Mourning and Fasting

Yom Kippur

Do we observe the Yom Kippur fast on Shabbat?

Question: Since it is forbidden to fast on Shabbat, do we fast on Yom Kippur if it falls on Shabbat? Answer: We do fast when Yom Kippur coincides with Shabbat (this being one of the differences between Yom Kippur and other fasts). Since Yom Kippur is a biblical fast, and the Torah calls it “Shabbat Shabbaton” – the Shabbat of Shabbats – this implies that it takes precedence over Shabbat.…

Three weeks of mourning

Three Week Annual Mourning Period

There are Three Weeks that are an annual mourning period that falls out in the summer. The Three Weeks or Bein ha-Metzarim (Hebrew: בין המצרים, “Between the Straits”) (cf “dire straits”) is a period of mourning commemorating the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples.  This is when we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple and our launch into a still-ongoing exile. The period…