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Updated: Mar 3, 2022

Q: Why are you talking about health and fasting all year round? We usually reserve these topics for right before Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av.

A: We saw the need for change. The current system wasn't working. Some people had isolating experiences eating on fast days, where they felt disconnected from their communities. Others may have put themselves in danger by fasting. For some of us, fast days were emotionally painful, and sometimes dangerous, experiences.

Upon reflection, we identified so many areas for change that we decided to do this work year round. In doing so, we could teach sources about pikuach nefesh (saving a life), address harmful messaging, write articles and guides for those eating on fast days, connect with each other, and build a supportive community.

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Updated: Feb 24, 2022

Answer: We feel that the insistence on privacy, actually often secrecy, sends the message that our eating is wrong. This is not only inaccurate (when fasting is dangerous it is a mitzvah to eat), but also potentially life-threatening. For some people, lacking sufficient support in their mitzvah to eat may result in an attempt to fast.

We believe in changing this harmful messaging by taking this topic out from the shadows, and showing public support to those of us who are upholding the principle of pikuach nefesh (saving a life), by eating on fast days.

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Updated: Feb 24, 2022

A: Fasting is absolutely a mitzvah for people who are able to fast without harm. But for those of us who are harmed by fasting, we have a mitzvah to eat. Our Jewish texts are clear that we must protect life. Pikuach nefesh, saving a life, is more important than almost every other mitzvah, including fasting.

Q: What do these texts say, and where can I find them?

A: We are so glad you asked! Every week, we will share a different Jewish text about pikuach nefesh. Come learn with us!

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