What is the the amount a person who feels weak on a fast day could eat or drink. How many ounces and how often?

  • 4
    Ask a rabbi who knows you and your particular situation, if this applies to you.
    – MTL
    Dec 31, 2014 at 16:54
  • 1
    What type of fast day? Yom Kippur, 9 Av, or the four "minor" ones?
    – MTL
    Dec 31, 2014 at 17:02
  • @Abe: With all due respect, why don't you ask your Rav? Dec 31, 2014 at 17:37

1 Answer 1


Consult your rabbi and your doctor as to whether you should be fasting. If you feel weak, sometimes simply taking it easy (or even spending the day in bed) is the right approach.

For the Torah-ordered fast day of Yom Kippur, there is less of a violation if one doesn't consume "a serving" of food in "a few minutes." Hence you've likely heard of those who would drink, say, 30 mL every ten minutes on Yom Kippur. (That's one number; there are many others out there, and again, please ask your rabbi and doctor.)

For the other fast days (well they're in the Bible, but their force is rabbinic), some rabbis are of the opinion that if you must eat, you should still do the itty-bits thing. Others opine that the obligation to fast only covered the able-bodied, and therefore you can eat normally -- however, it's not in the spirit of the day to overdo it with gourmet stuff or sweets and treats.

  • 3
    Even Shalom should be encouraged to quote sources, don't you think? Dec 31, 2014 at 18:10
  • I know this is true, because it's what my rabbi told me (option 2 in your last paragraph), but sources would be nice :)
    – MTL
    Dec 31, 2014 at 23:32
  • 1
    I don't think anyone thinks 30 mL is the number. It's dependent on the person's cheeks.
    – Double AA
    Jan 1, 2015 at 2:48
  • 1
    Sources for @DoubleAA: Yoma 80a,b; Rambam Hil. Sh'visas Asor 2:1; S"A OC 612:9; see also Bei'ur Halacha on 271:13, s.v. והוא רובו.
    – Fred
    Jan 1, 2015 at 4:09

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