By COLlive reporter
“The general instruction to all those who are asking is that they should not fast at all, and eat as usual without being precise with the (halachic) measurements.”
That is the ruling that Rabbi Yosef Feigelstock, Rov of the Chabad community in Argentina and a bold posek, has issued to the public this week.
Dated for Monday, 14 Tammuz 5780, he addresses the question of how the fast days of Shivah Asar b’Tammuz and Tisha B’av should be observed this year.
“The situation in the world according to my understanding is that in every place there are people who are ill,” he writes in reference to the coronavirus pandemic.
“There isn’t a place where everyone is healthy,” he explains. “In every place, there is a danger, some less some more. Even in places where they opened shuls (and lehavdil) the marketplace, there is still danger.”
Rabbi Feigelstock says the opinion of doctors is that “there is no danger of fasting for one who is healthy, but it is clear that whoever fasts, the resistance to diseases is lessened and the danger of getting infected increases.”
He, therefore, instructs that one who fasts well in general and fasting does not weaken him, “is allowed to be stringent and fast – if he feels well, does not leave his home and remains home all day. It is clear that it is better to fast than to daven with a minyan.”
But his general guideline is not to fast and to eat regular meals without following the requirement to eat in increments when one is ill on a regular fast day.
He did allow eating in increments and suggested that each one consults with their rabbi according to the condition of their health.
He mentions that during the outbreak of cholera in 5628 (1866-67), R’ Aharon Twersky of Chernobyl instructed the residents of Kremenchuk to eat meat during the 9 Days and not to fast on Tisha B’av.CovidFastDays5780