10th of Tevet

Towards 10th of Tevet: Do Soldiers have to Fast?

In preparation for the Ten of Tevet fast, the military rabbinate issued instructions to the soldiers, stating that they are required to eat on the day of the fast as well in order to maintain operational fitness.

Illustration (Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash 90)

In recent days, the military rabbinate issued instructions to the soldiers in the Swords of Iron War, according to which they will be "obliged to eat in order to maintain operational fitness" during the Tenth of Tevet fast that will take place this coming Friday. The determination of the branch of halacha in the military rabbinate is also supposed to concern soldiers who may enter combat in the immediate term, and even soldiers who are engaged in routine security tasks or security tasks in rear camps.

According to the document that was recently distributed among the soldiers, the same applies to mechanics who deal with the maintenance of armored combat vehicles or aircraft and to anyone who is required for physical activity related to the war effort. In addition, soldiers who perform rear tasks that help and support the fighting, such as war room teams, adjutancy personnel and so on, will continue their work even in ten Tevet, but if the fast impairs their function, they are allowed to eat and drink, but they must consult with the rabbi of the unit in order to examine the nature of the activity and the level of preparedness required from the soldier, as well as the level of risk, the climatic conditions in that place, and the physical load required to perform the task.

In the document that was distributed, it was also determined that a soldier who is forced to eat will "eat according to his custom" and there is no need to moderate his eating, but he will try to avoid "eating for pleasure". However, a soldier who ate or drank while fasting due to operational or medical necessity, and then was allowed to fast for the rest of the day, will fast until the end of the fast.

The military rabbinate also referred to soldiers who stay in assembly and evaluation areas and are required to train to improve their skills, as well as to recruits who are given abbreviated training. It was determined that they will continue to train as much as necessary, even though because of this they will not be allowed to fast.

In addition, a soldier who is in training on a fasting day, will start fasting, and will have food on hand so that if he needs to eat and drink, he will do so immediately and return to operational fitness. If he cannot start the activity without eating and drinking - he is allowed to eat and drink as much as required.

According to sources in the military rabbinate, "Every question that was brought before the military rabbis received an answer. The rabbis, in light of their experience, halachic knowledge and broad shoulders in halachic rulings, provide answers to all questions that come their way." They also added that "the presence of the military rabbis in the field alongside their participation in yeshiva and the relationship with the commanders is a huge advantage for them in ruling on halachic law, due to their understanding of reality and the ability to define it in the correct halachic terms for the purpose of issuing a ruling."

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