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Nov 28, 2010

Those not fasting tomorrow

A Guest Post By Yehoshua Shapiro

I was wondering if Rav Yona Metzger was Rav YS Eliashiv choice to be the Chief Rabbi of Israel then why is it when the Rabbanut declares a fast most Charedim do not pay heed to it.

We are in a dire situatation that there is no rain and obviously we all most repent. Part of repentence is not eating and that allows you to think of what one can do to be better.

Let all the Bnai torah of all camps together and daven that Hashem should bring us rain.


That was the guest post. I ask Yehoshua, how do you know most haredim are not going to be fasting, and that anybody who will not be fasting is not doing so for halachically justifiable reasons?


  1. because I see no mention of it in any charedi shuls thats why? Is it listed in your shul?
    Kol tuv,


  2. I received a psak before the last fast, that if you didn't declare it at Mincha the fast was worthless. Also, it is often pointed out that now a days, when people fast it just means they spend the day looking at their watch, instead of gaining any real spiritual development. I understand that the last fast also came with a warning that you needed to get permission from your boss first.

    Now a question for you. If you look at the halacha, the appropriate action for a draought is Desresia blow shofrot and DeRabannan to fast. Why do we only follow the Rabbanan soluiton?

  3. I have no idea if Chareidim fast or not but the issue is not clear even in the MO community. Here is a link to the opinion of R' Moshe Lichtenstein, Rosh Yeshiva in Har Etzion on the matter http://adderabbi.blogspot.com/2010/11/r-mosheh-lichtenstein-reasons-not-to.html .

    In addition the email circulated by the Nofei hashemesh community (R' Rosner) was not very strong on the matter.

    In my own shul (Nofei Aviv) last time around there was not a minyan of people fasting at the minyan I went to (8:00) although at minhca and the early minyan there were.

  4. Whether or not you intend to fast, you should not make the decision not to fast purely on the basis of not having taken it upon yourself at Mincha the day before.
    Rav Yoni Rosenzweig (of Netzach Menashe) said that it is in fact far preferable to have taken it upon himself/herself yesterday afternoon, but the failure to do so in no way renders the fast "worthless".

  5. Maybe some groups aren't fasting since the Gedolim davened at the Kinneret for them.

  6. I would suggest the reason they do not is twofold.
    1. the call was put out by the Rabbanut (Chief Rabbis), and not by the Bada"tz. The charedi community does not listen to the rabbanut, and probably does not even know the rabbanut said to fast, as they simply do not pay attention to announcements made in the name of the rabbanut.
    2. Most of us do not reall sense the urgency of the need for rain. we turn on our taps int he sink and there is plenty of water. Sure, we all know in our heads that we have a shortage, but I think most of us do not really understand nor feel the urgency of the matter. So our feeling is, fast? its not really such a big deal. they are making it into a bigger deal than it really is. I think that is how most people relate to it. While those who fast do so more for zionistic reasons, as a way of doing something for the country, rather than for really sensing the urgency.

  7. Yanky

    I reiterate what I asked. Rav YS Elishiv chose Rav Yona Metzger to be the Chief Rabbi and Rav Metzger consults and speaks with Rav Elishiv so then the Charedi shuls should post what the Rabbanut says?
    I respectfully disagree with what Rav Moshe Lichtnestein writes regarding fasting that was posted earlier. I think that there are numerous people who are not watering their gardens and are really trying to conserve on the amount of water they are using. By fasting they are showing this is part of their doing teshuva and by doing teshuva we can hope for rain. Farmers and others require rain at certain times so lets pray that the rain comes in a timely matter.

  8. don't be silly. Just because Rav Elyashiv supported the appointment fo Rav Metzger over his opponents as Chief Rabbi means everybody is going to listen to him? Rav Elyashiv supported him not because the charedi public needs to listen to Rav Metzger, but because Rav Elyashiv wanted certain policies put into place in the Rabbanut system (at the time he specifically was concerned about policies regarding shmitta observance). That is no way means the charedi community is going to treat the Rabbanut like an extension of Rav Elyashiv.

  9. Yehoshua - I think it is unfair to target the haredim as those not listening to the Rabbanut and not fasting. I spent the morning at work in Tel Aviv, and wa sin an office with a young man wearing a kippa sruga. he was not fasting. There were other people, men and women, there who were traditional and religious and none of them were fasting.

    Sure, maybe they all had dispensations because they are weak and working and fasting would mean they could not work properly. It is possible.

    I think the real reason though is the 2nd reason Yanky mentioned - people just don't realize the urgency, even if we think we do, in the back of our minds we still push it off and say it isnt such a big deal.

  10. Rafi,
    I hear what you are saying that people are unaware how come in most Charedi shuls there was no mention of the fast. Perhaps if the shuls would post about the nmore people would know about and would think what to do. At least where I live it is not posted in the so called charedi shuls how about in RBS?

    We should share in good news.


  11. "people just don't realize the urgency, even if we think we do, in the back of our minds we still push it off and say it isnt such a big deal."

    This is understandable. 1)From year to year we are being told that there is not enough water, even when we see a lot of rain falling outside. I remember some previous years when we seemingly had rain and everybody was still complaining. 2) There is the famous red line of the Kinneret, the critical level of it changing every year for unclear reasons.
    So of course people do not look at this seriously.

  12. So I checked around a bit today and so far 3 of the well known and respected MO Yeshivot have at best said that fasting is optional. I am checking with a few more but I have not head of one that adopted the fast outright.

    It certainly seems that this decree of the Rabanut is not being widely adopted and if we ourselves are not taking it seriously or choosing to ignore then why is there any wonder that those that don't follow the Rabanut Lechatchila would ignore it.

  13. I am fasting, but where I davened mincha they did not even ask around to see if there was a minyan of fasters..

    I just asked on twitter if anyone is fasting. so far all responses (granted there are only a couple responses so far) say they are not fasting

  14. even if you would have ten people fasting it is still treated as an individual fast and enenu would not be said as an additional brocha

  15. I heard a shiur on shabbos about the fasting and I thought I remember the rav saying that if there would be a minyan of fasters the minyan should lein vayechal

  16. I don't know whether people should fast or not but I am surprised people don't see the seriousness of the water shortage. We pray for rain and there is no rain. I think people do think about using less wateer. Artificial grass is growing in popularity. Desalinating water or bringing water from Turkey are not realistic options. See what happens to the vegetables without water. Also think why Hashem is not sending rain.
    grassless in Efrat

  17. Yehoshua - I was thinking about this just now, while out running..

    the question you ask is not really fair, for the reasons already mentioned in the comments. but you are really asking the wrong question.

    The question you should be asking is thi.. really 2 questions:

    1. why many many among the dati leumi did not fast despite the calls of the rabbonim and chief rabbinate. The DL for the most part listens to the rabbanut, so why not fast? You could say they are using the working dispensation - fasting would make them weak and not work properly, thus "stealing" in a sense form their employers. If that is why, great - that dispensation also applies for haredim who work, and haredim who learn also get that dispensation, as fasting would prevent them from learning properly.

    2. The 2nd, and better, question to ask is why only the rabbanut called for a fast. Why did the badatz not make a similar call? dont ask why the haredim dont listen to the rabbanut and fast, rather why the haredi rabbonim did not make a similar call for a fast? For this I dont have an answer.

  18. My question is why was the fast not posted in any charedi shuls?

    kol tuv,



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