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  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Laws of Yom Kippur

Fast of Kippur


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Elul 25, 5780
Dear Rabbi, I have two sons which are very bad at fasting. On all other fast days they will usually break the fast when they feel nauseous etc. If it happened that one of them did manage to fast a full day, then the problem starts by breaking the fast. They will throw up any food or drink, sleep for hours feeling extremely bad after the fast. As ‘Yom Kippur’ is approaching, and obviously it is difficult to break the fast unlike other fast days. Do you have ideas and suggestions what can be done (eat, drink) before the fast and how to break the fast. כוח"ט
ב"ה Shalom Shalom Please forgive me, but I feel your question is meant more for a doctor and dietician that it is for a Rabbi. Nonetheless, since I have no background information other that which you have written here, I will first say a few obvious things which dieticians in Israel speak of before Yom Kippur. Of course, you can consult your dieticians and ask what they see as the best way to enter a fast and end one. You must make sure your sons drink enough before the fast. By drinking, I mean fruit juices, water or some nice soup, not cola, coffee or other caffeinated drinks which are also diuretic. Secondly, they should avoid physical exertion during the fast or any prolonged exposure to the sun. Thirdly, after the fast, they must first slowly intake fluids and only later get to solid foods. If all this has already been done, but these symptoms persist, I strongly suggest going to a doctor ( A Jewish orthodox doctor who appreciates the severity of Yom Kippur) to see what he recommends. Once you have spoken to a doctor, you can back to me to ask further questions, depending upon his recommendations. As a general rule, many important Rabbis have said that if a person becomes especially weakened from a fast, it is better that he/she stay home the whole day of Yom Kippur rather than go to Shul and then get to a situation in which they are compelled to break their fast. All the best שנה טובה
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