niftar. Some say that it is limited to the shoes he wore when he was actually niftar, but we have a rule chamira sakanta mei’isura, therefore one should be as stringent as possible.
Bread hanging in a basket on the wall causes poverty. This would not be a problem in a closet since that would not be a bizayon. Similarly, stepping on breadcrumbs brings poverty.
May we all be zocheh to stay safe, healthy, and wealthy!
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