Fasting on Erev Shabbos

May one fast on Erev Shabbos:[1]

Setting up a new fast day for Erev Shabbos: One may not initially set up[2] a fast day for Erev Shabbos, unless he eats something prior to the entrance of Shabbos[3].  The reason for this requirement is in order so one not enter into Shabbos in a state of oppression. [As a result of this one may not accept such a fast by Mincha of Thursday, as any fast accepted by Mincha must be completed until nightfall, and as said above one is to eat prior to accepting Shabbos.[4]]

The law by one who is pampered: One who has a very slow metabolism[5] to the point that if he were to eat even a small amount on Erev Shabbos he would no longer be able to eat the Friday night meal with an appetite, then he may fast even up to the entrance of Shabbos.

An accustomed fast day which falls on Erev Shabbos: If the date of a set fast falls on Erev Shabbos [such as the 10th of Teves in certain years and other voluntary fasts[6]], then one may fast on Erev Shabbos and is not required to delay the fast, even if the fast is voluntary[7]. The reason for this is because this prohibition against entering into Shabbos in a state of oppression is a light prohibition, and thus the Sages only decreed against doing so if the fast does not have a set date and may hence be delayed. However when the fast does have a set date, and hence cannot be delayed the Sages did not make issue with one fasting on that date despite it being lax in Kavod Shabbos.

By an accustomed fast day which falls on Erev Shabbos, until when must one fast?[8]

  • A public fast day: By a public fast day [such as the 10th of Teves which falls on Erev Shabbos] one must fast until nightfall [Tzeis Hakochavim].[9] This applies even if the congregation has finished Davening Maariv prior to nightfall, and even if one had stipulated the day before that he would only fast until after the Maariv prayer[10].
  • A voluntary fast day which was accepted the Mincha before: A voluntary fast which falls on Erev Shabbos, then if one accepted the fast in Mincha of Thursday one is obligated to fast until nightfall of Erev Shabbos. However if the congregation has finished Davening Maariv prior to nightfall then one is to eat immediately after the congregations prayer.[11] Due to this one is to initially stipulate upon accepting the fast on the Mincha of Thursday that he will only be fasting until after the prayer of the congregation.
  • A voluntary fast which was not accepted the Mincha before: A voluntary fast which falls on Erev Shabbos, and was not accepted by Mincha of Thursday, one may continue to fast until nightfall if he so chooses. [However he is not obligated to do so, and may eat after sunset.] However this only applies if one has not entered himself into the status of a vow regarding fasting until nightfall by this fast. If however one is Halachicly deemed to have taken a vow to fast until nightfall by this date, then he is obligated to either fast until nightfall or revoke his vow in the presence of three adult men.[12] [See footnote for cases of vows[13]]
  • Taanis Chalom: One who is fasting a Taanis Chalom on Erev Shabbos is to complete his fast until nightfall, even if the congregation has completed the Maariv prayer.[14]

 

Summary:

One may not initially set up a fast day for Erev Shabbos unless he eats something prior to the entrance of Shabbos However if the date of a set fast falls on Erev Shabbos, then one may fast and it is not to be pushed off.  When a set fast day falls on Erev Shabbos [such as the 10th of Teves in certain years] then one must fast until after Tzeis Hakochavim, even if the congregation already Davened Maariv.

 


[1] 249/12

[2] Meaning that if one decides that he needs to fast for whatever reason, not dependant on any specific date, then he is not to fulfill this fast on Erev Shabbos, as he can simply delay it to a different weekday.

[3] Lit. Kabalas Shabbos, which implies even if he accepts Shabbos early he is to eat prior to accepting Shabbos.

[4] See Admur ibid

[5] Lit. pampered

[6] Such as: Fasts of the Yartzite of a Tzadik; Erev Rosh Chodesh; Aseres Yimei Teshuvah; 20th of Sivan;  Yartzite of father or mother; Taanis Chalom; 10th of Teves.

[7] Meaning that it is voluntary as to whether one needs to fast on that date or not fast at all. However the date itself is a set date.

[8] There is a dispute mentioned regarding one who has finished Davening Maariv of Friday night prior to nightfall if he must continue fasting until nightfall. The first opinion rules that one must still continue fasting until nightfall [as all public fasts must be complete fasts]. The second opinion rules that it is forbidden to continue fasting past the conclusion of Maariv, even if before nightfall, as at that time one has already fully accepted Shabbos, and it is forbidden to fast on Shabbos, with intent of fasting, for even one moment. Now, although every public fast must be completed for the entire day [until nightfall], this second opinion holds that after Maariv is already considered a new day and thus there is no need to wait until nightfall out of obligation to complete the fast. [ibid]

Regarding a public fast Admur rules like the first opinion being that it is obligatory for one to fast until nightfall by a public fast. So rules also Rama and Mishneh Berura 249. Regarding a private fast Admur rules like the second opinion.

[9] See previous footnote. Regarding a public fast Admur rules like the first opinion being that it is obligatory for one to fast until nightfall by a public fast. So rules also Rama and Mishneh Berura 249.

[10] As his stipulation is worthless as it is a public fast which is obligated upon all and is not given to individual discretion for stipulation. [ibid]

[11] As by a private, voluntary fast, Admur rules like the second opinion which forbids fasting on Shabbos once Maariv has been concluded by the congregation. Now, although every fast which was accepted the Mincha prior to the fast must be completed for the entire day [until nightfall], this second opinion holds that after Maariv is already considered a new day and thus there is no need to wait until nightfall out of obligation to complete the fast. [ibid]

[12] 249/13

[13] It is considered a vow in the following cases: [ibid]

  • One fasted this type of fast once before on Erev Shabbos, until nightfall, and had intent to continue doing so forever.
  • One fasted this type of fast until nightfall, three times on Erev Shabbos.
  • One fasted for the 1st Yartzite of his parents during the week, until nightfall: This matter is a dispute in whether it is considered a vow. Admur concludes that the custom is to be stringent to consider it a vow also regarding Erev Shabbos, although one who is lenient in times of need, may do so.
  • By the fast of Tzadikim and Erev Rosh Chodesh: If one fasted one time during the week until nightfall with intent to do so forever, or fasted three times until nightfall, then it is disputed whether this considered a vow also with regards to Erev Shabbos. Admur concludes that the custom is to be stringent to consider it a vow also regarding Erev Shabbos, although one who is lenient in times of need, may do so.

[14] As even on Shabbos itself one may fast a Taanis Chalom. [Ibid]

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?