When and for what health reasons should we break our fasts? (assume the person is not elderly or pregnant.)

  • 1
    I would vote to close, but I'm not sure how to categorize this. This is definitely a question you need to CYLOR about; it does not belong here. Perhaps rephrase it to be more general.
    – HodofHod
    Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 15:46
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    @HodofHod, I think "Too Localized" is the best close reason for apparent pleas for pesak, best accompanied with a comment explaining the problem in more detail.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Oct 3, 2011 at 2:58

2 Answers 2


Mishnah Berurah 550:4 says that one who is ill (choleh she'ein bo sakana, meaning that the illness is severe enough to make one bedridden, or it affects one's entire body) is exempt from fasting, and is actually forbidden to fast.

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    Note, however, that for Tisha B'av and Yom Kippur the laws are much more stringent. One who is ill on those days and has doubts about fasting must ask a competent rabbi for guidance.
    – Dave
    Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 15:44
  • +1 for good comment... Yea, but he has no fever, and no other signs of sickness. If I hadn't seen him fall, I don't think I would have ever known (assuming he didn't tell me)
    – wizlog
    Commented Oct 2, 2011 at 15:45

As the other answer mentions, a sick person is not obligated to fast. A regular fast day is a observed as a minhag nowadays, but even on tisha b'av (an actual chiyuv), the basic exemption for sick people still applies. On yom kippur, one may only break the fast if one will be in (life-threatening) danger otherwise. Specific cases should obviously be referred to a rabbi and/or doctor.

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