From Playing in Pain in the NFL, Louisa Thomas, New Yorker, March 21, 2017

During the National Football Conference championship game this January, during the Atlanta Falcons’ victory over the Green Bay Packers, Alex Mack, the Falcons’ center, broke his fibula for the second time. When he broke it for the first time, in 2014, doctors put a plate in his leg. The second break landed just above the plate. There was some concern that he would be unable to play in the Super Bowl two weeks later, since a player normally misses six to eight weeks with that type of injury. But on the day of the Super Bowl ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Mack would be given a painkiller shot. He started the game. It was the Super Bowl, after all, and football players are celebrated for playing through pain. (The Falcons did not respond to a request for comment.) “I just know his toughness and strength is so great,” the Falcons head coach, Dan Quinn, told reporters.

מתני׳ עוברה שהריחה מאכילין אותה עד שתשיב נפשה חולה מאכילין אותו ע"פ בקיאין ואם אין שם בקיאין מאכילין אותו על פי עצמו עד שיאמר די

גמ׳ ת"ר עוברה שהריחה בשר קודש או בשר חזיר תוחבין לה כוש ברוטב ומניחין לה על פיה אם נתיישבה דעתה מוטב ואם לאו מאכילין אותה רוטב עצמה ואם נתיישבה דעתה מוטב ואם לאו מאכילין אותה שומן עצמו שאין לך דבר שעומד בפני פקוח נפש חוץ מע"ז וגילוי עריות ושפיכות דמים

ע"ז מנלן דתניא ר"א אומר אם נאמר (דברים ו, ה) בכל נפשך למה נאמר (דברים ו, ה) בכל מאדך ואם נאמר בכל מאדך למה נאמר בכל נפשך אם יש לך אדם שגופו חביב עליו מממונו לכך נאמר בכל נפשך ואם יש לך אדם שממונו חביב עליו מגופו לכך נאמר ובכל מאדך

גילוי עריות ושפיכת דמים מנא לן דתניא רבי אומר (דברים כב, כו) כי כאשר יקום איש על רעהו ורצחו נפש כן הדבר הזה וכי מה ענין למדנו מרוצח לנערה המאורסה. אלא ה"ז בא ללמד ונמצא למד מה נערה המאורסה ניתן להצילה בנפשו אף רוצח (כו') מה רוצח יהרג ואל יעבור אף נערה המאורסה יהרג ואל יעבור

ורוצח גופיה מנא לן סברא היא דההוא דאתא לקמיה (דרבא) אמר ליה אמר לי מרי דוראי קטליה לפלניא ואי לא קטילנא לך א"ל נקטלך ולא תקטול מאי חזית דדמא דידך סומק טפי דילמא דמא דההוא גברא סומק טפי

ההיא עוברה דארחא אתו לקמיה דרבי אמר להו זילו לחושו לה דיומא דכיפורי הוא לחושו לה ואילחישא קרי עליה (ירמיהו א, ה) בטרם אצרך בבטן ידעתיך וגו' נפק מינה רבי יוחנן

ההיא עוברה דארחא אתו לקמיה דרבי חנינא אמר להו לחושו לה ולא אילחישא קרי עליה (תהלים נח, ד) זורו רשעים מרחם נפק מינה שבתאי אצר פירי

MISHNA: With regard to a pregnant woman who smelled food one feeds her until she recovers. If a person is ill one feeds him according to the advice of medical experts. And if there are no experts there, one feeds him according to his own instructions, until he says that he has eaten enough.
GEMARA: The Sages taught: With regard to a pregnant woman who smelled consecrated meat or pig meat and craved those specific foods, one inserts a thin reed into the juice of that item and places it on her mouth. If her mind become settled with that, it is well. And if not, one feeds her the gravy itself. If her mind becomes settled with that, it is well. And if not, one feeds her the fat of the forbidden food itself, as there is no halakha that stands in the way of saving a life except for the prohibitions against idol worship, and forbidden sexual relationships, and bloodshed. How do we know that the prohibition against idol worship takes precedence over saving one’s life,? As it was taught Rabbi Eliezer says: If it is stated: “And you shall love the Lord your God ... and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 6:5), why is it stated: “And with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5)? And if it is stated: “With all your might,” why is it stated: “With all your soul”? It teaches that if there is a person whose body is more beloved to him than his property, therefore it is stated: “With all your soul.” And if there is a person whose property is more beloved to him than his body, therefore it is stated: “With all your might.” § From where do we derive that one should die rather than have forbidden sexual relations or shed blood through murder? As it was taught: Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: It is stated about the rape of a betrothed woman: “For as when a man rises against his fellow and slays him, even so is this matter” (Deuteronomy 22:26). One might ask: What idea did we learn about a betrothed woman from a murderer? Rather, this halakha about the murderer, which appears to come to teach about the betrothed woman, is found to actually be the subject of teaching. The inference is as follows: Just as with regard to the betrothed woman, permission is given to save her at the cost of the life of her attacker, so too, the murderer may be saved from committing the crime at the cost of his life. And just as the murderer is subject to the halakha of let him be killed, and let him not transgress, so too a betrothed young woman let him be killed, and let him not transgress. The Gemara asks: And with regard to the murderer himself, from where do we know that he should be killed rather than murder? It is derived through reason, as it was told: A certain person came before Rava. He said to Rava: The master of the village said to me: Kill so-and-so, and if you do not do so, I will kill you. Rava said to him: Let yourself be killed, and you should not kill. What did you see to make you think that your blood is redder ? Perhaps the blood of that man is redder. A certain pregnant woman smelled a food and craved it. They came before Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi. He said to them: Go and whisper to her that today is Yom Kippur. They whispered to her, and this whispering helped. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi applied this verse: “Before I formed you in the belly I knew you. The baby who came out of that woman was Rabbi Yoḥanan. A certain pregnant woman smelled food and had a craving to eat it on Yom Kippur. Those involved came before Rabbi Ḥanina to ask how to proceed. He said to them: Whisper to her that today is Yom Kippur. They whispered to her, but she did not accept the whisper and continued to crave the food. Rabbi Ḥanina read this verse about the baby: “The wicked are estranged from the womb” (Psalms 58:4). Indeed, Shabbetai the hoarder of fruits came out of her. He hoarded fruit during years of famine in order to inflate its price and profit at the expense of poor people.

ועבודת כוכבים לא והא תניא א"ר ישמעאל מנין שאם אמרו לו לאדם עבוד עבודת כוכבים ואל תהרג מנין שיעבוד ואל יהרג ת"ל (ויקרא יח, ה) וחי בהם ולא שימות בהם יכול אפילו בפרהסיא תלמוד לומר (ויקרא כב, לב) ולא תחללו את שם קדשי ונקדשתי

The Gemara asks: And should one not transgress the prohibition of idol worship to save his life? But isn’t it taught: Rabbi Yishmael said: From where is it derived that if a person is told: Worship idols and you will not be killed, from where is it derived that he should worship the idol and not be killed? The verse states: “You shall keep My statutes and My judgments, which a person shall do, and he shall live by them” (Leviticus 18:5),and not that one should die by them. One might have thought that it is permitted to worship the idol even in public. Therefore, the verse states: “Neither shall you profane My holy name; but I will be hallowed” (Leviticus 22:32).

(כו) ולנער [וְלַֽנַּעֲרָה֙] לֹא־תַעֲשֶׂ֣ה דָבָ֔ר אֵ֥ין לנער [לַֽנַּעֲרָ֖ה] חֵ֣טְא מָ֑וֶת כִּ֡י כַּאֲשֶׁר֩ יָק֨וּם אִ֤ישׁ עַל־רֵעֵ֙הוּ֙ וּרְצָח֣וֹ נֶ֔פֶשׁ כֵּ֖ן הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה׃

(26) but you shall do nothing to the girl. The girl did not incur the death penalty, for this case is like that of a man attacking another and murdering him.

From Times of Israel, September 30, 2014, Andrew Tobin

Fasting on Yom Kippur while pregnant may trigger early birth, according to a new Israeli study — providing the first clear evidence against doing so.

In the retrospective cohort study of 725 deliveries in Israel on Yom Kippur over 23 years, Jewish women were twice as likely as others to have their babies early, the study found. Premature babies are at elevated risk for various health problems and for death.

Jews are religiously obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, which falls this year on Friday night and Saturday, considered the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Pregnant women are included in this, but if a doctor gives them a pass, they can eat and drink a bit.

Still, many pregnant Jewish women at least partially refrain from eating or drinking during the 25 hour period, according to their religious beliefs.

Although doctors often advise their patients not to fast while pregnant, the recommendation is not supported by clear evidence or by official medical guidelines. The large cross-sectional study, published in The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine this month, adds empirical weight to recommending leniency on the matter.

“We found that during the Day of Atonement, Jews had twice as many preterm deliveries. And I’m not talking about one year, I’m speaking about the whole study period,” said Prof. Eyal Sheiner, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, who led the study. “This is the first evidence based study to support our recommendation (to pregnant women) not to fast on Yom Kippur.”

Sheiner’s post-doctoral students Dr. Natalie Shalit and Dr. Roy Shalit co-authored the study.

From, sponsored by Nishmat, an Orthodox organization whose audience is women

Pregnancy and Yom Kippur

As opposed to other fasts, Yom Kippur is Torah mandated (Vayikra 16:29 and 23:27). Therefore, the rules of this fast are the strictest of any fast during the year. The halacha requires pregnant women to fast the entire night and day. It should be noted that not much study has been done on the effect of fasting on pregnancy. One published article showed increased delivery by women the day after Yom Kippur. Another showed an increase towards the end of Yom Kippur as well. In both studies, however, most of the deliveries were at term. There is not much evidence that fasting will cause preterm labor, at least in low risk women. Thus, most healthy pregnant women must fast.

Because fasting on Yom Kippur is a Torah obligation, it takes precedence over attending synagogue. (A woman's fasting on Yom Kippur even takes halachic precedence over her husband's attending synagogue.) If it will help her to keep the fast, a pregnant woman should plan on spending the day in bed, resting and praying on her own.