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Can one cook food while fasting and eat it when done fasting? Does it matter if the food being prepared is for oneself or others?

Maybe cooking would distract from the focus that a fast is supposed to have, but maybe it would be different to cook for someone else.

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    Don't worry, אין הביישן לומד someone too embarrassed to ask wont learn. To the best of my knowledge there is no problem, editing in any reasons ou think there might be a problem would help. – mevaqesh Aug 21 '16 at 15:13
  • I was just thinking how can one have focus on Hashem and cook food ,if not to others? But you can't pray to Hashem 24 hours straight as far as i know,but I guess one can be in a "position of prayer" the whole day. – Aigle Aug 21 '16 at 15:20
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    I took the liberty of editing to clarify based on your comment. If you don't like the edit, just change it back. – mevaqesh Aug 21 '16 at 15:24
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It was hard to find a source.

On Yom Kippur, cooking will be forbidden because work is forbidden.

However, from here I see that

the gemoro in Shabbos 115a says that although generally it is prohibited to prepare on a Shabbos or Yom Tov for afterwards, even if not melacha is being violated, there was an exemption made for קניבת הירק in the late afternoon of Yom Kippur. There is a machlokes what exactly קניבת ירק means. Rashi says it refers to the removal of the leaves to prepare the vegetables to be cut and sliced after the fast.

The Shulchan Aruch 611:2 writes

וְהִתִּירוּ לְקַנֵּב יָרָק וְלִפְצֹעַ אֱגוֹזִים מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה, כְּשֶׁחָל בַּחֹל, וְהָאִדָּנָא נָהֲגוּ לֶאֱסֹר

that technically kenivas hayerek and cracking nuts is permitted from the time of mincha and onwards but nowadays the minhag is to forbid it.

The reason to forbid it is, as we see from the end of the gemara, that people started to be lax and made the preparations prior to mincha.

So we see that essentially preparation of food even on Yom Kippur late in the day is permissible.

On Tisha B'Av Ohr Someach says that

Washing for cooking or for medical reasons is permitted.

But

Things that divert one from mourning such as idle talk, reading the newspaper, taking a walk for pleasure, etc. are prohibited.

The custom is to refrain until midday from any time-consuming work that diverts one from mourning.

On other fast days, I found the following question at moreshet.co.il

אם אנשים שלא צמים מבקשים ממני ביום הצום כוס שתיה (דבר שיכול לקרות במקום העבודה), כיצד עלי לנהוג ? 

If people who are not fasting ask me to prepare them a drink on a fast day (which can happen in the workplace) what should I do?

Rav Avrohom Yosef answers:

למי שאינו צם מחמת חולי, או סיבה מוצדקת מותר להכין

For someone who is not fasting for reasons of illness or some other legitimate reason, it is permitted to prepare the drink.

CONCLUSION:

So we see that essentially preparation of food even on Yom Kippur late in the day is permissible. On other fast days, it is permitted for people not fasting.

On Tisha B'Av cooking is allowed as long as it does not take one's mind away from the mourning.

I think that if you add these items together, you can conclude that it will be permissible to prepare food on a fast day (other than YK) for others at any time and for oneself near to the end of the fast.

  • My bubby שת”י has a story about one Tishah b'Av when she was trying to fast. Suddenly, her father took out a milchig pan and fried a couple of eggs and put them in front of her and told her to eat. FWIW, he was certainly fromm, but fasting on 9 Av is more difficult without AC. – Noach MiFrankfurt Aug 21 '16 at 16:28

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