Eat the morning of a Fast day

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    This is not an Halucha question but rather a practical one. Being that the Winter Alos (dawn) is pretty late (tomorrows fast begin at 5:53), would it be wise to eat (somewhat of a) breakfast before Alos, or would one face unpleasant ramifications for feeding the body so early in the morning? If eating is an option, is it better to eat early tonight so that the body is fully ready for food in the morning?

    Thanks and a meaningful fast for everyone! May we all see the rebuilding of the 3rd Beis Hamikdash!


    If you get up early and have something to eat and drink right before the fast starts, you are basically having an early breakfast, skipping lunch, and then having an early supper.

    This can be extremely helpful for people who have difficulty fasting and/or need to have caffeine or they will get a bad headache. can give you precise beginning and ending times for your location.


    Use the OU website. passes off Chumros as Halacha.


    Right, but, how does the body react to a 5AMish breakfast?


    I’ve only once tried an early morning breakfast on a fast day. I went back to sleep and woke up *ravenous* – far more hungry than I usually would be at that time. Don’t know why that should be or if it was connected.

    shmoolik 1

    I had a Rabbi back in the late 50’s who said the best way to start a fast was with a cup of coffee

    A Heimishe Mom

    Personally, I would be more hungry at 10 then I would be if I hadn’t eaten at all. Besides, I would rather sleep!


    For me, the early breakfast causes more trouble (indegestion)than benefit. Although getting some fluids in right before the fast begins sure does seem to help me.

    The key for me is to fully hydrate the day before the fast. I like to eat no later than 10:30pm the night before. I tend to fast pretty ok.


    What is in an Amish Breakfast? and i know its a fast day but do you really need to eat 5 of them?


    “Right, but, how does the body react to a 5AMish breakfast?”

    The same way it does with a late night snack 🙂



    Please expand on that.

    Do you believe their zmanim:

    -start the fast too early?

    -end too late?

    …and why do you think so?

    One thing I like a lot about myzmanim is their extremely precise timing (to the second), locations, different opinions and sceintific reasons.


    …how does the body react to a 5AMish breakfast?

    With great satisfaction ?

    Todros Gimpel

    There is an aspect of Halacha here.

    If you want to wake up before Alos Hashachar to eat on the morning of a fast, the Mishna Berura says you should speak out before going to sleep that you are not being Mekabel Taanis and wish to eat in the morning before Alos Hashachar.


    ICOT: Myzmanim is very precise on what time sunrise and sunset are. I can figure out the rest on my own.

    They do Alos by degrees (which some Kehillos do but the vast majority hold like the Shulchan Aruch that it’s 72 minutes before Neitz no matter what) so you end up starting fasts much too early, sometimes as much as an hour early in some places in the summer. They do something similar with Tzeitz, though that is a very detailed Halachic discussion that there is more room to be Machmir for (though I am very upset that they ignore Rav Moshe’s fixed 42-minute after Shkiah opinion).

    And they say that earliest Minchah in the winter is a fixed 30 minutes after Chatzos (not Zmaniyos), an opinion about which I have asked several very knowledgeable Poskim and been told has absolutely no basis in Halachah as far as they know.


    The Goq-



    Sam2 – Isn’t chumra halacha?


    “how does the body react to a 5AMish breakfast?”

    It depends. If breakfast consists of whatever scotch, herring and kugel is left over in the shul from last weeks kiddush because you remembered at the last minute that you wanted to eat before the fast, you wont have an easy fast.


    So the thing is, im anyways up around that timing so waking up early and/or giving up sleep isnt a concern for me. In worse case, i’ll wake 30 minutes earlier than i usually wake.

    ZosHaTorah, that’s precisely what im thinking, indigestion… The body is by far not expecting a 5AM breakfast (unless maybe if one skipped lunch/dinner the day before). I guess lots of fluid the day before is always a good idea, but whats the Pashat of not eating later than 10:30?

    Sam2, you’re right, OU has the Alos @ 6:08 and @ 5:52. Thats 16 minutes of coffee drinking right there :).

    Chocandpatience, thats odd, what time did you eat? what did you eat, when did you stop eating the night before?

    Shmoolik 1, the best anything is with a cup of coffee! 🙂


    My routine for almost every fast day:

    I go to sleep “very early” the night (or day) before and then work at night. Eat a late Lunch/snack at supper then a regular supper at breakfast time. After Shachris, go to sleep. wake up at noon’ish and get a late start at work. Depending on the fast, especially tomorrow, by the time you get home you its mincha time…then your ready for lunch 🙂 Have an easy fast!



    For the start, the list both 5:52 and 6:07 AM

    On fast days they include more information, which includes (I think) everything you are looking for.

    yaakov doe

    For those of us who get up early for early minyonim,this is the easiest fast to wake up for. To wake up at 5:15 and finishing eating at 6:07 is a minor schedule adjustment. A full breakfast with 2 cups of coffee makes this tainis real easy.


    Todros Gimpel, Yes i’m aware of this, I always say before i go to sleep (the night before a fast day) that i am NOT Mekabel Tanis, just in case.

    Sem20, im not sure im following you, but it seems like you’ve got a pretty interesting worked out schedule. Though for one to be able to wake up noonish, he needs to not have a boss…


    “but whats the Pashat of not eating later than 10:30?”

    Same, indigestion. I’d rather fast longer and be hungry than shorter and have an upset stomach.


    I eat at 6:15 every morning and I’m fine. Just eat something light, like a bowl of Cheerios or something. If you eat anything too heavy you get nauseous.

    Be warned, it doesn’t last long; you will STILL be hungry at about elevenish.


    If you’re gonna eat early, I’ve found that puddings and yogurts don’t hurt you so much no matter how early you eat them and both keep you full for a long time.


    I once got up early on a fast day to eat but met my brother (with the same plans) before we got to the kitchen and started talking. By the time we thought to eat the fast had already started!


    My zmanim wrote two times for the start:

    5:52. And 6:08 (I think)

    Which is it???

    I went according to what I saw listed here (5:57) and am wondering if I already broke it when it only just started?

    What’s the real time of the sart of the fast???


    I see they listed the two times as degrees and fixed minutes, respectively. What does THAT mean?

    If the ou says the fast starts at 6:08 than, I guess, I’m still ok, at least according to some.

    I really don’t understand how there can be such a discrepancy with the time. Even with lichtbenchen on erev shabbos, I find so many different times listed, even from the same organization/yeshiva. I don’t understand how this is such an inexact “science”.



    The difference is caused by counting either a precise number of minutes on the clock versus looking at the sun’s position in the sky.

    You can Google “zman degrees vs clock minutes” or similar word combinations for additional and more detailed explanations.

    If I were you, I certainly wouldn’t worry that I’d eaten too late if the OU says that 6:07 is the zman.


    i’ve been debating about this the whole night last nite, whether to eat or not. i decided not to becassue i heard from a lot of poeple that once you eat it starts your metabolism and you end up getting hungrier than you would have.. so far though- i’m still hungry :[


    Mommamia: You are fine. The majority of Poskim say 72 fixed minutes, (which means 72 minutes before sunrise no matter where you are or what time of year), so you were fine at 6:08. And the discrepancy during the summer in some places can be over an hour earlier if you go by degrees. It’s a huge difference for 17 B’Tammuz. I really, really don’t like that that site tries to pass off the degrees as the main Shittah.



    “I really, really don’t like that that site tries to pass off the degrees as the main Shittah.”

    That’s an unfair and inaccurate statement.

    “tries to pass off” connotes a deliberate attempt to deceive.

    That’s not the case at all – on taanasim, all zmanim come up by default without any additional clicks needed, while on “regular” days, you can simply click the “Not all zmanim and opinions have been displayed. If you can’t find the zman you’re looking for click All Zmanim” link at the bottom of the page to see all different zmanim and opinions.

    He gives his reasoning for listing the degree-based zman he normally lists as the default here:

    If the majority of poskim disagree with this measurement (I don’t know either way), it’s entirely legitimate to question why he prefers this listing, and/or to ask him yourself.


    Just a reminder – tomorrow is Tanis Esther.

    It’s a little easier this year, since the fast is mukdam.

    For those who plan on getting up and eating before the fast begins, don’t forget to set your alarm clocks.

    Have an easy fast.


    in halacha (i think misna berura) it is brought down that according to kabalah it is a very very chomur to eat b4 the alos

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