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U.N.J.S. | Union of Nazarene Jewish Synagogues

Fasting and Yom Kippur Sticky


During discussions of Yom Kippur several years ago, an argument was presented that nowhere does the Scripture indicate that fasting is a requirement of Yom Kippur. This struck me as an odd thing, even dangerous. I had not even heard such a thing before. I didn’t know that there was any debate over this issue among observant Jews. I knew that some Reformed Jews would casually work and not fast o­n Yom Kippur, but was not aware that there were other groups in the Jewish community that did not believe that fasting was a requirement of Yom Kippur.

Certainly the idea of fasting o­n Yom Kippur is an age old “tradition” among the more observant of both Jews and some Gentiles. There are even some “Christian” groups that fast o­n this day. Some groups fast o­n a regular basis, either for health or spiritual benefit, multiple times a year – even weekly.

The instructions in question for Yom Kippur are in the following texts:

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Halacha of the Believer


Excerpt from Messiah, Volume 1 By Avi Ben Mordecai

Rabbi (Hacham) Shaul was a scholarly teacher of Torah, both of the Oral and Written codes. Not only did he order his life by it, but he also taught it to others, born Jews and born Gentiles alike. Since Sha'ul followed Messiah Y'shua, who also taught the Oral and Written Torah, I submit (at this time in my life) that we should be following in the footsteps of Judaism's great teachers of G-d's Law, so long as the halacha meets five conditions:

It does not contradict Y'shua's teachings on Oral Torah.

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Responsa on the matters of beards and tattoos


Yedayim 4:3E tells us,
"Everyone who gives a stringent ruling must bring forth proof."
(Mishnah 4:3E(2))

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Responsa on the matters of the Amidah and the Birkat HaMinim


Our responsa on the matters of the Amidah and the Birkat HaMinim is written by consensus.

In general it is as written to you before:

There is no Torah command to pray thrice daily.

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13 rules of Ishmael


Now the Seven Rules of Hillel are of great importance to Nazarenes because:
''They were first penned by Hillel BEFORE Messiah's coming''
''They are used by Messiah and other NT writers.''
''Paul speaks of "rightly dividing the word" and since he was a student of Gamliel (grandson of Hillel) and since he used the seven rules of Hillel, it appears that "rightly dividing" refered at least in part, to the seven rules of Hillel.''
Now the 13 rules of Ishmael were first penned by Ishmael AFTER the first century (though they likely existed long before they were penned). However, they are important to us none the less for two reasons:

'They seem to have some intrinsic value.''
''We must be able follow the reasoning of the Rabbis of the Mishna and the Talmud who often rely o­n these rules.&

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The Sages have said:

The rabbis have taught, the Holy One, blessed by He, will say to Messiah ben David, may he be revealed soon in our days. 'Ask of Me anything and I shall give it to you.' For it is written, Adonai said to me, 'Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of Me and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance (Psalm 2:7-8).' And when he will see that Messiah ben Joseph will be slain, he will say before Him, 'Master of the World! I ask nothing of you except life.' G~d will say to him, 'Even before you said, "life," your father David prophesied about you, as it is written, 'He asked life of thee, Thou gavest it to him. (Psalm 21:5)'

— Babylonian Talmud
[Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a]