A student of mine asked me this question based on an application he was filling out. I am assuming there is a historical or halachik answer to this question.

"When was the one time the Jewish people did not fast on Yom Kippur?"

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    Riddle? [15char]
    – Double AA
    Mar 24, 2015 at 23:08
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    I'm very curious; what application was this that asked this (and the other) question? Mar 25, 2015 at 3:30
  • @DoubleAA You could label it riddle, but I know they don't like riddles here too much. Also it is more of a Trivia question I guess.
    – RCW
    Mar 25, 2015 at 5:31
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    @RCW I was suggesting it be closed as a riddle
    – Double AA
    Mar 25, 2015 at 5:38
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a riddle.
    – Scimonster
    Mar 25, 2015 at 8:18

2 Answers 2


From http://www.chabadnj.org/page.asp?pageID=%7B829583A0-2C90-449A-B619-2362C8B418FF%7D

The first Holy Temple was inaugurated by King Solomon on the 8th of Tishrei, and was celebrated for the next 14 days. In that year they did not fast on Yom Kippur, which fell right in middle of the festivities. The sages worried that they had erred in the matter, but a heavenly voice proclaimed that all those who had participated in the inauguration of the Temple would merit the World to Come.


In 1848, Rav Yisra'el Salanteer ordered Jews of his town to eat on Yom Kippur because of the dangers of the cholera epidemic.


It was to him a matter of "when we have to act for the sake of God; then the law must be dispensed with. "In a place where there are no men, strive to be a man." Then he ordered announcements to be posted in all synagogues urging a dispensation of the fast. The people, however, were hesitant about complying, as indeed he felt they would be. At the very solemn moment after morning services (Shaharith) before taking out the Torah from the ark, the beadle ascended the platform, demanded that there be silence and made the following announcement: "By the Knowledge of the Omnipresent One, and by the authority of the Torah we grant permission — because of the epidemic — to eat and drink today." No one, however, stirred, no one dared to leave his place, holy terror had stricken them all. Then, to the utter amazement of all, Rabbi Israel, the meek unobtrusive Rabbi Israel, followed the beadle on the Reader's platform and in a solemn, muffled voice exhorted the congregants to abide by the decision just proclaimed.

  • He did this against the orders of the Beit Din of Vilna to only eat if you were weak or at risk. No one remembers that part, though.
    – Double AA
    Mar 25, 2015 at 15:13
  • @DoubleAA - I didn't know that. It seems that Rav Salanter considered the danger far greater than the Bet Din, and didn't want people to approach even the weakness point. I wonder if his ruling set a future halachic precedent.
    – DanF
    Mar 25, 2015 at 15:16

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