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In a fast, as you probably know, it is forbidden to eat. So anything that would be halachicaly considered eating wouldn't be allowed. While reading some answers on this site, I found that chewing gum isn't halachicaly considered eating.

I've always thought that you can't chew gum on a fast. But how is this contradiction resolved? Can you actually chew gum on a fast?

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    Related – Rish Dec 24 '15 at 0:09
  • Maybe if it was in your mouth before the fast begone if will not be a problem, (exept ayin harah) (I know some people that chew their fingers on a fast)(I heard their is a stringency not to swolow a lot of saliva on a fast day) – hazoriz Dec 24 '15 at 1:57
  • This comment is strictly from a biological / medical view fwiw. When you chew gum the brain tells the stomach "here comes food get ready" the stomach then produces acid to digest the assumed incoming foods. When you do not give it something to digest especially on a fast day when this goes on for hours on an empty stomach the acid just sits there and sits there and sits there. Chewing gum as well as eating popcorn and chewing ice all are well known causes of stomach issues due to acid eating away since there is no food being given. It causes acid reflux, peptic ulcers, and more. But who cares – Yossi Dec 24 '15 at 13:49
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    @Yossi Thanks. Even if it is permitted, one should know that it's not good to do this. – Gabriel12 Dec 24 '15 at 20:50
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Regular or flavored chewing gum is forbidden according to all sources I found but there are some permitting sugar-free flavorless gum which is apparently considered as a non-food then.

Many poskim forbid chewing gum without distinction, e.g., Ohel Moshe Vol. 2-113, Yalkut Yosef, Hillel Omer OC 278

R Eli Mansour cites R Ovadia Yossef forbidding regular chewing gum

Hacham Ovadia Yosef in his work Yabia Omer (vol. 7, Orah Haim 33) rules that if one chews gum coated with sugar or other sweetening agent, he must recite the Beracha of She’hakol. By the same token, it would be forbidden to chew sweet chewing gum on a fast day.

The reference to sweet chewing gum is because R Ovadia Yossef permits flavorless gum and is not concerned by excessive saliva production

When it comes to chewing gum on a fast day, Hacham Ovadia rules that if the gum has a sweet flavor (like most chewing gum does), then it may not be chewed on a fast day. Flavorless gum may be chewed, even it has the effect of increasing the amount of saliva in the mouth, since saliva is considered part of the body and it may be swallowed on a fast day.

R Eli Mansour brings another source permitting chewing gum more broadly

Hacham Ovadia Hedaya (1890-1969), in his work Yaskil Abdi, rules that chewing gum is not considered “eating,” and thus one does not recite a Beracha before he chews gum.

Yom Kippur (and Tisha bAv?) likely have stricter laws, see here for instance


Please CYLOR before chewing !


Note that most poskim believe a chewing gum needs a sheakol bracha with possible exceptions again for sugar-free gum.

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Rav Yosef Messas in Mayim Chaim 2:340 writes that chewing gum on a fast is permissible. The basis for his answer comes from the Rama 567:3 who writes that one may chew on cinnamon sticks, and other such spices, except on Yom Kippur. He notes that the MA argues, nevertheless he writes all we have(need) is the Rama.

However, it should be noted that MB learns differently, and nowadays I don't know of a posek who would allow chewing gum on a fast.

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If the packet of gum lists calories, those calories go in you and that is eating. If your gum has flavor and then loses it, that flavor goes into you. However, if you prechewed the gum and all the flavor was lost, you might be able to chew that.

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    -1 Unsourced and speculative. Reflux acid has "flavor", though not a pleasant one, necessarily. You can swallow that on a fast. – DanF Dec 24 '15 at 16:43
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    Reflux acid is part of you. – Clint Eastwood Aug 9 at 15:11

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