The 10th of Teves- Checklist
- One must be especially careful to avoid anger on a fast day
- The fast begins at Alos Hashachar, which is approximately two fluctuating hours prior to sunrise.
- Children are not to be given sweets and the like although one is not required to stop them from eating it if they are in the midst of doing so.
- On a public fast day, one does not rinse his mouth in the morning. If however this is causing one discomfort, he may be lenient to rinse his mouth.
- One may not brush one’s teeth on a fast day unless not doing so will cause one pain or discomfort, in which case it is allowed.
- One may not use mouthwash unless lack of doing so will cause pain and discomfort.
- The Chabad custom is to recite the Selichos within Tachanun, after Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharis.
- Selichos is customarily recited while standing.
- The Chabad custom is to omit the saying of Ashamnu within Selichos when it is recited within the prayers of Shacharis.
- Selichos must be recited slowly and with concentration.
- It is forbidden to recite the thirteen attributes without proper concentration.
- The thirteen attributes are to be recited slowly and carefully.
- The thirteen attributes are to be recited aloud.
- The custom is to open the ark and stand for the saying of Shema Koleinu.
- Avinu Malkeinu is recited after Selichos, prior to “Veanachnu Lo Neida.”
- One continues straight to Veanchnu Lo Neida after Avinu Malkeinu and omits the short Avinu Malkeinu prayer normally recited prior to Veanachnu Lo Neida.
- One does not say Keil Erech Apayim unless it is a Monday or Thursday.
- The Torah portion of Vayichal is read during Shacharis.
- The prayer of Aneinu is added during Mincha Shemoneh Esrei of a fast day. It is recited within the blessing of Shomeia Tefila, prior to the words “Ki Ata Shomeia.”
- The Chazan recites Aneinu as a separate blessing between the blessings of Goal Yisrael and Rifaeinu. This applies during the Chazan’s repetition of both Shacharis and Mincha Shemoneh Esrei.
- Prior to Mincha one is to give Igara Ditaanisa to charity.
- The Torah portion of Vayichal is read during Mincha. This is followed by the reading of the Haftorah.
- After the reading of the Haftorah, Yehalelu is recited and the Torah is returned to the Aron. This is then followed by half Kaddish.
- During Shemoneh Esrei of Mincha, Aneinu is recited, as stated in the previous Halacha.
- The Chazan recites Birchas Kohanim in his repetition of Shemoneh Esrei of Mincha. Those places which are not accustomed to do Birchas Kohanim recite Elokeinu during the Chazan’s repetition.
- Tachanun and Avinu Malkeinu are recited during Mincha of a fast day with exception to when it falls on Fridays, in which case they are both omitted.
The 10th of Teves-Summary
- The 10th of Teves is a public fast day. One is required to fast on this day due to the tragedies that occurred during this time. [This fast is mentioned explicitly in scripture [Zecharia 8] as the “Tenth fast.” The Tenth fast refers to the fast of the 10th of Teves which is in the Tenth month.]
- What occurred on the 10th of Teves: On the 10th of Teves the city of Jerusalem was placed under siege by Nebuchadnezzar and from this began the start of the destruction.
- The purpose of a fast day: The purpose of a fast day is to arouse the hearts in true repentance after contemplating the suffering we experienced due to our evil ways. Thus, each person is to do an accounting of his soul during this time.
- Avoiding anger: One must be especially careful to avoid anger on a fast day
- When does the fast begin? The fast begins at Alos Hashachar of the day of the 10th of Teves. This is approximately two fluctuating hours prior to sunrise. Thus, even if one was awake the entire night he must stop eating and drinking two fluctuating hours before sunrise.
- One who woke up before Alos: If one slept [even on the couch] and then woke up prior to Alos, he may not eat unless he stipulated prior to going to sleep that he plans to eat after awaking before Alos. He may however have a drink, even if he did not stipulate before going to sleep, although initially it is proper to stipulate before going to sleep even if one only plans to drink and not to eat. If one did not sleep a set sleep but rather slightly dozed off, it is considered as if he has not slept and he may continue to eat until Alos.
- May one eat a lot of food prior to a fast in order so he does not feel hungry? The Poskim rule that one may not eat more than usual prior to a fast as this defeats the entire purpose of feeling oppression on that day. Nevertheless, one who is weak natured and needs to eat more in order to have strength is to do so.
Those exempt from the fast:
- Must pregnant or nursing women fast? Pregnant and nursing women are exempt from fasting. Nevertheless, the custom is for even pregnant and nursing women to fast unless they are in great pain [or feel weak] in which case they are specifically not to fast. They are likewise not required to make up the fast at a later date. [Practically, the widespread custom today is for pregnant women not to fast as they are all considered weak. They are also not required to make up the fast at a later date.]
- From what stage in pregnancy is a pregnant woman exempt from fasting? A pregnant woman that is in pain is exempt from fasting starting from the 41st day of her pregnancy. If she feels weak or in great pain, then she may be lenient even prior to 40 days. If she does not feel weak or any pain at all then she is required to fast if she has not yet entered her second trimester.
- Must one fast if he is sick or weak? One who is sick is exempt from fasting. One who is old or weak is not required to fast if he receives a medical order from a doctor that the fast is detrimental to his health. He is not required to make up the fast on a later date when he feels healthy.
- One who is not sick but is in pain: One who is not sick must fast even if he is experiencing a great amount of pain.
- Women after birth: According to all opinions, a woman within 30 days of giving birth does not need to fast.
- One who is traveling: If one feels healthy, he must fast even if he is traveling that day.
- Children: All children that are above the age of Bar or Bas Mitzvah are obligated to fast. All children below the age of Bar or Bas Mitzvah are not required to fast any of the four Rabbinical fasts. One is not even required to educate the child to fast for a certain amount of hours into the day. Some Poskim however rule that a child which has reached the age of understanding the mourning is only to be allowed to eat bread and water or other simple staple food. The custom however is not like this opinion. [However, they are not to be given sweets and the like although one is not required to stop them from eating it if they are in the midst of doing so.]
- The Chabad custom is to recite the Selichos within Tachanun, after Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharis. It is customarily recited while standing. This especially applies for the 13 attributes and Shema Koleinu. The Chabad custom is to omit the saying of Ashamnu within Selichos when it is recited within the prayers of Shacharis. [However, it is recited as usual within Tachanun that is recited before Selichos.]
- Concentration: Selichos must be recited slowly and with concentration. It is better to recite a lesser amount of supplications, but with proper concentration, then a larger amount without concentration. Those that are accustomed to hurriedly recite the conclusion of Selichos are to nullify their custom.
- The thirteen attributes: It is forbidden to recite the thirteen attributes without proper concentration. [It is to be recited slowly and carefully. It is to be recited aloud. Some are accustomed to count the Middos with their fingers. Some are accustomed to picture each letter of each word in their mind while reciting it.] The 13 attributes may only be read together with the Minyan. The custom is to stand while reciting it. One is not to lean while reciting it unless he is old or sick.
- Shema Koleinu: The custom is to open the ark and stand for the saying of Shema Koleinu.
- Selichos without a Minyan: It is permitted to recite Selichos without a Minyan, although he must omit certain parts, as will be explained next. If one is saying Selichos without a Minyan, he is to omit the 13 attributes of mercy. [It is not our custom in such a case to recite the 13 attributes of mercy in the tune of the Torah reading-see Halacha C in Q&A!] He is likewise to omit the Aramaic parts said within Selichos. One does not omit the verse of “Uzechor Hayom Bris Shlosh Esrei” upon saying Selichos without a Minyan.
- Avinu Malkeinu: Avinu Malkeinu is recited after Selichos, prior to “Veanachnu Lo Neida.” One continues straight to Veanchnu Lo Neida after Avinu Malkeinu and omits the short Avinu Malkeinu prayer normally recited prior to Veanachnu Lo Neida.
- The Torah portion of Vayichal is read during Shacharis.
- The prayer of Aneinu is added during Mincha Shemoneh Esrei of a fast day. It is recited within the blessing of Shomeia Tefila, prior to the words “Ki Ata Shomeia.” It is not recited during the silent Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharis or Maariv. It is however recited within the Chazan’s repetition of the Shacharis and Mincha Shemoneh Esrei. The Chazan recites Aneinu as a separate blessing between the blessings of Goal Yisrael and Rifaeinu. This applies during the Chazan’s repetition of both Shacharis and Mincha Shemoneh Esrei. However, during the Chazan’s silent prayer of Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharis he does not say Aneinu, while during his silent prayer of Mincha he recites Aneinu within Shomeia Tefila just like the other people praying.
- One who forgot Aneinu: If one forgot to say Aneinu in Shomeia Tefila he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation. If he remembered prior to finishing Shemoneh Esrei he is to recite it at the end of Davening, in Elokaiy Netzor prior to the [second] Yihyu Leratzon. Even if he remembered prior to Ritzei, he is nevertheless to continue and recite it in Elokaiy Netzor. [If he only remembered after finishing Davening then it is proper to concentrate on each word of the Chazan’s repetition and thus fulfill his obligation.]
- The meaning behind Aneinu: The Kol Bo writes the prayer of Aneinu contains 63 words which correspond to the 63 letters contained within the verse “Vayira Yaakov Meod…” The Aguda writes that it corresponds to the 63 letters of the three Avos and twelve tribes. Alternatively, it corresponds to the Divine 63 letter name of Hashem [Sheim Sag], which corresponds to Bina and Gevura. We thus recite 63 words in order to sweeten the severities of Bina.
- Charity: Prior to Mincha one is to give Igara Ditaanisa to charity.
- Torah reading: The Torah portion of Vayichal is read during Mincha. This is followed by the reading of the Haftorah.
- Yehalelu: After the reading of the Haftorah, Yehalelu is recited and the Torah is returned to the Aron. This is then followed by half Kaddish. [However, there were years that the Rebbe began the Kaddish immediately after the Haftora as is normally done by Mincha of Shabbos. However, in most years the Rebbe waited for the Sefer Torah to be returned.]
- Aneinu: During Shemoneh Esrei of Mincha Aneinu is recited, as stated in the previous Halacha.
- Nesias Kapayim: The Chazan recites Birchas Kohanim in his repetition of Shemoneh Esrei of Mincha. Those places which are not accustomed to do Birchas Kohanim recite Elokeinu during the Chazan’s repetition. [This applies even when Mincha is being davened early, by the time of Mincha Gedolah.] Those that are accustomed to performing Nesias Kapayim daily, are to do so as well by Mincha of a fast day. [However, this only applies when Mincha is being prayed close to sunset. Some rule this to be within thirty minutes before sunset. Others rule it refers to past Plag Hamincha. Others rule it refers to Mincha Ketana. However, when praying Mincha prior to Plag Hamincha Nesias Kapayim is not performed. Nevertheless, one does recite Elokeinu Velokei Avoseinu, as stated above.]
- Tachanun and Avinu Malkeinu: Tachanun and Avinu Malkeinu are recited during Mincha of a fast day, with exception to when it falls on Erev Shabbos.
General laws applicable on fast days:
- Rinsing the mouth: On a public fast day one does not rinse his mouth in the morning. [If, however, this is causing one discomfort he may be lenient to rinse his mouth.]
- May one brush one’s teeth on a fast day? If not doing so will cause one pain or discomfort it is allowed.
- May one use mouthwash if not doing so will cause pain and discomfort? Yes it may be used in such a case.
Laws relevant to when the 10th of Teves falls on Erev Shabbos:
- It is possible for the 10th of Teves to fall on Erev Shabbos. It is the only fast in the Jewish calendar that can fall on Erev Shabbos. When the 10th of Teves falls on Erev Shabbos, the fast is not delayed to another day.
- Haircuts: Even those who are accustomed not to get a haircut on the day of the fast may do so on a fast day that falls on Erev Shabbos.
- Until what time must one fast: When the 10th of Teves falls on Erev Shabbos, one fasts until after nightfall of Shabbos, as is the law regarding all fasts that one must fast until after Tzeis Hakochavim. This applies even if one Davens Maariv and accepts Shabbos early prior to nightfall, nonetheless he must continue fasting until nightfall arrives.
- There is no obligation to make Kiddush and begin eating immediately after nightfall and one may delay as necessary, such as to Daven Maariv and walk home from Shul, or wait for guests to come, or to delay past the seventh hour, as will be explained. Nonetheless, initially it is proper for one to arrange for Kiddush to be made as soon as possible after nightfall in order not to elongate one’s state of oppression on Shabbos, and thus one may Daven Maariv early even prior to nightfall for this purpose, as will be explained.
- Mincha Erev Shabbos: Prior to Mincha, Hodu and Patach Eliyahu are recited as usual.
- The Torah is read in Mincha, as usually done on a fast day.
- Tachanun [and Avinu Malkeinu] is not recited by Mincha.
- Aneinu is recited in Mincha.
- One is to be careful to Daven Mincha, including Chazaras Hashatz, before sunset, in order not to enter a question of reading the Torah and saying Aneinu after sunset. Nonetheless, in a time of need the Torah may be read, and Aneinu may be said, up until nightfall.
- When to Daven Maariv: One may begin Maariv after sunset, prior to Tzeis Hakochavim, in order to conclude Maariv and be able to make Kiddush and eat at the earliest possible time.
- In such a case, one is to make sure to read all three paragraphs of Kerias Shema for the sake of the Mitzvah again after nightfall, prior to starting the meal.
- Certainly, one may Daven Kabalas Shabbos prior to nightfall, and so is encouraged to be done by all Shuls in order not to delay the fast unnecessarily.
- Kiddush Between 6:00-7:00 [or 5:40-6:40 in Israel]: Although it is generally accustomed amongst many Chassidim to avoid making Kiddush between six and seven, nevertheless in years that the fast of the 10th of Teves falls on Shabbos many are accustomed to being lenient in this and make Kiddush between six and seven if necessary. Others however relate that the custom is to be stringent not to make Kiddush between six and seven even in such a scenario that will cause the fast to be delayed.
- Practically, relevant to one’s geographical location, Shuls and individuals should initially schedule their Davening of Maariv and coming home from Shul in a way that it will allow them to make Kiddush prior to the 6th hour. In a time of need, however one may be lenient to make kiddush after the sixth hour.
- Summary of options for when to break the fast: One is obligated to fast until nightfall. The following are the options available in how to navigate breaking the fast with Kiddush as soon as possible after nightfall:
- Arrange to Daven Maariv after sunset in a way that you will finish by nightfall, and then go home and make Kiddush right away, or if necessary, make Kiddush in Shul.
- Women who remain home may be instructed to make Kiddush right after nightfall and eat at least a Kezayis of Mezonos.
- In a time of need, make Kiddush right after nightfall and eat at least a Kezayis, but less than a Kebeitza, of Mezonos, and then Daven Maariv, as explained in the Q&A below.
- May one choose to make Kiddush and eat a snack after nightfall prior to Davening Maariv? Although in general it is best for men [and women who Daven Maariv on Friday night] to pray before Kiddush , and to wash on Lechem Mishneh right after Kiddush , nonetheless in a time of need such as a fast day, one may be lenient as follows if necessary: [This is especially pertinent to those who are extremely weak due to the fast, or would end up needing to wait until after the 7th hour in order to make Kiddush as explained above.]
- Women: Women may recite Kiddush and eat at least a Kezayis of Mezonos after nightfall prior to them Davening Maariv. [Accordingly, it is advised for husbands to instruct their wives and daughters who are home fasting, that they may choose to recite Kiddush right away after nightfall so they can break their fast, and do not have to wait until the men come home from Shul.] They need to eat at least a Kezayis of Mezonos immediately after Kiddush or an additional Revius of grape juice, as stated above, and may eat all foods up to any amount, although they should not be too much in order to leave room for the actual meal.
- Men: A man may make Kiddush after nightfall prior to Maariv and eat at least a Kezayis of Mezonos, but less than a Kebeitza, and may eat and drink other foods without limitation, and then stop to Daven Maariv. This applies even if he does not have anyone to remind him to Daven Maariv. Nonetheless, he should only do so if it is a case of great need. If he can ask another person who is present and is not participating in the eating to remind him to Daven Maariv after he eats, then he may eat even more than a Kebeitza.
Leave A Comment?
You must be logged in to post a comment.