Fast days

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3. Fast days:

The night of the fast:[1]  It is permitted to have marital relations on a fast day, other than Tisha B’Av.[2] [Nevertheless, a Ba’al Nefesh is to be stringent to not have marital relations on the fast day, just like on the ninth of Av.[3] These stringencies begin from the night of the fast day, which is from the night of the 17th of Tammuz, the night of the 10th of Teves, and the night of Tzom Gedalia.[4] However, on the night of Ta’anis Esther it is permitted, even for a Ba’al Nefesh.[5]]

Night of Mikveh or other Onah:[6] On the night of Tevila one is not to abstain from marital relations with his wife. [The same applies to any other obligatory Onah, such as his wife desires him or he returned home from travel on that day.[7]]

The night after the fast: It is permitted to have marital relations on the night after a fast. However, some Poskim[8] rule that due to health reasons one is to never have marital relations after a fast.


[1] Michaber 550:2; Tosafos end of 2nd chapter of Ta’anis; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 550:6; Sheyikadesh Atzmo 8:12

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that the custom today is to prohibit taking a bath on a fast day, with exception to Erev Shabbos. [Bach 550; Levushei Serud 550; Ateres Zekeinim 550, brought in Sha’ar Hatziyon 550:8] This stringency applies only to hot water. [P”M 550 M”Z 1; Sha’ar Hatziyon ibid]

[2] The reason: The Sages did not decree against these matters on a regular fast, as majority of the congregation cannot uphold this. [M”A 550:3 in name of Ran] This means as follows: Originally, the Sages decreed for each of the four fasts that all the five oppressions apply. Thus, in times that fasting is obligatory, such as times of war, all five oppressions must be kept during every fasts. However, today, since it is a time of peace and we only fast due to our accepted custom, it is not necessary to guard the other oppressions, as we never accepted this upon ourselves, due to the reason explained in the M”A ibid. [Beis Yosef 550 in name of Ramban; Taz 550:1; Machatzis Hashekel ibid in name of Ran; M”B 550:6]

[3] M”A 550:3; Sh’lah; Ateres Zekeinim 550; Elya Raba 550:2; M”B 550:6; Or Tzadikim 27:1

[4] Sha’ar Hatziyon 550:9 in name of Elya Raba in name of Sh’lah; Poskim ibid – just like Tisha B’Av; Thus, a Ba’al Nefesh should begin fasting from the night before, just as on the ninth of Av. However, see Piskeiy Teshuvos 550 footnote 18 that the custom is not to be stringent regarding fasting; See Sha’ar Hatziyon 565:8

[5] Nitei Gavriel 87:18; 24:19

[6] M”A ibid; Elya Raba ibid; M”B 550:6

[7] Darkei Taharah p. 203; Sheyikadesh Atzmo ibid

[8] Moed Lekol Chaiy 31:24; Kaf Hachaim 558:7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 558:3

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