1) HALACHAH: TAKING ANTIBIOTICS ON SHABBOS
QUESTION: Rav Acha bar Yosef became ill and went to Mar Ukva for advice. Mar Ukva advised that he drink soaked Chiltis for three consecutive days.
Rav Acha bar Yosef prepared and drank the medicinal solution on Thursday and on Friday, and then on Shabbos he inquired whether he was permitted to soak the Chiltis and drink it on Shabbos. Rav Huna permitted him to prepare the solution on Shabbos. Since he had already taken the medicine for two days, he would be in danger if he would not take the medicine on the third day as prescribed.
The SHITAH L'RAN points out that the Gemara does not mean that he was in mortal danger, because then certainly he would have been permitted to do whatever is necessary to save his life. Rather, the Gemara means that one is permitted to do acts that are necessary for Refu'ah, healing, even when one is not in danger, but merely in considerable discomfort. The Gemara means that Rav Acha bar Yosef would have been in considerable discomfort, but not in danger, had he not prepared the medicine on Shabbos. This is also the RAMBAM's understanding of the Gemara (Hilchos Shabbos 22:7) -- Rav Acha bar Yosef would have become sick without the medicine, but he would not have been in mortal danger.
Is the case in the Gemara comparable to the contemporary question of taking antibiotics on Shabbos? If a person must take antibiotics for a number of consecutive days in order for the medicine to be effective, may he take them on Shabbos?
(a) RAV MOSHE FEINSTEIN zt"l in IGROS MOSHE (OC 3:53) writes that one is permitted to take antibiotics on Shabbos only if he experiences considerable mental anguish as a result of worrying that he will not get better without the medication, to the point that he is on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. A normal person, though, should not take antibiotics on Shabbos.
(b) RAV SHLOMO ZALMAN AUERBACH zt'l and others, as cited in SHEMIRAS SHABBOS K'HILCHASAH (34:17), permit one to take antibiotics on Shabbos. However, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says that it cannot be compared to the case of the Gemara here, because here Rav Acha bar Yosef would have become more ill had he not taken the medicine on Shabbos, whereas one who misses a day of antibiotics will not necessarily become more ill; he just will not be cured as fast.
2) "TALYA D'BISRA"
OPINIONS: The Gemara says that one is permitted to move a "Talya d'Bisra" on Shabbos, but one is not permitted to move a "Talya d'Kivri" on Shabbos. What are these items?
(a) RASHI explains that "Talya d'Bisra" refers to raw meat that is hanging after being salted, which is fit to be eaten in its present state ("Umtza"). In contrast, raw fish that is hanging ("Talya d'Kivri") may not be moved because it is not fit to be eaten raw.
(b) TOSFOS (129b) disagrees with Rashi, because raw salted fish is also fit to be eaten in its present state. Tosfos, as well as the ARUCH and RAMBAM, therefore explain that "Talya d'Bisra" refers to the actual peg from which the meat hangs. That peg is permitted to be handled on Shabbos. The peg from which the fish hangs, though, becomes disgusting and unfit for any other use due to the fluids from the fish, and therefore it is Muktzah (Machmas Mi'us).
(c) Tosfos suggests another explanation. According to this explanation, "Talya d'Bisra" also refers to the item from which the meat hangs. Since that item was designated as a utensil prior to Shabbos, it is not Muktzah. The item from which fish hangs, though, was never designated as a utensil for that purpose, and therefore it is Muktzah. (The CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN explains that the item used for hanging fish is used only once, because it becomes disgusting, as mentioned above (b). Since it is disposable, it is not normally designated as a utensil and thus it is Muktzah on Shabbos.)