More Discussions for this daf
1. Baby born after 8 Months 2. Birth Yotzai Dophen 3. Hatafat Dam Brit
4. 8 month birth 5. Status of a "Nefel" 8-month-old baby that was not expected to live 6. Safek 7- or 8-month baby
7. Eight-month Babies and Modern Science 8. A Fetus At Eight Months 9. ברש"י בסוף עמוד א'

Sal Litvak asked:

could you explain why an eighth-month birth is considered a corpse but a seventh-month birth is considered viable?



The Kollel replies:

Dear Sal

According to the Gemara, a fully developed baby can be born either in the seventh month or the ninth month. In both cases, the child is fully developed. On the other hand, a child born in the eighth month is a premature child (lacking the development of the ninth month), who cannot survive. [There is however an exception to this rule, since a baby can be fully developed in the seventh month, but nonetheless was born in the eight month.]

In modern times, a baby born in the eighth month can survive and the posskim maintain that he may be treated on Shabbos. According to the Chazon Ish (YD:155), human nature has changed. Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach maintained that modern medical equipment (e.g. incubators) enabled the change.

In ancient times there was no chance of survival.

Kol tuv.

Yehuda Landy