Can you take Viagra on Shabbos?

I received this via email from a friend, sounded interesting and I bring it to you for your contemplation. Kind of reminds me of the post “Is marijuana kitnyot?”

A well respected San Francisco psychoanalyst and a member of the Board of Trustees of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue (and frequently published author in the pages of TIKKUN) has brought the following question to our community, and hopes that its best Talmudic scholars might think more about it:

Is it okay to take Viagra on Shabbat?

There are two differing schools of thought on whether you can take Viagra on Shabbat: Beit Shammai forbids the ingestion of Viagra on Shabbat, lest one violate the infraction of erecting a structure (“boneh”). Beit Hillel says do not read it as “bon eh” but as “boner,” and permits the ingestion of Viagra before sundown so long as the Kabbalat Shabbat takes less than one half hour to complete, the kids are asleep, and your wife doesn’t have a headache.

And what bracha/blessing does one say before taking the Viagra pill?

There is a choice of four blessings:

1. Borei p’ri ha-eitz – blessing over the fruit of the tree;
2. Boruch Atah HaShem zokeif k’fuffim – bless you God for straightening those who are bent;
3. Ya’aleh v’yavo – arise and come;
4. Boruch Atah HaShem mechayei hameitim – bless you God for raising the dead.

A little follow up to the above…
Yes, the anti-impotence drug has been found to contain a tiny amount of animal matter, rendering it – one would think – treif.
But, Rabbi Abraham Blumenkrantz, an American Kashrut expert, says that, as a medication that adds pleasure to the Sabbath (not to mention the rest of the week), it is permissible. But it is banned during Pesach – along with all other agents causing things to rise.

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