17th of Tammuz

17th of Tammuz Q & A

Taking pills on the fast day:
Q. I suffer from chronic high blood pressure and I take pills daily. What should I do on the 17th of Tammuz about taking water with my pills?            
A. Try to use the minimum amount you can if you need water to take it. If you don’t need water take the pills without it.

Fasting while pregnant:
Q. My wife is in her second month of pregnancy. Does she need to fast?                                                         
A. She doesn’t need to fast.

Fasting during hard physical labor:
Q. Every year I try to get off from my job for the fast day since my work involves hard physical labor. I was not successful yet again. How can I get through the fast?                                                                                                                                                                                                            
A. Start fasting and if you feel weaker than usual you can drink. May G-d bless you not to need to work on the fast day.

Why we fast on the 17th of Tammuz:
Q. Why do we fast on the 17th of Tammuz?                                                                                                            
A. Because of 5 tragedies that befell the Jewish nation on the 17th of Tammuz: 1.Moses broke the two tablets he received at Mount Sinai, 2. The daily offering was discontinued from the temple service in the first temple, 3. Jerusalem’s walls were breached and our enemies poured into the city, 4. A Roman General Apostomus burned a Torah scroll, 5. An idol was placed in the Holy temple. Though during the time of the first temple, Jerusalem’s walls were breached on the 9th of Tammuz our sages did not want to establish yet another fast day so we remember the event on the 17th of Tammuz for that’s when the walls of Jerusalem were breached in the time of the 2nd temple.

Purchasing new clothing during the 3 weeks:
Q. Can I buy new clothes, gifts, cosmetics and toiletries, especially for my mother’s birthday which is about the same time? Am I allowed to clean my house as normal?                                                                           
A. You may buy a gift for your mother and cosmetics and toiletries which you need for the house. you can’t buy new clothing since we diminish purchasing the things that bring us happiness at this sad time. You may clean your house as you normally do.

Allowed to work:
Q. Am I permitted to work on this fast day?
A. There’s no prohibition against working on this fast day.

Lasting the whole fast:
Q. I normally wake up early before the fast to eat so I can have strength to fast but I got up late. Is it better to eat early in the fast and continue fasting afterwards or to fast regular and have to break the fast before the end?                                                                                                             
A. A fast is from beginning to end. If you know you will not be able to complete the fast at all without breaking it early whether because of illness or weakness, you are not obligated to fast. Hunger on its own is not a reason to break a fast or not to fast. Weakness is a reason and in our generation may authorities are more lenient with women fasting in general.

What if you ate by accident?
Q. What if I remembered the fast after I had breakfast. Should I proceed to fast or is there no point?      
A. According to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef of blessed memory you should proceed to fast as the obligation carries on to the remaining hours of the fast day.

Studying for tests during the fast:
Q. I have a test in university coming up the 18th of Tammuz and the 10th of Av, both the day after fast days. Can I study for the tests on the fast days?                                                                                                             
A.  You can study on the 17th of Tammuz, you can’t study on the 9th of Av.

Road test during the 3 weeks:
Q. I wanted to know if I can take a road test during the 3 weeks?                                                                               
There is no prohibition against taking a road test during the 3 weeks. However there is no blessing in the month of Av so it’s recommended to not take any tests in the beginning of Av until after the 9th of Av.


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