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Thursday
Sep262019

Can I Prepare Food for After Yom Kippur During the Day?

A collection of relevant halachos regarding Yom Kippur from AskTheRav.com & Halacha2Go.com.
By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, Mara D’asra and member of the Crown Heights Beis Din

Why do we say Vidui so many times?

Vidui (confession) is a part of the process of teshuva (returning to Hashem), accomplished through verbalizing our sins. The vidui procedure was an essential aspect of bringing korbanos (sacrifices) in the Beis Hamikdash (Holy Temple). We recite vidui whenever we atone for wrongdoing, and specifically, ten times during the course of the tefillos (prayers) of Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). By reciting the vidui, we fulfill a mitzvah min haTorah (Biblical commandment, although teshuva itself is not counted as one of the six hundred thirteen).

The ten times we recite the vidui on Yom Kippur (each prayer encompasses all the numerous declarations of al cheit—“for the sin of…”—admissions) corresponds to the ten instances in the original Yom Kippur service in the Beis Hamikdash when the Kohen Gadol (High Priest) uttered the Shem haMeforash (Hashem’s ineffable name).

The vidui should be recited me’umad (while standing)—both when it is said as part of the silent individual tefillos and when it is repeated during chazaras hashatz (the prayer leader’s repetition). While standing and reciting the vidui, we submit ourselves to Hashem completely by bending our heads forward slightly, striking our chests for each of the admissions—when we say “al cheit shechatanu”.

While standing, the davener may not lean on a prop to the extent that if it were removed, they would fall.

There is discussion among the Rishonim (early halachic authorities) when is the proper time for saying the evening vidui—before or after nightfall on the eve of Yom Kippur. Although the consensus is that the mitzvah is fulfilled by reciting it on the fast itself, it should also be recited just before sunset on Erev Yom Kippur (though it does not appear in that place in many standard Machzorim—High Holiday prayer books). This recitation is in accordance with the opinion of the Ramban: the purpose of saying vidui at that time is to atone by saying al cheit—and when forgiven with no further opportunity or time to transgress—enter into the holy day of Yom Kippur free of sin. (Halacha2go.com #723)

Making the Brachah on Besamim on Yom Kippur

Whereas we are required to afflict our bodies on Yom Kippur, it does not apply to oursense of smell.  Therefore, we may smell all types of scents, pleasant or not; in fact, it’s recommended that we make a brachah on besamim throughout Yom Kippur since we have difficulty reaching the requisite one hundred brachos we are required to recite daily, as we do not eat and drink. We may make the brachah on besamim as many times as we wish on Yom Kippur—or on any other day—provided that we were maisiach daas (we took our minds off the smelling of the besamim). After a sheinas k’va (regular, prolonged sleep), we may recite the brachah on besamim again, since sleeping is obviously hesech hadaas. We may recite numerous brachos if we have access to a variety of besamim that require different brachos, such as atzei besamimisvei besamim, and so on. (Halacha2go.com #412)

Preparing Food for After Yom Kippur

According to halacha it is permissible to prepare food min hamincha u’lemaala, late in the afternoon of Yom Kippur for after the fast, so that people should be able to eat right after the fast is over.  Nonetheless, the halacha is brought that even though this is permitted, the minhag is not to allow food preparation on Yom Kippur, unless it is for people who are very unwell and need to eat immediately after the fast. However, when Yom Kippur falls out on Shabbos, then it is not only an issue of a minhag, custom, but it is strictly forbidden to prepare food on Yom Kippur for after Yom Kippur. Just like every other Shabbos it is forbidden to prepare on Shabbos for the weekday, it is also forbidden on this Yom Kippur, in order that people should not mistakenly conclude that they are allowed to prepare on Shabbos for the weekday. It is permitted to move food on Yom Kippur, and one is also allowed to give food to children who are exempt from fasting. However, it is brought down in seforim that children should not eat in front of adults. (Halacha2go.com #127)

Am I allowed to take a caffeine or Tylenol suppository on Yom Kippur?

It is permitted but should not be used unless necessary or one is concerned that the fast might have to be broken.

I am pregnant/nursing. Do I have to fast on Yom Kippur?

A woman after birth – up to and including the third day since birth – need not fast. Within seven days – consult with a Rov.

After that period of time, she must fast as normal, even though she might be feeling very weak.
The dispensation from fasting is only if it’s potentially a life threatening condition. Therefore, in low risk pregnancy, one should fast regularly unless accompanied by severe headaches, dehydration, dizziness etc.

It’s important to fast even at the expense of sleeping in bed all of Yom Kippur. Where practical, it’s important that husbands remain home instead of going to Shul to help their wife who is fasting.

If however one feels that their condition has deteriorated Chas V’sholom to the extent that it becomes a question of Sakana, then one can break their fast with Shiurim.

One can assess their health situation themselves. If they’re feeling very faint, they should break the fast using “Shiurim” [below the minimum amount considered eating], please consult AskTheRav.com for a detailed article with instructions on this matter.

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