Is someone who suffers from asthma and needs to use a nebulizer to make it easier for them to breath (not pekuach nefesh) allowed to use it on Yom Kippur? (In a way of course that it'll be turned on for example by using a Shabbos Clock.) Is the inhaling of the mist/steam/whatever comes out considered to be like drinking or not?

(This is a theoretical shailo that I'm only looking for sources on or possible re'as to formulate a teshuva to this.)

  • Rabbi Rudinsky said that the issur is specifically consumption and he has said that if you can find another way to feel full, for example through acupuncture that would be permitted.
    – user1668
    Sep 24, 2012 at 13:35
  • Acupuncture? Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was asked about IV feeding (rather than eating) and said you violate Yom Kippur by inserting a needle into your arm -- the only question would be if someone already had the IV inserted.
    – Shalom
    Sep 24, 2012 at 14:26
  • 1
    These comments seem to be a little off topic (albeit interesting, but not nege'ah to this shailo...)
    – Yehoshua
    Sep 24, 2012 at 15:27
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    @PM I think he meant because of melacha.
    – Double AA
    Sep 24, 2012 at 16:19
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    -1. I still don't understand why you would think that it might be forbidden.
    – Fred
    Sep 25, 2012 at 2:02

3 Answers 3


I asked this very question (for a family member) to Rabbi Gedalia Anemer, zt'l, regarding Shabboss and all yom tovim (including Yom Kippur). He said it was not a problem.

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    The question specificaly was not asking about the melacha aspect, but rather about the drinking aspect (which does not apply to "Shabboss and all yom tovim" .....unless you were told specifically that Yom Kippur is included in this, this does not answer the question.
    – MTL
    Sep 28, 2014 at 3:13

I thought there was an exception for people who are ill. If not taking your meds on Yom Kippur will make you seriously sick or cause serious adverse affects, you should just take your meds. Somewhere that's recognized. There are many life-saving exceptions like that all over Judaism.

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    The question specifically mentions that this is not a pikuach nefesh situation
    – Daniel
    Sep 28, 2014 at 2:57
  • Thanks. Didn't know what that meant until i read your comment. :)
    – sharkydora
    Sep 29, 2014 at 2:25

Of course it's fine. Breathing is not drinking. Humid air is no different than regular air. If it was, then you could only breathe air that had 0% humidity, which is obviously ridiculous.

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    There could well be a difference between breathing air at its natural humidity and artificially altering it. I've found it best to not assume that anything is "obvious". Your response would probably get a better reception if you were to edit it to sound less confrontational ("of coursse", "obviously ridicoulous"). You may well be right that breathing (any) air isn't a problem; can you support that with either sources or an argument? Oct 3, 2012 at 14:30
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    Breathing≠Eating, and unless you have a source to contradict the obvious, yhy do I need a source when there likely is none? Just use use logic. Air is "artificially" altered when you use an air conditioner too. That's not what matters, just like drinking water from a natural river or from a cup is equally forbidden.
    – A L
    Oct 4, 2012 at 3:55
  • 'Of course'? There could be some unknown reason to prohibit this, so making a simple comparison isn't really an answer.
    – Rafael
    Oct 3, 2017 at 1:22

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