Monday, July 18, 2011

The Fast of 17 of Tamuz

Today is the 16 of Tamuz, 5771

Tomorrow Tuesday July 19th is a fast day, shiba'asar betamuz (Tamuz 17th).

The fast begins at 4:12 AM and ends at 8.54 PM.

On the 17 of Tamuz there are only two prohibitions: eating and drinking.

NO additional limitations apply, such as the prohibition of washing the body, wearing leather shoes, working, driving, etc.

Who is exempted from fasting?

Minors: boys under 13 and girls under 12 years old are completely exempted from fasting.

Nursing women: According to the Sephardic Minhag, after giving birth, a woman is exempted from fasting for 24 months, even if they are not actually nursing their baby.

Pregnant women, especially after the first 3 months, are exempted from fasting.

A person who is sick, with flu or fever or a chronic disease, for example, diabetes, is exempt from fasting.

Elders should consult with their physicians if the fast might affect their health. If it will, they are exempted (and in some cases, prohibited) from fasting.

All other healthy people should fast and remember the tragedies that fell onto the Jewish people in this day.

Our custom is to authorize to wash one's mouth or brush the teeth in this Ta'anit, provided one will be careful to lower his head avoiding swallowing water unintentionally.

Tomorrow, B'H, I'll explain why we fast on this day.

There are no words, only tears
In memory of Leiby Kletzky, by Rabbi Benjamin Blech