Fasting and Yom Kippur Sticky

Sep
17

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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THE SEVEN RULES OF HILLEL*

Oct
06

The Seven Rules of Hillel existed long before Rabbi Hillel (60 BCE – 20 CE?), but he was the first to write them down. The rules are so old we see them used in the Tenach (Old Testament).

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Halacha of the Believer

Oct
06

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

Oct
06

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

Oct
06

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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The Sages have said:

What is the cause of the mourning (Zechariah 12:10)? It is well according to him who explains that the cause is the slaying of Messiah, the son of Joseph, as it is written, 'And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son.'

— Babylonian Talmud
Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a