Fasting on Yom Kippur

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Dear Rabbi Simon,

Under what circumstances is a pregnant woman permitted to drink or eat during the fast of Yom Kippur? My wife is in her first trimester and has been having dry heaves/nausea over the last few days and I was wondering what kind of latitude we had under her circumstances.

Thanks, Michael

Dear Michael,

The accepted practice is that pregnant women who are otherwise healthy do fast on Yom Kippur. Nevertheless, as you know the halakha is very scrupulous with regard to the possibility of piku’ah nefesh and therefore if there is any possibility of harm to the fetus, your wife may definitely eat “shiurim”, i.e. 30 cc of food and 40cc of fluid every 9 minutes. If necessary, she may eat/drink at more frequent intervals too, e.g. 8, 7 or 6 minutes.

In the absence of a doctor to instruct her to eat, your wife will have to judge for herself how awful she feels, to justify breaking her fast, as per the above. In any case, she should definitely stay home and rest (and hopefully not have to drink/eat) rather than go to shul, etc, if that may necessitate her drinking as a result.

I hope this is helpful, and sufficiently clear.

All good wishes for 5769!

Rabbi Simon

Questions & Answers
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Questions and Answers

Ask the Rabbi: Easy as א-ב-ג?
Dear Rabbi Simon,
I hope you fasted well yesterday.
Thank you for the insights into the Kinnot, making them easier to understand.
In the afternoon, I was listening to a shiur on Eichah on Torahanytime.  As an aside, the speaker mentioned that the 1st perek of Eichah is the source for the order of the alef bet as we know it.  Other chapters also follow the alef bet chronology but with ayin en peh interchanged.
He quoted Rabbi Shimon Schwab as his source.
Although he did not elaborate on this, surely Sefer Tehillim predates Megillat Eichah by centuries.  Several psalms are written in the alef bet order (e.g.
psalm 119).
Can you please clarify?
Thank you & best wishes.
PhilippeHi Philippe
TY for your sophisticated Q.
I have also heard that the question of the sequence of samekh and 'ayin is subject to dispute. It seems that there are indications that in Paleo-Hebrew the order is reversed from what we know. It is alleged that chapters 2, 3 and 4 of Eichah (chapter 5 is not alphabetical) reflect the original order. Of course, as you say, ch 1 conforms to the order with which we are family.
You are right that Tehillim predates Eichah, however a critic can claim that the order was redacted to bring it in line with the accepted/preferred sequence. This is particularly true for ch. 119, where each of the 8 vv per letter are their own group, and each set of 8 vv. can easily be repositioned. The question is in Ps. 34 or 145, if the internal logic of the passage sheds light on the correct sequence. In Ps. 34, some claim that the v. starting with the letter peh makes more sense to follow the verse starting with samekh (due to the common appearance of the word ra'). I am not convinced that this argument is compelling.
I will stick with the mesorah, that 'ayin belongs before peh. Best to look before speaking.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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