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Fast of the Firstborn

Fast of the Firstborn


In the tenth and final plague inflicted upon Egypt, G‑d killed the firstborn in all of Egypt. But, as in all the plagues brought upon Egypt, the Children of Israel were spared. In the Plague of the Firstborn, not one Jewish firstborn died. To express their gratitude, all firstborn males fast on the day before Passover (Erev Pesach). The fathers of firstborn boys under the age of 13 fast in their stead.

The prevailing custom, however, is for the firstborn to exempt themselves from the obligation to fast by participating in a seudat mitzvah (a meal marking the fulfillment of a mitzvah), such as a siyyum--a festive meal celebrating the conclusion of the study of a section of Torah). Most synagogues host such a celebration after morning prayers.

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Discussion (10)
April 9, 2014
The first borns here are only with regards to males.
If there are girls first then a boy, the boy isn't considered a firstborn.
If you are unable to attend a fast then it is sufficient to get eat a bit of food from the food served at the Siyyum. If one is not able to do the above then one would need to fast till the seder.
March 21, 2013
Message for Isabelle Cohen Johnson
Thank you very much for the translation.
Mary B. Goouch
Toronto, Canada
March 20, 2013
Translation for Mary B. Goouch
Chag Pessah Casher v'Sameach!


Have a Kosher and Joyful Festival of Passover! :)
Isabelle Cohen Johnson
Portland , USA
March 20, 2013
Request to Isabelle Cohen Johnson
Thank you for responding but would you please translate what you wrote into English. I am anxious to learn.
Thank you!
Mary B. Goouch
Toronto, Canada
March 19, 2013
To Mary B. Goouch: I understand that if there are only girls in a family, the first one to "break the womb" is the firstborn.

According to the article here, only firstborn males fast on Erev Pesah so I am deducting (but I could be wrong) that only firstborn-males were endangered by the final plague at the first Passover, and firstborn females were safe/not concerned.

Please, someone, correct me if I understood wrongly. :)

Chag Pessah Casher v'Sameach!
Isabelle Cohen Johnson
Porltand , USA
March 19, 2013
A question for Isabelle Cohen Johnson:
Did you get an answer?
You pose an interesting queston.
What happens if a family has only girls?
I had thought that only first-born males were in danger at the First Passover.
Is this correct?
Mary B. Goouch
Toronto, Canada
March 10, 2013
Re: First born
Ani moda lech ve Chag Pessah Sameach! :)
Isabelle Cohen Johnson
Portland, USA
March 10, 2013
Re Firstborn
A firstborn is the first child who breaks its mother's womb :) Staff
March 9, 2013
Who count as a first born?
Does a boy born after three girls count as a first born or does the fast only concern only boys who "break the womb"?
Isabelle Cohen Johnson
Portland, USA
February 18, 2010
More specific information please
For those of us who can not attend a seudat mizvah on that day, please include directions or link to information on how to observe a minor fast.
Israel B
Tokyo, Japan
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