DailyHalacha.com for Mobile Devices Now Available

Select Halacha by date:

Or by subject:

Or by keyword:
Search titles and keywords only
Search All    

Weekly Perasha Insights
Shabbat Morning Derasha on the Parasha
Register To Receive The Daily Halacha By Email / Unsubscribe
Daily Parasha Insights via Live Teleconference
Syrian Sephardic Wedding Guide
Download Special Tefilot
A Glossary Of Terms Frequently Referred To In The Daily Halachot
About The Sources Frequently Quoted In The Halachot
About Rabbi Eli Mansour
Purchase Passover Haggadah with In Depth Insights by Rabbi Eli Mansour and Rabbi David Sutton
About DailyHalacha.Com
Contact us
Useful Links
Refund/Privacy Policy
Back to Home Page

Click Here to Sponsor Daily Halacha
"Delivered to Over 6000 Registered Recipients Each Day"

(File size: 5.74 MB)
The Yom Kippur Fast – Guidelines For a Woman Who Has Just Given Birth

The Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 617:10) rules that a woman who gave birth within three days before Yom Kippur is entirely exempt from the Yom Kippur fast, and is permitted to eat on Yom Kippur as much as she normally does. Since a woman during this period is exceedingly frail, any diminishing of her food intake could be injurious to her health, and so she is allowed to eat as usual.

According to the Shulhan Aruch, this exemption applies only if the woman gave birth within three halachic days before Yom Kippur. This means that if she gave birth at 2pm on Monday, the first day ends several hours later, at sundown, and the third day ends with sundown on Wednesday afternoon. Therefore, if Yom Kippur begins Wednesday night, then according to the Shulhan Aruch, she must observe the fast (and she is allowed to eat only if she feels a special need to do so). Other Poskim, however, disagreed, and maintained that a woman is entirely exempt from the Yom Kippur fast for a full 72 hours after childbirth. And so in the case of a woman who gave birth at 2pm on Monday, the exemption extends until Thursday afternoon. Since the issue at stake is the woman’s health, and a potential risk to life, Halacha follows the lenient position, even against the ruling of the Shulhan Aruch, and so the exemption extends for a full 72 hours after childbirth. Nevertheless (as noted by the Sha’ar Ha’siyun), after the third Halachic day the woman should not eat as much as she wants, but should eat only as much as she feels she needs to in order to maintain her health. Although she is, strictly speaking, exempt from fasting, it is proper at this point for her not to eat normally, but only what is necessary.

The 72-hour period begins at the time the baby is delivered – as opposed to the time when active labor began – and it ends after 72 hours, even if this period ends in the middle of Yom Kippur. Thus, in the case described above, where the 72 hours end at 2pm on Thursday, which is Yom Kippur, the woman is required to fast after 2pm, and she may eat only if she feels a special need.

If the 72-hour period ends an hour or so into Yom Kippur, then the woman should be stringent and observe the fast, if she is physically capable of fasting. Since in any event there is only one hour or so when she would be permitted to eat, and she does not need to eat every hour, it is proper in this case for her to observe the fast, and to eat only if she feels it is absolutely necessary. This is the ruling of Hacham Bension Abba Shaul (Israel, 1924-1998), in his Ner Siyon.

Summary: If Yom Kippur falls within 72 hours after a woman delivered a baby, she is entirely absolved from the Yom Kippur fast, and may eat normally. However, after the third Halachic day (defined as the period from sundown till sundown the following day), she should eat only what she feels she needs to, even if she is still within 72 hours of delivery. If the 72-hour period ends during Yom Kippur, she should fast from that point, and eat only if she feels a particular need. If the 72-hour period ends an hour or so after the onset of Yom Kippur, she should, if possible, observe the entire fast.


Recent Daily Halachot...
Covering the Bread on the Table on Shabbat and Yom Tob
Must One Eat Bread at Seudah Shlishit?
Must the Halla be on the Table During Kiddush?
Adding Aliyot on Shabbat
The Requirement to Eat Bread at Se’uda Shelishit
Until When Can One Recite “Asher Natan Shabbatot Li’mnuha” in Lieu of “Reseh” in Birkat Ha’mazon?
Shabbat – Practicing Penmanship in the Air; Observing a Mechanic
Having Children Perform Melacha on Shabbat; Halachot of Children During the Nine Days and Hol Ha’mo’ed
Leniencies That Apply During Ben Ha’shemashot at the Beginning and End of Shabbat
Separating Pages in a Book That are Attached
Annulling Vows on Shabbat
Shabbat – Tightening or Attaching Hoods; Using Glue; Balloons and Inflatable Mattresses; Collecting Scattered Fruit
The Prohibition of Kotzer on Shabbat
Writing on Shabbat – Fingerprints, Photographs, Writing on Windows or in the Air, Pens With Temporary Ink
Shabbat – Cutting a Cake with Letters; Putting Letters Together in Scrabble
Page of 227
3400 Halachot found