Fasting and Fast Days

Question

I want to know about Jewish fasting. Which days are fast days and when can one eat?

3 months

Answers

  1. The basic reason behind Fasting is atonement. The holiest day of the Jewish year is Yom Kippur which involves (among many other things) a Fast that is twenty-five hours long.

    In the Jewish year there are five Fasts that are incumbent on everyone. Three of them commemorate the events leading up to the destruction of both Holy Temples. The fourth Fast is the Ninth of Av and it commemorates the actual destruction. The fifth Fast is Yom Kippur.

    On top of those Fasts there are other times when a Fast might be declared. If there is a time of great danger or a time of continued drought the communities affected may declare a Fast day for all those living in the area.

    There is also the concept of an individual accepting upon himself a Fast because of something negative that happened to him personally – for example, a terrible dream.

    Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av are full-day evening-to-evening Fasts, whereas the other ones are observed from the first light of the morning until that night.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team