Q.This morning I got up and without paying attention I rinsed my mouth (not for drinking) out when I was washing up in the morning. Did I stop fasting because of this or do I continue the fast? (I should mention the water didn’t reach my throat).
A. This is not considered breaking the fast therefore you should continue fasting. You don’t need to make it up with another day of fasting.
Q. What’s the reason for the fast? When does the fast begin and end? What can’t you do on this fast?
A. The reason for the fast is that on this day the siege on Jerusalem started before the destruction of the first temple. The fast starts at dawn and ends by night when the stars come out. Food should not be eaten on this fast but one my wash himself. Someone ill should not fast.
Q. I woke up in a hurry and had breakfast without thinking. I forgot it’s a fast day. I was so upset I was close to tears. Is there anything you can tell me to console me? By the way I proceeded fasting afterwards.
A. Even if you forgot and ate you didn’t totally lose out on the fast. You can fast a different day in Tevet. There are later halachic authorities (Acharonim) that say the that the specific date of the fast wasn’t established in the prophets rather it’s called the “Fast of the Tenth Month” . That is why there is an opinion in the Talmud (Rosh Hashana 18b) that the fast is on the fifth of Tevet. But for your question the answer is if you didn’t fast on the tenth of Tevet you should make it up on another day in Tevet.
Q. I’m a Capricorn and I was born on the Tenth of Tevet. It’s not such a great day because it’s a fast day. So it must be you can’t celebrate a birthday on it. When would be a good time to celebrate my birthday and what does this date tell me anyway?
You can celebrate your birthday at night after the fast without any problem. As far as your zodiac sign, as Jews the zodiac doesn’t influence our lives and our fate. Everything is decreed yearly according to our deeds and accountings from this life and previous ones. You are watched with personal divine providence not a general divine providence as non-Jews are watched with the exception of general things like poverty or wealth. It is worthwhile to keep the Torah’s commandment about these things; “You should be whole with your Lord” (Deuteronomy 18, 13) not to seek out what will be in the future and to accept everything that happens with love.
Indeed G-d told our forefather the patriarch Abraham “Go out of your astrology” and our sages explain that Abraham saw in the stars that he couldn’t have children. G-d told him “leave the astrology you are above nature and I’m giving you a son.” This shows us that the constellations of the zodiac and astrology do influence our lives as Jews, for like Abraham we are above nature.