Shemiras Hanefesh Encyclopedia Volume 1 & 2


Safety hazards, health guidelines, & superstitious practices and beliefs, according to Halacha and Kabbalah



The purpose of this book is to compile all the directives and practices from the Talmud, Poskim, and Kabbalists that were enacted and are to be followed due to reasons of safety and health of one’s body and soul resulting from natural or supernatural reasons, and to prevent a person from endangering his physical or spiritual state of being. [In addition to the natural and scientifically understood risks and dangers that one must beware from, there are also numerous supernatural dangers which one is equally required to beware from. Many such dangers are recorded in the Talmud and Poskim, especially in the writings of Rabbi Yehuda Hachassid. Thousands of such restrictions and directives exist and can be found throughout Jewish literature in general, and in the oral Jewish tradition handed down from father to son in particular. In this Sefer, we have taken the daunting task of collecting all of the health and safety related directives and restrictions that are recorded in Jewish literature, or that are traditionally followed as superstitious practices. Likewise, we’ve also compiled restrictions and directives relating to preventing memory loss and loss of one’s Torah learning, as well restrictions and directives relating to preventing poverty and loss of money.

The Two-Volume Series of this Sefer
Due to the immense amount of material that relates to the laws of safety and health, we have published the Sefer as a two-volume series. The following is the content contained within each chapter:

Volume 1

  1. Chapter 1: The obligation to guard one’s Health and physical safety
  2. Chapter 2: The categories of Hazard restrictions
  3. Chapter 3: Making a fence around one’s roof & pit
  4. Chapter 4: Eating Habits, Guidelines, & Directives in Halacha
  5. Chapter 5: List of foods and their health status [Alphabetical order]
  6. Chapter 6: Foods forbidden due to Danger
  7. Chapter 7: Liquids forbidden due to Danger & Drinking Hazards
  8. Chapter 8: Morning washing related hazards
  9. Chapter 9: Actions that require hand washing due to Ruach Ra’ah
  10. Chapter 10: Bathing related hazards
  11. Chapter 11: Bathroom related hazards
  12. Chapter 12: Holiday related Hazards
  13. Chapter 13: Aveilus-Death & Mourning related Hazardas
  14. Chapter 13: Aveilus-Death & Mourning related Hazardas
  15. Chapter 15: Marriage related Hazards
  16. Chapter 16: Marital relations-Hazards related to marital relations

Volume 2:

  1. Chapter 17: Encyclopedia of All Other Hazards, health directives, & Superstitions [in Alphabetical order]

Chapter 17, which takes up the entire content of volume 2 of our two-volume series, is an encyclopedia of all the various hazards, superstitions, and health directives, that were not discussed in volume 1. In general, volume 1 covered all the food and beverage related hazards as well as those hazards which deserve their own full Chapter, such as hazards relating to making a fence, mourning, handwashing, bathing, bathroom, cemetery, marriage, and marital relations. Thus, if a desired subject cannot be found in the encyclopedia in this chapter in volume 2, please refer to volume 1 and the chapters there where this matter may have been discussed. In addition, please refer to volume 1 in the introduction and chapters 1-2 regarding the general background and level of obligation that should be awarded towards the hazards recorded in this encyclopedia.

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