3. Eating during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah

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3. Eating during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah:

Fasting:[1] Those which are meticulous are accustomed to fast for a total of ten days, and so is the proper custom.[2] [However, those which feel weak from fasting are not to fast these fasts.[3] Practically the custom today, due to the weakness of the generation, is to no longer fast these fasts.]

Pas Yisrael:[4] During the ten days of repentance one should be particular to only eat Pas Yisrael [bread baked by a Jew], even if his custom is to be lenient in eating it throughout the rest of the year. However, all the allowances that apply during the year apply likewise during these ten days.[5]



Sparks of Kabala:[6]

Although fasting during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah is an act of piety nevertheless the main Tikkun during these days is actually fulfilled through eating. The fasting is only done due to the requirement to achieve atonement for sin. It is therefore written in Sefarim that one must eat bread every night of Aseres Yimei Teshuvah in order to recite the blessing of Birchas Hamazon.

 Related Customs


It is accustomed amongst all Jewry to increase in charity, good deeds and to involve oneself in Mitzvos throughout the days between R”H and Yom Kippur.



One may say Tehillim at night during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah.

Buying a set of Lulav and Esrog:

Some[9] write that one is to try to purchase a set of Daled Minim during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah in order to add in merits for the day of Yom Kippur and have these merits overturn the judgment. Others[10] however write that one is specifically to buy the Esrog after Yom Kippur as the tears of Yom Kippur clean the blemishes of the Esrog.


Avoiding marital relations:[11]

Some are accustomed to avoiding marital relations during the 10 days of repentance unless it is the night of Mikveh. Certainly, however one is not avoid doing so if he feels his inclination overpowering him.[12]


The custom is to avoid making weddings of a 1st marriage between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.[13] However a 2nd marriage may be made during these days.[14] In a time of need a couple may marry even a 1st marriage during this time.[15]

Vav Tishrei:

The 6th of Tishrei is the day of the passing of the Rebbe’s mother. She passed away in 1965.


[1] Rama 581:2

[2] See Kaf Hachaim 581:62 that it is not necessary to fast until nightfall, although it is proper to do so.

[3] See Mateh Efraim 581:36 [brought in Kaf Hachaim 581:61] however there it is with regards to if fasting may cause one to be unable to fast on Yom Kippur.

[4] 603:1; Michaber 603:1; M”B 603:1; Shach Yoreh Deah 112:9; Toras Chatas 75; based on Yerushalmi Shabbos 3:3

Chulin Al Taharas Hakodesh: The Shlah p. 67 [brought in M”A 603:2]  writes that Chassidim are accustomed to not eat impure foods, thus they only eat foods that have not touched water and that have been kneaded with fruit juice. The M”A ibid leaves this matter in question being it becomes impure with the saliva in one’s mouth being that we are all Tamei Meisim. Other Poskim defend the ruling of the Shalah [Elya Raba 603:1] Practically this matter is no longer accustomed today. [Kaf Hachaim 603:6]

[5] Thus even if he cannot bake the bread himself, he can Kasher the oven of the gentile by raising the flame or throwing in a single twig, in which case the bread is no longer considered Pas Palter. [ibid; Michaber Yoreh Deah 112:9] Likewise if one is traveling and has no Jewish bread available for a distance of 4 Mil ahead of him and he now desires to eat, then he may eat Pas Palter even during Aseres Yimei Teshuvah just as it is allowed during the year. [ibid; Michaber Y.D. 112:16; M”A 603; Elya Raba 603:1; M”E 603:1; M”B ibid]

[6] Ben Ish Chaiy Netzavim 24; Kaf Hachaim 581:60

[7] Rambam Hilchos Teshuvah 3:4; Kaf Hachaim 602:4

[8] Sefer Haminhagim p. 41 [English]

[9] Kitzur SH”A 130:6; Mateh Efraim 603:5

[10] Shem Meshmuel [Sukkos]; Drashos Chasam Sofer 38a brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 602:4

[11] Or Tzaddikim 27:11; Siddur Arizal of Rav Shabsi; Beir Heiytiv 240 in name of Kneses Hagedola; Piskeiy Teshuvos 603 footnote 2

[12] M”B 240:7

[13] Mateh Efraim 602:5; Chochmas Shlomo 602; Igros Kodesh Vol 9 p. 205; Piskeiy Teshuvos 602:3

The reason: The reason for this is because a) The moon is considered concealed until after Yom Kippur, and when the moon is concealed one is to avoid getting married. B) When married all one’s sins are forgiven. It is not proper to precede G-ds forgiveness on Yom Kippur with a personal loophole in which he gets forgiveness. [Chochmas Shlomo ibid]

Other opinions: Some communities however have never accepted this custom, and thus make weddings during these days. [Yechaveh Daas 1:48]

[14] Alef Hamagen 602:5

[15] M”E ibid

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