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Shalom, I’ve done this once before, about 15 years ago when my children were teens. I had heard that fasting for 40 days was a segulah for one’s children to grow up shomrei Torah Umitzvoth. That seem to have worked :). Anyway, I’m considering doing that again because of the ‘eis tzarah’ klal yisroel is in right now. If the 40 days run into Chanukah, do I fast on Chanukah? Second question, I’m 15 years older now, and I fear doing this will be quite a bit more difficult. If I drink over the course of the day, a coffee in the morning, some water or an energy drink in the early afternoon when I’m usually flagging during a busy day, even when I’m eating, would that still count as fasting for something like this. I appreciate any help with this.. Shloime  

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Are there any blanket exemptions for fasting in certain geographic locations for safety? I just moved to a very hot climate where constant hydration is necessary for survival. I naively thought I could fast like normal. Turns out fasting is not only difficult; it is dangerous. Staying sufficiently hydrated does not only require drinking but also some eating, I have been advised by locals familiar with the climate. Because I am so new, I have not met the Jewish community yet. There was a public fast day on just my second full day here (17 Taamuz) and I was overcome by the heat and found I had no choice but to break the fast for dear life. I was literally ready to pass out and my non-Jewish colleagues thought I was crazy fasting. The only Jew I have met here so far told me she never fasts even on Yom Kippur because she feels it’s too dangerous. Tisha B’Av is coming up in a few short weeks and I will be faced with the same predicament, but for a 25 hour fast. I plan to live here for many years, perhaps the rest of my life, and it seems as if now fasting is impossible in this climate. I had this problem even though I am young and generally in good health.

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Shalom aleichem Rabbi Lauffer. Thank you for answering my last question. Is it permitted to water one's flowers during the 9 days? Thanks.

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Is one allowed to shop for, try on, and purchase new clothes during the 9 days with plans to wear them after the 9 days are over? I have a wedding to attend very soon after Tisha b'Av and I’m going to need a new dress for the wedding.

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Hi Rabbi, What is the meaning of “Tisha B’Av”? Thank you so much for your answer and for this informative and inspiring “Ask the Rabbi” service!

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I am a vegetarian. Where I draw the line is I don’t eat anything considered fleishig. I eat dairy, eggs, and fish, but no meat or poultry. My diet therefore has no changes during the nine days. For the nine days, the kosher fleishig restaurants around here replace their regular menu with an extended fish and vegetarian menu offering tasty items not served any other time of year. Every year, I find myself taking advantage of this and ordering all these items. It seems to have become an unintended simcha for people like me, which apparently our community has lots of. Does that defeat the purpose of the nine days, when the restrictions are not really a personal "restriction" but rather become a simcha for me?

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Hi Rabbi, I read that this weekend “The Three Weeks” begin. What does this mean? Thank you