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Breaking fast on Tishah B’Av

10 August, 2016

Question:

I, be"H, will be around nine weeks pregnant on 9th Av this year. It's my first pregnancy up to this stage. I normally fast well but I do generally feel a little ill for a few days afterwards as a result of the dehydration. The dehydration sort of kickstarts whatever latent fluey–ness I have in me. I do always fast though, but I am nervous as I have not been in this situation before. What do I do about this 9th Av?

I want to make sure that even if, for some unpredicted reason, I feel awful and feel I need to break the fast, I know how to do it in such a way that halachically I am still fasting and don't get karet…


Answer:

BeSha'ah tovah!

Tisha B'Av is a rabbinically mandated fast.  Though more serious than the other rabbinic fast days (Tzom Gedalyah, Asarah BeTevet, Shivah Asar b'Tammuz, and Ta'anit Esther), there is no issur karet involved and in cases of sickness a person may be advised not to fast. Typically, pregnant women should fast on Tisha B'Av unless they become sick or there is specific risk to them or the fetus.

This year, however, since Tisha B'Av is pushed off from Shabbat to Sunday, you should start off fasting, but feel free to break your fast if you start to feel at all uncomfortable or dehydrated. This is halachically fully permissible.  Just don't forget to make havdalah before eating or drinking.

Please write back with any further questions.


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