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Fasting on a Yahrzeit in Adar on Friday


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Adar I 28, 5774
Rabbi: The yahrzeit of my father falls in Adar. We observe it in both Adar I and Adar II in a leap year. We (the sons), also fast on the yahrzeit. I have two questions. First, is it proper to fast in both months of Adar during the leap year, and Second, if the yahrzeit falls on a Friday, what is the practice for a private fast on a Friday? (Thank you)
Shalom. I checked with Rav Ya’akov Ariel, the Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan, and he agreed that being that observing the yahrtzeit on both Adars is only a chumrah (personal stringency) and that Ashkenazim really observe yahrtzeits in the first Adar, so one should fast only in the first Adar. You can commemorate the date in the second Adar by saying kaddish, and if you wish, giving tzedaka and/or learning some extra Torah in your father’s memory and/or giving a “tikun”/kiddush. If a personal fast like this falls on Friday, the Rama says you only fast until you come out of shul at night, even if it’s an early minyan (he adds that it’s good, if you remember, to have this in mind when you accept the fast on the previous afternoon mincha, but in any event you can be lenient and need not wait until night, if you have an early minyan for kabbalat Shabbat and ma’ariv, Rama, Or. Ch. 249, 3). [This is different from if Asara b’Tevet or a public fast comes out erev Shabbat.] I’m sure your father has much nachas in heaven from children who are so careful in their observance of mitzvot! Shabbat Shalom, Rav Ari Shvat
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