How much money must I give to charity to redeem a fast?


I would like to give charity in order to redeem the number of fasts that I am to undertake for the sake of penitence, as brought in Tanya Igeres Hateshuvah I will like to know the practical amount that I’m to give per fast day?



The amount fluctuates based on the value of silver. Practically, you are to give the current market value of 12.8 grams of silver for that day. Per the value of a gram of silver as of today 9 July 2023 which is 74 cents, this would be equal to 9 1/2 dollars. Thus, if you would like to redeem the 252 penitential fast days, you would give this amount times 252. This is the average amount, however, if you can afford to give more, than give more, and if you can’t afford to give the above amount then give less, each person according to his capability, as the main thing is to feel the pain of the money. One is to give the charity to poor Torah scholars and other charitable institutions

Explanation: The Poskim rule that one is to give approximately 12 Peshutim for the redemption of a fast day which is undertaken for penitence purposes. In Igeres Hateshuvah the Alter Rebbe equates this with 18 Giiddulei Polin. Now, a sela is 19.2 grams of pure silver and Chaiy Gedulin Poland is 2/3 of a sela.  Thus, Chaiy Gedulain Poland is 12.8 grams of silver. To note that the Kaf Hachaim records the custom today is to give the value of one days’ worth of meals. This may be much more than 6.5$ a day.

Sources: See Admur 334:28; Igeres Hateshuvah 3; Rama 334:26; Terumas Hadeshen Pesakim 60; M”A 334:34; Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Chasam Sofer Y.D. 155;Shiurei Tziyon p. 77; Igros Kodesh 2:60; See Piskeiy Tehsuvos 334:10 and 568:6; Koveitz Lubavitch 8:35

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