Exemption from Fasting in a Hot Climate


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.



  1. I am not familiar with any kind of a “blanket exemption” for not Fasting in a very hot climate. In truth, such a question requires the ruling of a recognized expert in these areas of Jewish Law, because it would require very broad shoulders to exempt someone from Fasting on Tisha b’Av and, especially, on Yom Kippur.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team