Fasting On Tishah B'av

The Daily Halacha Moment - Fasting On Tishah B'av 🍲


״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)


“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


Question:

Who's obligated to fast on Tishah B'av?

Are pregnant women obligated to fast?

The doctor told me I'm not healthy enough to fast should I still fast?


Answer:

Men and women over the age of bar/bat mitzvah are obligated in dating on Tishah B’Av. Similarly, pregnant and nursing women are obligated to fast on Tishah B’Av, just as they would on Yom Kippur. [1]However, there are some cases where women may eat on Tishah B’Av below are a couple of cases:


a. A woman within seven days of giving birth may not fast on Tishah B’Av, even if she wants to fast. [2]

b. From after seven days until thirty days after giving birth, a woman is not obligated to fast, but she may fast if she feels strong enough. [3]

c. If a woman miscarried after forty days of pregnancy, she has the status of a woman after childbirth; she may not fast during the first seven days after the miscarriage, and is not obligated to fast for the first thirty days after the miscarriage. [4]


If one is too weak to fast and is told by a doctor that the fast will injure him or bring him to danger, may not fast. [5] An elderly person should fast unless his doctor says otherwise.


There are alot of other cases where one will be exempt from fasting one should consult with one's rabbi.


Sources:

[1]. Shulchan Aruch 554:5.

[2]. Chazon Ovadia, Arba Taaniyot, p. 280.

[3]. Shulchan Aruch §6. See also Chazon Ovadia, Arba Taaniyot, pages 280–288, which discusses this at length and points out that even Ashkenazim may be lenient, even though the Mishnah Berurah §9 is stringent. It also adds that the seven to thirty days mentioned are seven to thirty days exactly from the time of the birth. Therefore, if the woman gave birth in the afternoon, she must refrain from eating from exactly seven to thirty days in the afternoon of Tisha B’Av. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 29:4.

[4]. Sdei Chemed, Yom Kippur 3:1; Yabia Omer, vol. 7, 53:8; Chazon Ovadia, Arba Taaniyot, p. 28.

[5]. Shulchan Aruch §6. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 29:5, which states that there are several types of choleh she’ein bo sakanah, a sick person who is not in danger, who is permitted to eat on Tishah B’Av.

Some examples are: one who is suffering from high fever, sweating from a headache, or has pneumonia, liver, or kidney problems, or has strep throat, diabetes with low sugar levels, heart problems, high blood pressure, and the like. In such situations, a doctor should be consulted to affirm whether there is a possibility of danger caused by fasting. See also Shevet HaLevi, vol. 10, 81:1.


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