Questions tagged [fast-days]

Days where Jews refrain from eating and drinking.

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39 votes
2 answers
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You accidentally broke your fast. Now what?

What are you supposed to do if you inadvertently broke your fast*? Do you: keep going; extend it (if so, how long); cancel it (if so, do you make it up a different day)? *This question is for day-...
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28 votes
3 answers
1k views

Must a jew-by-choice who is a firstborn observe the fast of the firstborn

I'm interested in the question of whether a ger who is firstborn (of both parents, say, to keep things simple) must follow the rules for Ta'anit B'khorot. There are some remarks on the wikipedia page, ...
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20 votes
4 answers
6k views

Fast days and time zones

If I fly westward on a fast day, and travel through one/several time zone/s, thereby going back in (clock) time, must I then fast until it ends in my current time zone? What if I fly eastward, thereby ...
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18 votes
2 answers
3k views

Mouthwash on a public fast day?

Is it permitted to use mouthwash on a public fast day? Would a sensitive mouth, due to medical reasons be a good reason to be lenient? (I can see it being less problematic than brushing one's teeth, ...
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16 votes
4 answers
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Oops, I just missed the siyum for Fast of the Firstborn

I am a firstborn. Suppose I wake up late on Erev Pesach and walk into shul right after they finish the siyum. Can I still partake in the post-siyum meal, or am I too late? More precisely, what are ...
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15 votes
3 answers
796 views

How did Mordechai get *all* the Jews of Shushan to agree to fast for three days?

My question is a bit long-winded so I'll summarize first: TL;DR How did Mordechai rouse the will of all the Jews of Shushan to agree to fast for three days? And further, why did Esther limit her ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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20 Sivan and the inappropriateness of new days of commemoration

The kina (elegy) "Mi yiten roshi mayim" recited on 9 Av was composed in commemoration of the events of the First Crusade as it passed through the Rhineland. It includes the following lines (freely ...
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15 votes
1 answer
286 views

Why do we leyn before mincha but after shacharis?

When reading Torah in the morning, we daven shemoneh esrei of shacharit and then afterwards read the Torah. When reading Torah in the afternoon (Shabbos/fast days), we read Torah first and then daven ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Why do we read vayechal twice on a fast?

I have been doing some research on the question of vayechal at mincha and have hit a roadblock. So far, here are the questions I have considered and feel ok with as "answered": why lain at mincha on ...
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14 votes
1 answer
8k views

Shower or Mikvah on a Fast Day

Are you allowed to take a shower on a fast day, and is it suggested? Once we are talking about bathing, what about going to the Mikvah on a fast day? Does it make a difference if one goes daily, and/...
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14 votes
1 answer
685 views

Why don't Rabbinic fasts end by Ben Hashmashot?

There's a doubt in the Gemara when the new day starts, at sunset or at three stars (Ok, and there's Rabbi Yossi's opinion). When it comes to Shabbos (or any other biblical time), we have to be strict ...
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14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why did the animals of Ninveh have to fast and wear sackcloth?

In Yona 3:7-8 we find that the people of Ninveh included the animals in their teshuva process. Why make the animals fast and don sackcloth? How was this part of the teshuva process?
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14 votes
1 answer
528 views

Hallel on Yom Nicanor

Yom Nicanor celebrated the victory of Yehuda Maccabi (a few years after the events commemorated on Chanuka) over Nicanor, the Syrian-Greek governor who threatened to destroy the Temple if he wasn't ...
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13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Kiddush on Yom Kippur

If I must eat on Yom Kippur is there a Chiyuv To make Kiddush? If there is not Is there a situation where you do?
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are males with older sisters "firstborn" for the purposes of the Fast of the Firstborn?

Assuming you follow the tradition that only first-born males are obligated to fast the day before Passover, do the males who have an older sister count as first-born or not? Wikipedia doesn't seem to ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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Avinu Malkeinu - middle verses said out loud by Chazan

Why do we repeat out loud the verses of Avinu Malkeinu - from Hachzireinu B'Teshuva until Kosveinu B'Sefer Slicha U'Mechila? Why only these verses? Why not others?
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13 votes
2 answers
676 views

Why do we not say selichot on Tisha B'Av?

Every fast day on the Jewish calendar has its set of selichot that are said. The one exception to this is Tisha B'Av. This seems counter-intuitive to me because Tisha B'Av is the day when we mourn the ...
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13 votes
3 answers
392 views

Fast some other day if can't fast on Yom Kippur?

If someone is sufficiently ill on Yom Kippur to be halachically allowed to eat, would there be any value in him fasting for a whole day after he gets well? I'm sure it would be voluntary, but is it ...
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12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why don't Israeli women fast?

More than one Israeli has told me that women in Israel don't fast. More specifically, that a large percentage of otherwise observant (healthy, non-pregnant, non-nursing) Jewish women in Israel do not ...
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12 votes
1 answer
436 views

Do the customs in regards to *Yud Av* apply to *Yud-Aleph Av* on a year when the fast is pushed off?

I know that people have the custom (I don't know how universal it is), to keep a lot of the restrictions of the nine days until Chatzos on Yud Av, such as not eating meat or doing laundry. This year ...
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12 votes
1 answer
566 views

What constitutes eating on a fast day?

For example, does chewing on a stick or piece of plastic count as eating? grass? What about chewing sugar-free gum with no nutritional value? I imagine it must be "derech achila," but this certainly ...
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12 votes
2 answers
386 views

What activities (other than eating and drinking) are forbidden on minor fasts?

On minor fast days we, of course, don't eat and drink. But my experience is that in other regards we can mostly go about our usual activities -- go to work, tend to household chores, etc. What other ...
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12 votes
3 answers
266 views

Ban on Shabas fasts derived from lechem hapanim?

The Shabas table song "Ki eshm'ra Shabas" includes the following stanza: רָשׁוּם/רָשַׁם בְּדַת הָאֵ׳ חוֹק אֶל סְגָנָיו בּוֹ לַעֲרוֹךְ לֶחֶם פָּנִים בְּפָנָיו עַל כֵּן לְהִתְעַנּוֹת בּוֹ עַל ...
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11 votes
5 answers
3k views

How do I avoid thirst when fasting?

I started fasting on Yom Kippur as an adult, about 10 years ago. A couple times I had to drink a glass of water either after Kol Nidre or before Shacharit, because I felt completely dehydrated (I did ...
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11 votes
6 answers
800 views

What is the best way to break a fast?

There are six official fast days in the Jewish calendar. After a fast often people get sick when they eat. What type of food or drink is the best way to break the fast and avoid becoming ill?
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11 votes
1 answer
425 views

Extended fasting on 10 Av

The Bavli (Taanit 29a) teaches that the Temple was set aflame on the ninth of Av in the afternoon and it burnt until sundown on the tenth of Av. The Yerushalmi (Taanit 4:6) records that because of ...
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10 votes
3 answers
333 views

Do more fasts fall out on monday and thursday, or does it just feel that way

On Monday and Thursday, we say a longer Tachanun. On a fast day (where the weekday prayers are still said), Selichot are said in addition to Tachanun. It feels like there are many more fasts that ...
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10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Brush teeth on a Ta'anis

I find it difficult to go a day without brushing my teeth. Is it okay to brush my teeth on a Ta'anis (fast day)? I imagine it's forbidden on Yom Kippur, but what about the other fasts?
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10 votes
2 answers
192 views

Did the Jewish soldiers fast before war?

The Mishna Berura in תרפו, ב talks about how in the days of Mordechai and Esther the Jews must have fasted because it was a time when they needed mercy just like when the Jews went to war against ...
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10 votes
1 answer
498 views

Yom Kippur - nicotine patch

Is there any problem with wearing a nicotine patch on Yom Kippur or any other fast day? (sources please)
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9 votes
2 answers
4k views

Listerine strips on Yom Kippur and Pesach

I heard recently in the name of Rav Hershel Schachter that you can consume Listerine strips (such as these) on both Yom Kippur and Pesach without worry. I wonder if anyone can confirm this, and ...
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9 votes
2 answers
546 views

What are you supposed to do on Tisha baAv?

On Tisha baAv you can't eat wash oneself anoint oneself marital relation wearing leather shoes sit on a chair Torah study greeting people with a blessing conducting business going on a ...
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9 votes
1 answer
262 views

Who is "the author of the Shulchan Aruch" in this teshuvah of Rashbash?

The Rashbash (R' Shlomo Duran, the son of the Rashbatz, d. 1467) has a teshuvah (#360) written during an epidemic (unfortunately all too relevant now). At the time when he wrote this teshuvah, the ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Haircuts on Fast Days

Is one allowed to take a haircut on a fast day like Tzom Gedaliah and or Asarah B'Teves?
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9 votes
1 answer
393 views

Tzom Gedalya vs. Taanis Esther

Why is Tzom Gedalya known as Tzom Gedalya and Taanis Esther as Taanis Esther. Why not Taanis Gedalya or Tzom Esther?
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9 votes
1 answer
742 views

Customs surrounding fasting when a sefer torah falls to the floor?

Based on this question I would like to know what the earliest source for fasting when a sefer torah falls comes from? Is is true that if a person is in the room but turns away so as not to see it fall,...
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9 votes
1 answer
178 views

What exactly is the purpose of Tisha B'av?

So recently I was answering a question about why we don't say selichos on Tisha B'av,and I answered basicaly saying that the purpose on Tisha B'av isn't to ask for forgiveness, rather it is for ...
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8 votes
3 answers
354 views

Tannis Esther reason

Why do we fast on Tannis Esther? In memory of what historical occurrence?
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8 votes
2 answers
386 views

Did Esther eat at the first feast she made for the king and Haman?

Esther 5:1,5:4 says that Esther made the first feast on the third day of the fast. Earlier (4:16), Esther tells Mordechai that she will also fast for three days. Did she eat at the feast, or was ...
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8 votes
3 answers
612 views

Why does a siyum exempt one from taanit bechorot?

The custom in many communities I have been to is for there to be a siyum on a mesechta on the day of taanit bechorot. All first borns who would otherwise have to fast attend the siyum and are thus ...
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8 votes
2 answers
311 views

Does a wedding on Yom Yerushalayim exempt the couple from fasting?

I attended a wedding last Sunday, which was Yom Yerushalayim. The chattan and Kallah did not fast as they claimed that since it was a day when they did not say Tachanun, and they said Halel, it was ...
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8 votes
1 answer
340 views

Has anyone declared a time of oppression regarding the four Temple fasts?

The Sha'ar haTziyun (OC 550 sk 9) speculates if in his day (~1900 CE) there was enough oppression of the Jews to warrant declaring the fasts of 10 Tevet, 17 Tammuz and 3 Tishrei into full fledged ...
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  • 95.6k
8 votes
1 answer
275 views

Fasting for non Religious Reasons?

I was recently asked to fast as a part of a multi-faith community fast as spiritual preparation for doing voter engagement work (I work for a multi-faith, multi-ethnic community organization.) Here ...
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  • 81
8 votes
2 answers
6k views

Until what time in the morning may you eat on a fast day?

On fast days that begin in the morning, (Asara B'Teves, Taanis Esther, Shiva Asar B'Tamuz, Tzom Gedalya) if you intend to eat when you awake, until what time may you eat in the morning? Does it depend ...
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8 votes
1 answer
226 views

Counting towards a Keriat HaTorah one who accidentally ate

We have Halacha that at least 6 people need to be fasting in order to read the Torah in a fast day. However, let's say there are 10 people and 5 are definitely fasting and one who accidentally ate (...
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7 votes
3 answers
4k views

May one swim on Shiva Asar B'Tamuz?

May one swim on Shiva Asar B"Tamuz? If not, why not? (sources)
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is listening to Music on the fast of Asarah BeTevet permitted?

Can you listen to music on the fast of the tenth of tevet?
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7 votes
2 answers
566 views

Why isn't Ta'anit Bechorot pushed back to Thursday when Pesach falls out on Shabbas?

When the first Seder falls on Motzei Shabbas, Ta'anit Bechorot is pushed back to Thursday. Why does it stay on Friday when Pesach falls out on Shabbas?
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  • 990
7 votes
1 answer
434 views

Eating a Yom Tov meal on Yom Kippur

If someone must eat on Yom Kippur, do they make kiddush on wine and have two challah rolls, plus meat and fish like he would on any other Yom Tov?
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  • 1,902
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

When do the restrictions of 3 weeks start when 17 Tammuz is on Shabbos?

When do the restrictions of 3 weeks start when 17 Tammuz is on Shabbos (e.g. this year)? Do they start motzei shabbos (already 18 Tammuz), since the 17 Tammuz is technically on shabbos or do they ...
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