Laws relevant to when the 10th of Teves falls on Erev Shabbos

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Laws relevant to when the 10th of Teves falls on Erev Shabbos:[1]

It is possible for the 10th of Teves to fall on Erev Shabbos. It is the only fast in the Jewish calendar that can fall on Erev Shabbos.[2] When the 10th of Teves falls on Erev Shabbos, the fast is not delayed to another day.

Haircuts:[3] Even those who are accustomed not to get a haircut on the day of the fast[4] may do so on a fast day that falls on Erev Shabbos.

Until what time must one fast:[5] When the 10th of Teves falls on Erev Shabbos, one fasts until after nightfall of Shabbos[6], as is the law regarding all fasts that one must fast until after Tzeis Hakochavim.[7] This applies even if one Davens Maariv and accepts Shabbos early prior to nightfall, nonetheless he must continue fasting until nightfall arrives.[8] [There is no obligation to make Kiddush and begin eating immediately after nightfall and one may delay as necessary, such as to Daven Maariv and walk home from Shul, or wait for guests to come, or to delay past the seventh hour, as will be explained.[9] Nonetheless, initially it is proper for one to arrange for Kiddush to be made as soon as possible after nightfall in order not to elongate one’s state of oppression on Shabbos, and thus one may Daven Maariv early even prior to nightfall for this purpose, as will be explained.[10]]

Mincha Erev Shabbos: Prior to Mincha, Hodu and Patach Eliyahu are recited as usual. The Torah is read in Mincha, as usually done on a fast day.[11] However, Tachanun [and Avinu Malkeinu[12]] is not recited by Mincha.[13] Aneinu is recited in Mincha.[14] One is to be careful to Daven Mincha, including Chazaras Hashatz, before sunset, in order not to enter a question of reading the Torah and saying Aneinu after sunset.[15] Nonetheless, in a time of need the Torah may be read, and Aneinu may be said, up until nightfall.[16]

When to Daven Maariv: One may begin Maariv after sunset, prior to Tzeis Hakochavim, in order to conclude Maariv and be able to make Kiddush and eat at the earliest possible time.[17] In such a case, one is to make sure to read all three[18] paragraphs of Kerias Shema for the sake of the Mitzvah again after nightfall, prior to starting the meal.[19] Certainly, one may Daven Kabalas Shabbos prior to nightfall, and so is encouraged to be done by all Shuls in order not to delay the fast unnecessarily.

Kiddush Between 6:00-7:00 [or 5:40-6:40 in Israel]: Although it is generally accustomed amongst many Chassidim to avoid making Kiddush between six and seven, nevertheless in years that the fast of the 10th of Teves falls on Shabbos many are accustomed to being lenient in this and make Kiddush between six and seven if necessary.[20] Others however relate that the custom is to be stringent  not to make Kiddush between six and seven even in such a scenario that will cause the fast to be delayed.[21] Practically,  relevant to one’s geographical location, Shuls and individuals should initially schedule their Davening of Maariv and coming home from Shul in a way that it will allow them to make Kiddush prior to the 6th hour. In a time of need, however one may be lenient to make kiddush after the sixth hour.


Summary of options for when to break the fast:

One is obligated to fast until nightfall. The following are the options available in how to navigate breaking the fast with Kiddush as soon as possible after nightfall:

1. Arrange to Daven Maariv after sunset in a way that you will finish by nightfall, and then go home and make Kiddush right away, or if necessary, make Kiddush in Shul.[22]

2. Women who remain home may be instructed to make Kiddush right after nightfall and eat at least a Kezayis of Mezonos.

3. In a time of need, make Kiddush right after nightfall and eat at least a Kezayis, but less than a Kebeitza, of Mezonos, and then Daven Maariv, as explained in the Q&A below.



May one choose to make Kiddush and eat a snack after nightfall prior to Davening Maariv?[23]

Although in general it is best for men [and women who Daven Maariv on Friday night] to pray before Kiddush[24], and to wash on Lechem Mishneh right after Kiddush[25], nonetheless in a time of need such as a fast day, one may be lenient as follows if necessary: [This is especially pertinent to those who are extremely weak due to the fast, or would end up needing to wait until after the 7th hour in order to make Kiddush as explained above.]

Women: Women may recite Kiddush and eat at least a Kezayis of Mezonos after nightfall prior to them Davening Maariv.[26] [Accordingly, it is advised for husbands to instruct their wives and daughters who are home fasting, that they may choose to recite Kiddush right away after nightfall so they can break their fast, and do not have to wait until the men come home from Shul.] They need to eat at least a Kezayis of Mezonos immediately after Kiddush or an additional Revius of grape juice, as stated above, and may eat all foods up to any amount, although they should not be too much in order to leave room for the actual meal.[27]

Men: A man may make Kiddush after nightfall prior to Maariv and eat at least a Kezayis of Mezonos, but less than a Kebeitza, and may eat and drink other foods without limitation, and then stop to Daven Maariv.[28] This applies even if he does not have anyone to remind him to Daven Maariv. Nonetheless, he should only do so if it is a case of great need.[29] If he can ask another person who is present and is not participating in the eating to remind him to Daven Maariv after he eats, then he may eat even more than a Kebeitza.[30]

May one taste the food if Erev Shabbos is a fast day?[31]

It is forbidden for Ashkenazim to taste food on a fast day for the sake of benefiting from it, even if he plans to spit it out afterwards.[32] However, it is permitted for Sephardim to taste less than a Revius food on a fast day without a blessing if he plans to spit it out afterwards.[33] [Likewise, even for Ashkenazim, it is permitted on Erev Shabbos to taste less than a Revius of the food and then spit it out afterwards in order to tell if it needs spices, without any intent to benefit from the food.[34]]


[1] See Rama 550:3; M”A 550:5; Admur 249:12

[2] M”B 550:10

[3] Ruach Chaim [Falagi] 566:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 550:8

[4] See Ruach Chaim [Falagi] 566:4 regarding a Baal Nefesh; Turei Even Rosh Hashanah 18b always permits

[5] Admur 249:12; Rama 249:4

[6] Admur ibid; Rama ibid

[7] Michaber 562:1; Rosh; Rav Chisda in Taanis 12 “Whoever did not fast until sunset is not considered to have fasted.” Igros Moshe 4:10 rules that in New York one is to wait until 50 minutes after sunset, and at the very least wait 41 minutes.

[8] 1st opinion in Admur ibid and so is the final ruling; Rama ibid

Background: There is a dispute mentioned regarding one who has finished Davening Maariv of Friday night prior to nightfall if he must continue fasting until nightfall. The first opinion rules that one must still continue fasting until nightfall [as all public fasts must be complete fasts]. The second opinion rules that it is forbidden to continue fasting past the conclusion of Maariv, even if before nightfall, as at that time one has already fully accepted Shabbos, and it is forbidden to fast on Shabbos, with intent of fasting, for even one moment. Now, although every public fast must be completed for the entire day [until nightfall], this second opinion holds that after Maariv is already considered a new day and thus there is no need to wait until nightfall out of obligation to complete the fast. [Admur ibid] Regarding a public fast Admur rules like the first opinion being that it is obligatory for one to fast until nightfall by a public fast. So, rules also Rama and Mishneh Berura 249. Regarding a private fast Admur rules like the second opinion.

[9] See Admur 288:1 and 249:12 that the prohibition of fasting on Shabbos is only if one intends to do so as a fast and not if one happens not to eat yet and certainly if the delay is a pleasure for him. There’s thus no obligation to eat immediately after nightfall. Now, although one should not enter into Shabbos when he is oppressed and hungry, this is already happening regardless as he can only break his fast after Shabbos already begins, and thus there is no obligation due to this to eat as soon as possible. This is unlike Rav Y.S. Ginzberg in Hiskashrus 379 p. 19 who understands, in my opinion erroneously, that one must make kiddush right away in order not to be oppressed on Shabbos.

[10] See Admur 249:12 [prevent oppression on Shabbos]; Shulchan Hatahor Zer Zahav 249:4 [Daven early so can make Kiddush by nightfall]; Piskeiy Teshuvos 249:7; Vetzaruch Iyun, as perhaps in order to avoid the above debate, one should avoid finishing the prayer of Maariv prior to nightfall when Friday is a fast day even if he normally prays Maariv after Pelag Hamincha, prior to nightfall.

[11] Rama 550:3; M”A 550:6

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule the Torah is not read by Mincha in order so people have time to prepare for Shabbos. [Beis Yosef 550, brought ion M”A ibid]

[12] Aruch Hashulchan 550:2; Mateh Efraim 602:32; M”B 602:3; Se Yechaveh Daas 8:54 for custom of Sefaradim

[13] M”A ibid; Beis Yosef; Darkei Moshe; Abudarham; M”B 550:11

[14] Yad Efraim 550; Shaareiy Teshuvah 550:4; M”B 550:11

[15] See Devar Yehoshua Y.D. 3:63; Piskeiy Teshuvos 550:10

[16] Devar Yehoshua 3:63 [see there that perhaps the Chazan should say it in Shomeia Tefila and omit the conclusion of Eis Tzarah]; Nitei Gavriel 63:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 550:10; Some Rabbanim rule in such a case to omit Aneinu completely; See M”A 550:6 and Yad Efraim there

[17] Mateh Efraim 602:29; Shulchan Hatahor Zer Zahav 249:4; Igros Moshe 3:96; Nitei Gavriel 63:6; Piskeiy Teshuvos 562:1 footnote 2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 249:7; Rabbi Groner that so was directive of Rebbe to ask Rav Shmuel Levitan one year on a fast day to Daven before the time of nightfall and announce to everyone to say Shema again after nightfall; See Hiskashrus 1198

Regarding the prohibition to Daven both Mincha and Maariv on a single day within the period of Plag Hamincha: See Admur 267:2; M”A 267:1; M”B 267:3; Biur Halacha 267:2 “Umiplag”; Piskeiy Teshuvos 267:2 footnote 19. Some Poskim however are lenient to allow a congregation to Daven both prayers, one after the other, within the period of Plag Hamincha, if it will be difficult to gather the congregation again afterwards for Maariv. [Regarding weekdays: M”A 233:6; M”B 233:11; Poskim in Kaf Hachaim 233:12; Regarding Erev Shabbos: Derech Hachaim Arvis 1, brought in M”B 267:3; Biur Halacha ibid; Shraga Hameir 5:21; Kinyan Torah 4:27; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 233:3; 267:2] Other Poskim  however rule one may only be lenient to do so if one will Daven Maariv after sunset. [M”B 267:3; Biur Halacha ibid regarding Erev Shabbos; Vetzaruch Iyun from M”B 233:11 who records the ruling of the M”A without argument.] There are communities that follow the former opinion and Daven both Mincha and Maariv within Plag Hamincha. [See Shraga Hameir 5:21; Kinyan Torah 4:27]

[18] See Admur 482:2 who writes to read all three paragraphs; However, see Admur 267 Kuntrus Achron 1 who writes to only read two paragraphs, and so also rules the M”A 235:2 as explained in the Machatzis Hashekel that one can be Yotzei remembering the exodus after Pelag Hamincha as it is not dependent on Ubikumecha; See M”B 235:11; Piskeiy Teshuvos 235:4

[19] See Admur 267:4; Kuntrus Achron 267:1; M”A 235:2; Nitei Gavriel Chanukah 69:6; Piskeiy Teshuvos 249:7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 235:4

[20] Nitei Gavriel Chanukah 69:9; Rav Y.S. Ginzberg in Hiskashrus 379 p. 19

[21] Rabbi Y.L. Groner a”h, printed in Hiskashrus 379 p. 19

[22] However, this latter option should only be done in a time of need, as explained below in the Q&A that one should not snack between kiddush and Hamotzi.

[23] See regarding Porei Mapa Umikadesh where the Friday night meal is eaten prior to Maariv, and so was done by the Rebbe on various occasions prior to 1984: Admur 271:9-11

[24] The reasons: 1) It is always forbidden for men to begin a meal prior to the prayer of Maariv. Thus, if you are a man, you must Daven Maariv before you start your night meal whether on Friday night or any other night. If you are a woman, then there is no issue for you to Daven Maariv after eating a night meal during the week. 2) However, on Friday night there is a reason why even women should first Daven Maariv prior to the meal if they will be hearing kiddush from someone who already Davened Maariv, and that is an order so one is Yotzei Kiddush according to all opinions, as some opinions held that one who is only rabbinically obligated in a mitzvah cannot be Motzi a woman who is still biblically obligated. [See Kaf Hachaim 271:7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 271 footnote 94] Nonetheless, this is a mere stringency as according to the majority of authorities a woman can be Yotzei from a man even if she has not yet Davened Maariv, and so is also the ruling of the Alter Rebbe. 3) Nonetheless, there is third reason for why men [and perhaps even women] should always Daven Maariv prior to starting the meal and that is based on Kabbalah. [See Kaf Hachaim 271:22 in name of Arizal] The above obligation however applicable to a man in the first reason is waived in the event that he has someone to remind him to Daven Maariv afterwards, and thus in a time of need even a man may first eat the meal, or begin the meal, and then Daven Maariv if he has someone to remind him, and certainly in a time of need a woman may do so even if she has no one to remind her. [See Michaber 235:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 235:6-8 for the laws of a shomer; Admur 431:11 that a shomer may not be involved in the Melacha; Sichas Lag Beomar 1944 Lekutei Deburim]

[25] See Admur 249:10-11; The Oar Zarua, brought in the Darkei Moshe [249], rules that it is forbidden to eat between Kiddush and Hamoitzi as one is required to eat the Shabbos meal with an appetite. The Darkei Moshe himself argues and rules that doing so is permitted and that so was the custom to eat Mezonos between Kiddush and Hamoitzi. The Magen Avraham [249:6] rules as does the Oar Zarua, that doing so is forbidden, as aside for the requirement of eating the Shabbos meal with an appetite, it is likewise forbidden for one to increase in saying unnecessary blessings, as well as that the laws of precedence of blessings requires that hamoitzi be said first. The Mishneh Berurah [249 in Biur Halacha] writes that the custom is to allow eating between Kiddush and Hamoitzi although those which are meticulous avoid doing so.

[26] Although in general it is best for those women who Daven Maariv on Friday night to pray before kiddush, nonetheless in a time of need such as a fast day, certainly they may be lenient.

[27] See Admur 249:10-11

[28] The following Poskim rule that one may snack up until a Kebeitza prior to prayer: M”A 235:4 and 431:4 and 692:7 regarding Maariv that tasting is permitted, unlike Terumas Hadeshen 109 based on Brachos 4b who implies that prior to Maariv even tasting is forbidden; Michaber 232:3 regarding Mincha and the same applies to Maariv; Admur 286:3 and M”A 286:17 regarding Musaf; P”M 431 A”A 4 regarding Bedikas Chameitz, recorded also in Mishna Berurah 431:6.

The law by a fast day and by Purim: The above ruling of the Poskim refers to a regular day and not a fast day. However, on a fast day, one can possibly argue that it would be prohibited to even taste any food prior to Maariv unless it is a time of great need, just as rule the M”A 692:7 himself and other Poskim rule regarding tasting food prior to hearing the Megillah, that one may not do so unless it is a time of great need. The reason recorded behind this stringency is unclear. [The M”A ibid states that it is because we find that even prior to the night Shema some authorities rule that one may not even snack, lest he fall asleep. Furthermore, Megillah is not similar to other Mitzvos by which we allow snacking beforehand, as all Mitzvos are pushed off in face of Megillah reading. See Levush 692:4; Nitei Gavriel 32 footnote 1 that the reason the eating law before Megillah is more severe than before other Mitzvos is because they suspected one may come to continue in eating due to the hunger caused by the fast.] Now, while it is possible to understand that the reason behind his stringency is due to the fact that it is a fast day, in which case we then prohibit even tasting, it is also possible to argue that the stringency is due to the greatness of the mitzvah of reading the Megillah. Practically, I have not found any discussion on the subject and therefore conclude as does the M”A ibid himself regarding Taanis Esther, that he should not even taste food unless it is a time of great need, although it is strongly possible to argue that even on a fast day tasting is permitted even initially.

[29] See previous footnote for the discussion of whether we are stringent to prohibit even tasting prior to Maariv when it is a fast day.

[30] Michaber 235:2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 235:6-8 for the laws of a shomer; Admur 431:11 that a shomer may not be involved in the Melacha; Sichas Lag Beomar 1944 Lekutei Deburim

[31] See Halacha Berura 250:11 Birur Halacha 14

[32] Rama 567:1; Admur 612:7; Tosafus; Hagahos Maimanis; Terumas Hadeshen 158; Levush 567; Kaf Hachaim 567:10

[33] Michaber 567:1

[34] Chayeh Adam 132:19; M”B 567:6; Kaf Hachaim 567:10; Nitei Gavriel 61:4

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