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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Shevitat Asor - Chapter One, Shevitat Asor - Chapter Two, Shevitat Asor - Chapter Three

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Shevitat Asor - Chapter One

Introduction to Hilchos Shevitat Asor

They contain four mitzvot: two positive commandments and two negative commandments. They are:

1) To rest on this day;
2) Not to perform work on it;
3) To fast on this day;
4) Not to eat or drink on it.

These mitzvot are explained in the chapters [that follow].

הלכות שביתת עשור - הקדמה יש בכללן ארבע מצות. שתי מצות עשה. ושתי מצות לא תעשה. וזהו פרטן: א) לשבות בו ממלאכה.
ב) שלא לעשות בו מלאכה.
ג) להתענות בו.
ד) שלא לאכול ולשתות בו: וביאור כל המצות האלו בפרקים אלו:

1

It is a positive commandment1 to refrain from all work on the tenth [day] of the seventh month2, as [Leviticus 16:31] states: "It shall be a Sabbath of Sabbaths3 for you." Anyone who performs a [forbidden] labor negates the observance of [this] positive commandment and violates a negative commandment4, as [Numbers 29:7] states, "You shall not perform any labor."

What liability does a person incur for performing a [forbidden] labor on this day? If he performs [the forbidden labor] willfully, as a conscious act of defiance,5 he is liable for karet.6If he performs [the forbidden labor] inadvertently, he is liable to bring a sin offering whose nature is fixed.7

א

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לִשְׁבֹּת מִמְּלָאכָה בֶּעָשׂוֹר לַחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁבִיעִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג לב) "שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן הוּא לָכֶם". וְכָל הָעוֹשֶׂה בּוֹ מְלָאכָה בִּטֵּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה וְעָבַר עַל לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כט ז) "וּבֶעָשׂוֹר" וְגוֹ' (במדבר כט ז) "כָּל מְלָאכָה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ". וּמַה הוּא חַיָּב עַל עֲשִׂיַּת מְלָאכָה בְּיוֹם זֶה. אִם עָשָׂה בִּרְצוֹנוֹ בְּזָדוֹן חַיָּב כָּרֵת. וְאִם עָשָׂה בִּשְׁגָגָה חַיָּב קָרְבַּן חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה:

2

All the [forbidden] labors8 for which one is liable to be executed by stoning for performing on the Sabbath cause one to be liable for karet if performed on the tenth [of Tishrei].9 Any activity that incurs the obligation of a sin offering on the Sabbath incurs the obligation of a sin offering on Yom Kippur.

Any activity that is forbidden to be performed on the Sabbath10- although it is not a forbidden labor - is forbidden to be performed on Yom Kippur. If one performs such an act, one is punished by stripes for rebellion, as one is punished [for performing the same act] on the Sabbath.11

Whatever is forbidden to be carried on the Sabbath is forbidden to be carried on Yom Kippur.12 Whatever is forbidden to be said or done at the outset on the Sabbath is likewise forbidden on Yom Kippur.13 The general principle is that there is no difference between the Sabbath and Yom Kippur14 in this regard, except that a person who willfully performs a forbidden labor on the Sabbath is liable for execution by being stoned to death, and on Yom Kippur [such an act warrants merely] karet.

ב

כָּל מְלָאכָה שֶׁחַיָּבִין עַל זְדוֹנָהּ בְּשַׁבָּת סְקִילָה חַיָּבִין עַל זְדוֹנָהּ בֶּעָשׂוֹר כָּרֵת. וְכָל שֶׁחַיָּבִין עָלָיו קָרְבַּן חַטָּאת בְּשַׁבָּת חַיָּבִין עָלָיו קָרְבַּן חַטָּאת בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים. וְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁאָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְלָאכָה אָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים. וְאִם עָשָׂה מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמַּכִּין אוֹתוֹ עַל הַשַּׁבָּת. וְכָל שֶׁאָסוּר לְטַלְטְלוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת אָסוּר לְטַלְטְלוֹ בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים. וְכָל שֶׁאָסוּר לְאָמְרוֹ אוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ לְכַתְּחִלָּה בְּשַׁבָּת כָּךְ אָסוּר בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים. כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר אֵין בֵּין שַׁבָּת לְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים בְּעִנְיָנִים אֵלּוּ אֶלָּא שֶׁזְּדוֹן מְלָאכָה בְּשַׁבָּת בִּסְקִילָה וּבְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים בְּכָרֵת:

3

It is permitted to trim a vegetable on the day of Yom Kippur from mid-afternoon15 onward.16 What is meant by trimming a vegetable? To remove the wilted leaves, and to cut the others to prepare them for consumption. Similarly, it is permitted to crack open nuts and to open pomegranates on Yom Kippur from mid-afternoon onward. [These leniencies were granted] so that one will not endure hardship.17

When Yom Kippur falls on the Sabbath, it is forbidden to trim vegetables and open nuts and pomegranates the entire day.18 It has already become the universally accepted custom in Babylon and in North Africa not to perform these activities during the fast.19Instead, [Yom Kippur is observed] as the Sabbath is with regard to all its particulars.

ג

וּמֻתָּר לְקַנֵּב אֶת הָיָּרָק בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה. וּמַהוּ הַקִּינוּב שֶׁיָּסִיר אֶת הֶעָלִים הַמְעֻפָּשׁוֹת וִיקַצֵּץ הַשְּׁאָר וִיתַקֵּן אוֹתוֹ לַאֲכִילָה. וְכֵן מְפַצְּעִין בֶּאֱגוֹזִין וּמְפָרְכִין בְּרִמּוֹנִים מִן הַמִּנְחָה וּלְמַעְלָה מִפְּנֵי עָגְמַת נֶפֶשׁ. וְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים שֶׁחָל לִהְיוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת אָסוּר בִּקְנִיבַת יָרָק וּבִפְצִיעַת אֱגוֹזִים וּבִפְרִיכַת רִמּוֹנִים כָּל הַיּוֹם. וּכְבָר נָהֲגוּ הָעָם בְּשִׁנְעָר וּבַמַּעֲרָב שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשׂוּ אַחַת מִכָּל אֵלּוּ בְּיוֹם הַצּוֹם אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הוּא כְּשַׁבָּת לְכָל דְּבָרָיו:

4

There is another positive commandment on Yom Kippur, to refrain from eating and drinking, as [Leviticus 16:29] states: "You shall afflict your souls." According to the Oral Tradition, it has been taught: What is meant by afflicting one's soul? Fasting.20

Whoever fasts on this day fulfills a positive commandment.21 Whoever eats or drinks on this day negates the observance of [this] positive commandment and violates a negative commandment22, as [ibid. 23:29] states, "Any soul that does not afflict itself will be cut off." Since the Torah punishes a person who does not fast with karet, we can derive from this that we are forbidden to eat and drink on this day.23

A person who eats or drinks inadvertently on this day is liable to bring a sin offering of a fixed nature.

ד

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה אַחֶרֶת יֵשׁ בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים וְהִיא לִשְׁבֹּת בּוֹ מֵאֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טז כט) "תְּעַנּוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם". מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ אֵי זֶה הוּא עִנּוּי שֶׁהוּא לַנֶּפֶשׁ זֶה הַצּוֹם. וְכָל הַצָּם בּוֹ קִיֵּם מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה. וְכָל הָאוֹכֵל וְשׁוֹתֶה בּוֹ בִּטֵּל מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה וְעָבַר עַל לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג כט) "כִּי כָל הַנֶּפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא תְעֻנֶּה בְּעֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וְנִכְרְתָה". מֵאַחַר שֶׁעָנַשׁ הַכָּתוּב כָּרֵת לְמִי שֶׁלֹּא נִתְעַנָּה לָמַדְנוּ שֶׁמֻּזְהָרִין אָנוּ בּוֹ עַל אֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה. וְכָל הָאוֹכֵל אוֹ הַשּׁוֹתֶה בּוֹ בְּשׁוֹגֵג חַיָּב קָרְבַּן חַטָּאת קְבוּעָה:

5

Similarly, according to the Oral Tradition, it has been taught that it is forbidden to wash, anoint oneself, wear shoes, or engage in sexual relations on this day.24 It is a mitzvah to refrain from these activities in the same way one refrains from eating and drinking.

This is derived from [the exegesis of the expression,] "A Sabbath of Sabbaths." "A Sabbath" implies refraining from eating; "of Sabbaths," refraining from these activities.25

One is liable, however, for karet or a sin offering only for eating and drinking. If one washes, anoints oneself, wears shoes, or engages in sexual relations, one receives stripes for rebelliousness.

ה

וְכֵן לָמַדְנוּ מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה שֶׁאָסוּר לִרְחֹץ בּוֹ אוֹ לָסוּךְ אוֹ לִנְעל אֶת הַסַּנְדָּל אוֹ לִבְעל. וּמִצְוָה לִשְׁבֹּת מִכָּל אֵלּוּ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁשּׁוֹבֵת מַאֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טז לא) (ויקרא כג לב) שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן שַׁבָּת לְעִנְיַן (אֲכִילָה) וְשַׁבָּתוֹן לְעִנְיָנִים אֵלּוּ. וְאֵין חַיָּבִין כָּרֵת אוֹ קָרְבָּן אֶלָּא עַל אֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה. אֲבָל אִם רָחַץ אוֹ סָךְ אוֹ נָעַל אוֹ בָּעַל מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

6

Just as [the obligation to] refrain from work applies both during the day and at night, so too, [the obligation to] refrain from [these activities and thus to] afflict oneself applies both during the day and at night.

It is obligatory to add [time]26 from the mundane to the sacred at both the entrance and departure of the holiday, as [implied by ibid. 23:32]: "And you shall afflict your souls on the ninth of the month in the evening."27 [Since the date of the fast is the tenth,] the intent is [obviously] that one begin fasting and afflicting oneself in the afternoon of the ninth, which directly precedes the tenth.

Similarly, at the departure [of the holiday], one should prolong the affliction slightly, [entering] the night of the eleventh, which follows the tenth, as [implied by ibid.]: "From evening to evening, you shall keep this day of refraining."

ו

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁשְּׁבוּת מְלָאכָה בּוֹ בֵּין בַּיּוֹם וּבֵין בַּלַּיְלָה כָּךְ שְׁבוּת לְעִנּוּי בֵּין בַּיּוֹם בֵּין בַּלַּיְלָה. וְצָרִיךְ לְהוֹסִיף מֵחל עַל הַקֹּדֶשׁ בִּכְנִיסָתוֹ וּבִיצִיאָתוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג לב) "וְעִנִּיתֶם אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם בְּתִשְׁעָה לַחֹדֶשׁ בָּעֶרֶב". כְּלוֹמַר הַתְחֵיל לָצוּם וּלְהִתְעַנּוֹת מֵעֶרֶב תִּשְׁעָה הַסָּמוּךְ לַעֲשִׂירִי. וְכֵן בַּיְצִיאָה שׁוֹהָה בְּעִנּוּיוֹ מְעַט מִלֵּיל אַחַד עָשָׂר סָמוּךְ לַעֲשִׂירִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר מֵעֶרֶב וְעַד עֶרֶב (ויקרא כג לב) "תִּשְׁבְּתוּ שַׁבַּתְּכֶם":

7

When women eat and drink until nightfall, without knowing that we are obligated to add [time] from the weekday to the holiday, they should not be rebuked,28 lest they perform [the transgression] willfully. It is impossible for there to be a policeman in every person's house to warn his wives. Thus, it is preferable to let [the situation] remain [as it is], so that they will transgress unintentionally, instead of intentionally. The same [principle] applies in other similar instances.29

ז

נָשִׁים שֶׁאוֹכְלוֹת וְשׁוֹתוֹת עַד שֶׁחֲשֵׁכָה וְהֵן אֵינָן יוֹדְעוֹת שֶׁמִּצְוָה לְהוֹסִיף מֵחל עַל הַקֹּדֶשׁ אֵין מְמַחִין בְּיָדָן שֶׁלֹּא יָבוֹאוּ לַעֲשׂוֹת בְּזָדוֹן. שֶׁהֲרֵי אִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שׁוֹטֵר בְּבֵית כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד לְהַזְהִיר נָשָׁיו. וְהָנַח לָהֶן שֶׁיְּהוּ שׁוֹגְגִין וְאַל יְהוּ מְזִידִין. וְכֵן כָּל הַדּוֹמֶה לָזֶה:

Footnotes
1.

Sefer HaMitzvot (Positive Commandment 165) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 317) both include this as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

2.

I.e., Tishrei, which is the seventh month when reckoning from Nisan.

3.

Shabbat 24b states that the word shabbaton, literally, "a day of rest," implies a positive mitzvah.

4.

This is also considered to be one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah [Sefer HaMitzvot (Negative Commandment 329) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 315)].

5.

The Radbaz (Vol. V, Responsum 1510) notes that the Rambam uses the expression "willingly, as a conscious act of defiance" with regard to the transgressions of idolatry (Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 3:1), the Sabbath laws (Hilchot Shabbat 1:1), and the laws of Yom Kippur. With regard to all other transgressions punishable by כרת, the Rambam merely states "as a conscious act of defiance."

The Radbaz explains that it is possible that the Rambam mentioned the concept of "willingly" with regard to these three transgressions because they are the first cases of כרת mentioned in the Mishneh Torah. After mentioning the concept on these three occasions, he does not consider that further repetition is necessary.

6.

כרת means "cut off." Mo'ed Katan 28a relates that a person liable for כרת would die prematurely, before reaching the age of fifty. The Rambam (Hilchot Teshuvah 8:1) emphasizes that being "cut off in this world" is not the sum total of Divine retribution for such a transgression. In addition, the person's soul is also cut off and prevented from reaching the world to come.

7.

The Rambam uses this term to differentiate the sin offering required here from a קרבן עולה ויורד - a guilt offering - which differs depending on the financial status of the person bringing it. (See Hilchot Shegagot 1:4.)

8.

The 39 labors forbidden on the Sabbath are listed in Hilchot Shabbat 7:1 and explained in the subsequent chapters there. Unlike the holidays, on which the forbidden labors involved in the preparation of food are permitted, on Yom Kippur these activities are forbidden.

9.

The Or Sameach notes that in contrast to the remainder of the halachah, in this instance the Rambam does not refer to the day with the name Yom Kippur. He explains that the name Yom Kippur, meaning "the day of atonement," is not relevant to a person who performs a forbidden labor on this day. Since the person acts in contrast to the holy nature of the day, he is not granted atonement.

10.

The commentaries explain that this refers to the activities defined as sh'vut, which are forbidden by the Torah. The specification of which activities should be included in this category was, however, made subject to our Sages' definitions. (See Hilchot Shabbat, Chapters 21-23.)

11.

See Hilchot Shabbat 1:3. (See Hilchot Edut 18:6 for a definition of this punishment.)

12.

This refers to the laws of muktzeh mentioned in Hilchot Shabbat, Chapters 25-26.

13.

This refers to the prohibitions mentioned in Hilchot Shabbat, Chapter 24, which are not associated with forbidden labors, but are prohibited in order to make the Sabbath distinct from the other days of the week.

14.

On a theoretical basis, there are commentaries that take issue with the Rambam's statements, explaining that there is another difference. On the Sabbath, we follow the principle of chiluk melachot, that one can incur liability for every forbidden labor as a separate entity. Therefore, if a person inadvertently performed two different types of forbidden labor, he would have to bring two sin offerings.

These authorities maintain that on Yom Kippur (as on the holidays) this principle does not apply, and one is liable for only a single sin offering even when one inadvertently performs several types of forbidden labor. (See Sha'agat Aryeh, Responsum 70.)

15.

Mid-afternoon refers to minchah katanah, 3:30 PM (according to seasonal hours).

16.

Earlier it is forbidden, lest one eat from the vegetable. Nevertheless, by this late hour one is conscious that the evening is approaching and will refrain from breaking the fast (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 611:7).

17.

The Maggid Mishneh explains that the intent is the hardship a person would suffer if he had to labor to prepare food at night after fasting the entire day.

18.

So as not to distinguish between this and the other Sabbaths of the year, and thereby to emphasize that the leniency was granted only because of the fast (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 611:6).

19.

Shabbat 115a relates that even in the time of the Talmud, this restriction was observed.

20.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Yoma 8:1), the Rambam explains that since the connection between the body and the soul is established through nourishment, withholding such nourishment is considered an affliction to the soul. See Yoma 74b.

21.

Sefer HaMitzvot (Positive Commandment 164) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 313) both include this as one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

22.

This is also considered one of the 613 mitzvot of the Torah [Sefer HaMitzvot (Negative Commandment 196) and Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 316)].

23.

It is an established tradition that there are only two positive commandments - circumcision and offering a Pesach sacrifice - whose lack of observance are punishable by karet. Therefore, the fact that eating on Yom Kippur is punishable by karet indicates that it violates a negative commandment [Sefer HaMitzvot (Negative Commandment 196)].

24.

In his Commentary on the Mishnah (Yoma 8:1), the Rambam explains that the Torah mentions the concept of afflicting oneself on Yom Kippur five times. As such, the Oral Tradition (Yoma 76a) explains that there are five different activities forbidden on that day and cites (ibid. 76a-77a) various allusions to these five prohibitions. The terms he uses for allusions, asmachta'ot, indicates that he does not view the four prohibitions other than eating and drinking as having the status of a Torah commandment.

Similarly, the punishment that he states should be given for these activities, "stripes for rebellion," is the punishment received for transgressing a Rabbinic commandment.

[It must be noted that this matter was a question on which the Rambam deliberated. For an early edition of his Commentary on the Mishnah states that one should receive lashes for performing these activities, indicating that, at that time, he saw them as forbidden by the Torah itself. Similarly, the Rambam's wording in Sefer HaMitzvot (loc. cit.) appears to indicate that these prohibitions are forbidden by the Torah itself. This view is advanced by several authorities including Rabbenu Nissin, the Magen Avraham 611, and the Shulchan Aruch HaRav 611:2.]

Based on the explanations above, it would appear that the term "according to the Oral Tradition" as used in this halachah has a different meaning from that in the previous halachah. In the previous halachah, the term denoted an interpretation of a verse in the Torah. Therefore, the prohibition was given the status of a Torah commandment. In this halachah, the term refers to a concept that has been transmitted through a chain of tradition extending back to Moses. Nevertheless, it is a decree that does not stem from a Biblical verse and is therefore considered to be Rabbinic in origin.

Other Rabbinic authorities (Rabbenu Asher and the Ashkenazic authorities) clearly state that the prohibitions against these other activities are Rabbinic in nature. Therefore, certain leniencies are granted in their regard, as reflected in Chapter 3, Halachah 1 (Kessef Mishneh).

25.

The reference to the phrase "a Sabbath of Sabbaths" is taken from Yoma 74a. The interpretation is, however, the Rambam's.

Based on the concepts explained above - that the prohibition against the remaining four types of afflictions is Rabbinic in origin and is not based on the explanation of a verse in the Torah - the Ma'aseh Rokeach suggests amending the text to read, "'A Sabbath' from work; 'of Sabbaths' from these other matters." He supports this view by noting that in Halachah 1, the Rambam had cited this expression as a proof-text for the commandment to refrain from work on Yom Kippur.

26.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 608:1) states that there is no limit to the amount of time one must add to the fast. This addition must, however, be made before (and after) beyn hash'mashot.

27.

From the Rambam's citation of a proof-text, it is clear that the obligation to add time to the fast of Yom Kippur stems from the Torah itself. The Maggid Mishneh adds that the Rambam's wording indicates that the obligation to add "from the mundane to the sacred" - i.e., to include some of the previous day in the fast - applies only with regard to the prohibition against eating and drinking, but not to the prohibition against performing labor.

He mentions that other authorities do not share this opinion and maintain that this obligation applies also to the prohibition against work, and that it applies also on the Sabbath and on other holidays aside from Yom Kippur.

The Radbaz (Vol. V, Responsum 1486) differs with the Maggid Mishneh. Although he agrees that the fact that, in his discussion of the prohibition of labor on the Sabbath, the Rambam does not mention the need to add "from the mundane to the sacred" supports the Maggid Mishneh's view, he is reluctant to state that the Rambam differs with all the other authorities on this issue.

(See Likkutei Sichot, Vol. XV, which explains the difference between the two perspectives. If we derive the concept of adding "from the mundane to the sacred" from Yom Kippur, the obligation revolves around the person, a chiyuv gavra in yeshivah terminology. If, by contrast, the obligation is derived from the prohibition against working on the Sabbath, it is a function of the cheftza, a result of the atmosphere of Sabbath holiness that prevents labor from being performed.)

28.

Shulchan Aruch HaRav 608:4 and the Mishnah Berurah 608:3 explain that this applies only when one is absolutely sure that the women will not accept the admonishment. If there is the possibility that they will accept the admonishment and modify their conduct, they should be admonished.

29.

The Maggid Mishneh and the Ramah (Orach Chayim 608:2) explain that this refers to any prohibition that is not explicitly stated in the Torah, even if it has its source in the interpretation of one of the Torah's verses.

If, however, a prohibition is explicitly mentioned in the Torah, rebuke should be given even when one is certain that the person committing the transgression will not accept the reproof. Further laws governing the situations when and how rebuke should be given are mentioned in Hilchot De'ot 6:7-8.

Shevitat Asor - Chapter Two

1

On Yom Kippur, a person is liable for eating [an amount of] food that is fit for humans to eat1 and is equivalent to the size of a large ripe date2 - i.e., slightly less than the size of an egg.3 All foods [that one eats] are combined to produce this measure.

Similarly, one who drinks a cheekful of liquid fit to be drunk by humans is liable. The size of a cheekful is [not a standard measure,] but rather dependent on the size of the cheek of every individual.

What is meant by a cheekful? Enough [liquid] for a person to swish to one side of his mouth and for his cheek to appear full. For an ordinary person, this measure is less than a revi'it.4

All liquids [that one drinks] are combined to produce this measure. Foods and liquids are not combined in a single measure.5

א

הָאוֹכֵל בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מַאֲכָלִין הָרְאוּיִין לֶאֱכל לָאָדָם כְּכוֹתֶבֶת הַגַּסָּה שֶׁהִיא פָּחוֹת מִכְּבֵיצָה כִּמְעַט הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב. וְכָל הָאֳכָלִים מִצְטָרְפִין לְשִׁעוּר זֶה. וְכֵן הַשּׁוֹתֶה מַשְׁקִין הָרְאוּיִין לִשְׁתִיַּת אָדָם כִּמְלוֹא לֻגְמָיו שֶׁל שׁוֹתֶה כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד לְפִי לֻגְמָיו חַיָּב. וְכַמָּה מְלוֹא לֻגְמָיו כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּסַלְּקֵם לְצַד אֶחָד וְיֵרָאֶה מָלֵא לֻגְמָיו. וְשִׁעוּר זֶה בְּאָדָם בֵּינוֹנִי פָּחוֹת מֵרְבִיעִית. וְכָל הַמַּשְׁקִין מִצְטָרְפִין לְשִׁעוּר זֶה. וְהָאֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה אֵין מִצְטָרְפִין לְשִׁעוּר אֶחָד:

2

One is liable for karet for eating on Yom Kippur if one eats food that is fit for human consumption, regardless of whether it is permitted or forbidden.6 [This includes] piggul,7 notar,8 tevel,9 the flesh of an animal that died without ritual slaughter, the flesh of an animal that is trefah,10 fat, or blood.11

ב

אֶחָד הָאוֹכֵל אֳכָלִים הַמֻּתָּרִים אוֹ שֶׁאָכַל דְּבָרִים הָאֲסוּרִין כְּגוֹן פִּגּוּל וְנוֹתַר וְטֶבֶל וּנְבֵלוֹת וּטְרֵפוֹת וְחֵלֶב אוֹ דָּם הוֹאִיל וְאָכַל אֳכָלִים הָרְאוּיִין לָאָדָם הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב כָּרֵת מִשּׁוּם אוֹכֵל בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים:

3

If a person eats or drinks less than the above-mentioned measures, he is not liable for karet. Although the Torah forbids partaking of less than the measure [for which punishment is given], one is not liable for karet unless [one partakes of] that measure.12

A person who eats or drinks less than the minimal measure is given "stripes for rebellion."

ג

אָכַל אוֹ שָׁתָה פָּחוֹת מִשִּׁעוּר זֶה אֵינוֹ חַיָּב כָּרֵת. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר מִן הַתּוֹרָה בַּחֲצִי שִׁעוּר אֵין חַיָּבִין כָּרֵת אֶלָּא עַל כַּשִּׁעוּר. וְהָאוֹכֵל אוֹ הַשּׁוֹתֶה חֲצִי שִׁעוּר מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

4

[The following rules apply when] a person eats a small amount, [pauses,] and eats again: If the time from when he begins eating until he concludes eating is less than the time it takes to eat an amount of bread and relish equal in size to three eggs, [the food that he eats] is included in the same measure.13 If not, it is not included in the same measure.14

[Similar rules apply when] a person drinks, [pauses,] and drinks again: If the time from when he begins drinking until he concludes drinking is less than the time it takes to drink a revi'it,15 [the liquid that he drinks] is included in the same measure. If not, it is not included in the same measure.

ד

אָכַל מְעַט וְחָזַר וְאָכַל אִם יֵשׁ מִתְּחִלַּת אֲכִילָה רִאשׁוֹנָה עַד סוֹף אֲכִילָה אַחֲרוֹנָה כְּדֵי אֲכִילַת שָׁלֹשׁ בֵּיצִים הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מִצְטָרְפוֹת לְכַשִּׁעוּר וְאִם לָאו אֵין מִצְטָרְפוֹת לְכַשִּׁעוּר. שָׁתָה מְעַט וְחָזַר וְשָׁתָה אִם יֵשׁ מִתְּחִלַּת שְׁתִיָּה רִאשׁוֹנָה עַד סוֹף שְׁתִיָּה אַחֲרוֹנָה כְּדֵי שְׁתִיַּת רְבִיעִית מִצְטָרְפִין לְשִׁעוּר וְאִם לָאו אֵין מִצְטָרְפִין:

5

When a person eats foods that are not fit for human consumption - e.g., bitter herbs or foul-tasting syrups - or drinks liquids that are not fit to to be drunk - e.g., fish brine, pickle brine16 or undiluted vinegar - he is not liable for karet17 even if he eats or drinks a substantial amount. He should, however, be given "stripes for rebellion."

ה

אָכַל אֳכָלִים שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לְמַאֲכַל אָדָם כְּגוֹן עֲשָׂבִים הַמָּרִים אוֹ שְׂרָפִים הַבְּאוּשִׁין אוֹ שֶׁשָּׁתָה מַשְׁקִין שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לִשְׁתִיָּה כְּגוֹן צִיר אוֹ מוּרְיָס וְחֹמֶץ חַי אֲפִלּוּ אָכַל וְשָׁתָה מֵהֶן הַרְבֵּה הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר מִן הַכָּרֵת. אֲבָל מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

6

A person who drinks vinegar mixed with water is liable. One who chews dried pepper, dried ginger, or the like is not liable. [If, however, one chews] fresh ginger, one is liable.18

A person who eats the leaves of the vine is not liable,19 but one who eats the buds of the vine is liable.20 What is meant by the buds of the vine? The buds that have sprouted in Eretz Yisrael from Rosh HaShanah until Yom Kippur. If they sprouted earlier, they are considered as wood, and the person is not liable. The same rules apply in all analogous situations.

ו

שָׁתָה חֹמֶץ מָזוּג בְּמַיִם חַיָּב. הַכּוֹסֵס פִּלְפְּלִין וְזַנְגְּבִיל יָבֵשׁ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן פָּטוּר. אֲבָל זַנְגְּבִיל רָטֹב חַיָּב. אָכַל עֲלֵי גְּפָנִים פָּטוּר. לוּלְבֵי גְּפָנִים חַיָּב. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן לוּלְבֵי גְּפָנִים כָּל שֶׁלִּבְלְבוּ בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל מֵרֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה וְעַד יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים. יֶתֶר עַל זֶה הֲרֵי הֵן כְּעֵצִים וּפָטוּר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּאֵלּוּ:

7

When a person eats roast meat that has been salted, the salt is included in the mass of the meat.21 Similarly, brine on a vegetable is included,22 because condiments that make food fit to be eaten and are mixed together with the food are considered to be part of the food.

If a person was already sated [because he] had overeaten to the extent that he was jaded by food, and then ate more,23 he is not liable. It is comparable to a person who eats food that is not fit for consumption. Although this additional amount is fit to be eaten by a person who is hungry, it is not fit for a person who is sated to this extent.24

ז

אָכַל צָלִי בְּמֶלַח מִצְטָרֵף הַמֶּלַח לַבָּשָׂר. צִיר שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי יָרָק מִצְטָרֵף. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּכְשִׁירֵי הָאֹכֶל הַמְעֹרָבִים עִם הָאֹכֶל כְּאֹכֶל הֵן חֲשׁוּבִים. הָיָה שָׂבֵעַ מֵאֲכִילָה גַּסָּה שֶׁאָכַל עַד שֶׁקָּץ בִּמְזוֹנוֹ וְאָכַל יֶתֶר עַל שָׂבְעוֹ פָּטוּר כְּמִי שֶׁאָכַל אֳכָלִין שֶׁאֵינָם רְאוּיִין לַאֲכִילָה. שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁזֶּה הַמַּאֲכָל הַיָּתֵר רָאוּי לְרָעֵב אֵינוֹ רָאוּי לְכָל מִי שֶׁשָּׂבֵעַ כְּזֶה:

8

When a person who is dangerously ill25 asks to eat on Yom Kippur, he should be fed26 because of his request until he says, "It is enough,"27 even though expert physicians say that it is unnecessary.28

When the sick person says that it is unnecessary for him to eat,29 and a physician says that it is necessary, he should be fed according to [the physician's] instructions, provided the physician is an expert.30

When one physician says that it is necessary [for a sick person to eat], and another physician says that it is unnecessary, the person should be fed. If several physicians say that it is necessary [for a sick person to eat], and other physicians say that it is unnecessary, [the ruling] follows the majority, or those with the most expertise.31 [This applies] provided the sick person does not himself say that it is necessary [for him to eat]. If, however, he makes such a statement, he should be fed.

If the sick person does not say that he must [eat], the physicians were divided on the issue, they were all experts, and an equal number took each side, he should be fed.

ח

חוֹלֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ סַכָּנָה שֶׁשָּׁאַל לֶאֱכל בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָרוֹפְאִים הַבְּקִיאִין אוֹמְרִין אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתוֹ עַל פִּי עַצְמוֹ עַד שֶׁיֹּאמַר דַּיִּי. אָמַר הַחוֹלֶה אֵינִי צָרִיךְ וְהָרוֹפֵא אוֹמֵר צָרִיךְ מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתוֹ עַל פִּיו. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה רוֹפֵא בָּקִי. רוֹפֵא אֶחָד אוֹמֵר צָרִיךְ וְאֶחָד אוֹמֵר אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתוֹ. מִקְצָת הָרוֹפְאִין אוֹמְרִין צָרִיךְ וּמִקְצָתָן אוֹמְרִין אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ הוֹלְכִין אַחַר הָרֹב אוֹ אַחַר הַבְּקִיאִין. וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמַר הַחוֹלֶה צָרִיךְ אֲנִי. אֲבָל אִם אָמַר צָרִיךְ אֲנִי מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתוֹ. לֹא אָמַר הַחוֹלֶה שֶׁהוּא צָרִיךְ וְנֶחְלְקוּ הָרוֹפְאִים וְהָיוּ כֻּלָּם בְּקִיאִין וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁאָמְרוּ אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ כְּמִנְיָן שֶׁאָמְרוּ צָרִיךְ מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתוֹ:

9

When a pregnant woman smells food, [and is overcome by desire for it,] we should whisper in her ear that today is Yom Kippur.32If this reminder is sufficient to calm her senses, it is desirable; if not, she should be fed until her desire ceases.

Similarly, if a person is overcome by ravenous hunger,33 he should be fed until he sees clearly. He should be fed immediately, even if it necessitates giving him non-kosher meat34 or [meat from a] loathsome species.35 We do not require that he wait until permitted food becomes available.

ט

עֻבָּרָה שֶׁהֵרִיחָה לוֹחֲשִׁין לָהּ בְּאָזְנָהּ שֶׁיּוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים הוּא. אִם נִתְקָרְרָה דַּעְתָּהּ בְּזִכָּרוֹן זֶה מוּטָב וְאִם לָאו מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתָהּ עַד שֶׁתִּתְיַשֵּׁב נַפְשָׁהּ. וְכֵן מִי שֶׁאָחֲזוֹ בֻּלְמוֹס מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁיֵּאוֹרוּ עֵינָיו. וַאֲפִלּוּ נְבֵלוֹת וּשְׁקָצִים מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתוֹ מִיָּד וְאֵין מַשְׁהִין אוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּמְצְאוּ דְּבָרִים הַמֻּתָּרִין:

10

[From the time] a child is nine or ten years old36 [onward], he should be trained [to fast] for several hours. What is implied? If he is used to eating two hours after daybreak, he should be fed in the third hour. If he is used [to eating] after three hours, he should be fed in the fourth. According to the child's stamina, we should add hours to his anguish.

When a child is eleven years old, whether male or female,37 it is a Rabbinic ordinance that he complete his fast so that he be trained in [the observance of] the mitzvot.

י

קָטָן בֶּן תֵּשַׁע שָׁנִים וּבֶן עֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים מְחַנְּכִין אוֹתוֹ לְשָׁעוֹת. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה רָגִיל לֶאֱכל בִּשְׁתֵּי שָׁעוֹת בַּיּוֹם מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתוֹ בְּשָׁלֹשׁ. הָיָה רָגִיל בְּשָׁלֹשׁ מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתוֹ בְּאַרְבַּע. לְפִי כֹּחַ הַבֵּן מוֹסִיפִין לְעַנּוֹת אוֹתוֹ בְּשָׁעוֹת. בֶּן אַחַת עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה בֵּין זָכָר בֵּין נְקֵבָה מִתְעַנֶּה וּמַשְׁלִים מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים כְּדֵי לְחַנְּכוֹ בְּמִצְוֹת:

11

A female who is twelve years old and one day38 and a male who is thirteen years old and one day, who manifest [signs of physical maturity - i.e.,] two [pubic] hairs, are considered to be adults with regard to [the observance of] all the mitzvot, and are obligated to complete their fast according to the Torah. If, however, they did not manifest [signs of physical maturity], they are still considered to be minors, and are obligated to complete their fast only by virtue of Rabbinic decree.39

A child who is less than nine years old should not be afflicted at all on Yom Kippur, lest this lead to danger.40

יא

בַּת שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה וְיוֹם אֶחָד וּבֶן שְׁלֹשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה וְיוֹם אֶחָד שֶׁהֵבִיאוּ שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת הֲרֵי הֵן כִּגְדוֹלִים לְכָל הַמִּצְוֹת וּמַשְׁלִימִין מִן הַתּוֹרָה. אֲבָל אִם לֹא הֵבִיאוּ שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת עֲדַיִן קְטַנִּים הֵן וְאֵינָם מַשְׁלִימִין אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. קָטָן שֶׁהוּא פָּחוֹת מִבֶּן תֵּשַׁע אֵין מְעַנִּין אוֹתוֹ בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יָבֹא לִידֵי סַכָּנָה:

Footnotes
1.

If, however, the foods are not fit for human consumption, different rules apply. (See Halachah 5.)

2.

Although most prohibitions against forbidden foods involve a smaller measure - a k'zayit (the size of an olive) - an exception is made in this instance, because a person's appetite will not be sated if he eats an amount of food smaller than the size of a date. In contrast to the measure for drinking, this is a standard measure, regardless of a person's size (Yoma 80a).

3.

According to Shiurei Torah an egg is 57.6 cubic centimeters; according to Chazon Ish (when the smaller measure is more stringent), it is 41 cubic centimeters. Thus, the size of a date would be a slightly smaller figure. The laws regarding eating less than this amount are mentioned in Halachah 3.

4.

The commentaries interpret this to mean slightly less than a revi'it. Note, however, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 271:13), which states that this measure is slightly more than half a revi'it with regard to the laws of kiddush. (Note the comments of the Be'ur Halachah 271.)

5.

For this will sate neither one's appetite nor one's thirst (Yoma 81a).

6.

For even forbidden food will sate one's hunger (Rabbenu Manoach).

7.

A sacrifice that was offered with the intent that it - or any of its sacred elements - be offered on the altar or eaten at a time when it is forbidden to be eaten; e.g., a peace offering the blood of which one thought to have poured on the altar at nightfall, or to have its flesh consumed on the third day after its sacrifice (Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 13:1).

8.

Sacrificial meat that was left over past the time during which it is allowed to be eaten - e.g., a sin offering on the morning of the following day or a peace offering on the morning of the third day (Hilchot Pesulei HaMukdashim 18:10).

9.

Produce from which the agricultural requirements of terumah and the tithes were not separated (Hilchot Ma'achalot Asurot 10:19).

10.

An animal that will not live longer than twelve months, because of a wound or blemish (Hilchot Ma'achalot Asurot 4:6-8; Hilchot Shechitah 5:1).

11.

By eating from this prohibited food on Yom Kippur, one violates two prohibitions: the consumption of the prohibited food and eating on Yom Kippur (Merkevet HaMishneh). See Hilchot Shegagot 6:4 and the conclusion of Chapter 14 of Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot.

12.

Since the substance that he is eating is forbidden, it is merely lacking in quantity (Rabbi Yochanan's view, Yoma 74a).

13.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's statements in Hilchot Tu'mat Tzara'at 16:6.

Whenever the Torah mentions a prohibition - and similarly, a mitzvah - that involves eating, the intent is that the person partake of a minimum measure within a specific time. The standard time for all prohibitions (and mitzvot) is כדי אכילת פרס, which the Rambam defines as the time it takes to eat the above amount. [There are opinions that state an amount of bread equivalent to four eggs (Maggid Mishneh). This opinion is mentioned in the notes on Halachah 8.]

In time, כדי אכילת פרס is defined as six minutes by the Tzemach Tzedek in one place and seven minutes in another (Sha'ar HaMiluim, sec. 9). Other opinions mention nine minutes, 8, 7 1/2, 6, 5, 4 1/2, 4. (See Ketzot HaShulchan 3:15.)

14.

And it is considered as if the person ate less than the minimum measure. For this reason, as mentioned in the notes on Halachah 8, when a person must eat on Yom Kippur, there are times when at first he is given less than the minimal amount, his eating is interrupted, and then he is given less than the minimal amount again, so as to minimize the extent of his transgression.

15.

I.e., the amount of time it takes to drink a revi'it leisurely (Radbaz, Vol. V, Responsum 1554). This is, nevertheless, a much smaller measure than the amount of time it takes to eat three eggs.

The Ra'avad (in his gloss on Hilchot Terumah 10:3) differs and states that even regarding drinking, the minimum measure is the amount of time it takes to eat three eggs. (Significantly, the source on which his opinion is based, Keritot 13a, is cited by the Rambam as halachah in Hilchot Sha'ar Avot HaTum'ah 8:11.)

Although the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 612:10) appears to favor the Rambam's view, Shulchan Aruch HaRav 612:15 and the Mishnah Berurah 612:31 suggest following the more stringent view.

16.

Our translation is taken from Rav Kapach's translation of an Arabic term in his edition of the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Yoma 8:2, Nedarim 6:4). In the latter source, the Rambam also states that the brine is sometimes made from fish. The Mishnah Berurah 612:28 renders the Hebrew term as referring to fat that exudes from a fish.

17.

When describing the fast, Leviticus 23:29 uses the expression, "Every soul that will not afflict itself shall be cut off." Eating food that is not fit for human consumption is also a form of affliction. Hence, one is not liable for punishment (Rabbenu Manoach).

18.

From the fact that the text mentions only fresh ginger, and not fresh peppers, the Maggid Mishneh states that one might infer that one is not liable for eating fresh peppers. He differs with this conclusion and suggests amending the text based on the Rambam's statements in Hilchot Berachot 8:7. The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 612:8) also makes a distinction between fresh and dried peppers.

19.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:7) quotes the version of Yoma 81b that we have, which states, "the leaves of reeds." The Rambam's wording is based on the version quoted by Rabbenu Chanan'el.

20.

I.e., the leaves just as they emerge from the stem of the vine.

21.

I.e., when calculating whether or not a person ate a quantity of food equivalent to the size of a date.

22.

Although the brine is a liquid, and liquids and foods are not ordinarily combined (Halachah 1), since the brine is used to flavor the vegetable, it is considered to be a food (Yoma 80b).

23.

The Rambam's wording requires some clarification. He is referring to a person who had overeaten before the commencement of Yom Kippur, and then despite being disgusted by food, continued to eat on Yom Kippur itself (Maggid Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 612:6). If a person began eating in the midst of the fast and then overate, he would be liable, because of the first morsels of food that he ate.

24.

If, however, the person is not jaded with the taste of the food, e.g., because the food is prepared in a very flavorful manner, he is liable even though he overate.

25.

Compare to Hilchot Shabbat 2:5, which explains that the classification "dangerously ill" means that "he has a wound in his body cavity, from his lips inward." Such a person does not need the assessment of a physician to determine whether or not the Sabbath should be violated on his behalf. In situations where the seriousness of the person's ailment is not as obvious, the Sabbath may be violated on his behalf based on a physician's pronouncement. Also, in this category is a women within three days after childbirth.

Significantly, when stating this law, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 618:1) mentions only "a sick person who must eat," without stating that he must be dangerously ill. The Be'ur Halachah emphasizes that in many instances, even mildly serious conditions can become life-threatening if the person fasts.

26.

See Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah 5:6, which states that with the exception of the prohibitions against idol worship, murder, and incestuous or adulterous relations, any of the Torah's prohibitions may be violated to save a person's life. As mentioned in Hilchot Shabbat 2:1, even if there is a doubt regarding the matter, the Sabbath should be violated, and moreover, it should be the leaders of the people and the wise who violate the Sabbath on the sick person's behalf, so that the people at large will appreciate that this is the course of action that should be taken.

27.

Significantly, the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.:7) mentions that when a sick person is fed on Yom Kippur, he should first be fed less than the size of a date within the amount of time it takes to eat four eggs (the more stringent view regarding the time of כדי אכילת פרס). If, however, that is not sufficient, the more lenient opinions concerning the measure of כדי אכילת פרס can be relied upon. If even that is not sufficient, the person should be fed in the normal manner.

28.

The sick man's own opinion should followed, because "the heart knows the bitterness of his soul." Nevertheless, the person should be reminded that it is Yom Kippur. If he persists in his desire to eat, we assume that he does not desire to transgress, but cannot bear the fast (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 618:1; Mishnah Berurah 618:5).

29.

This is speaking about a person who genuinely does not think that it is necessary for him to eat. It must be emphasized that the Rabbis frowned on the supposed "piety" of a sick person who knows that he should eat, but refrains from doing so because of the fast, and applied the verse (Genesis 9:5): "I will demand an account of the blood of your own lives" (Mishnah Berurah, loc. cit.). He should be forced to eat, even against his will.

30.

The Mishnah Berurah 618:1 quotes opinions that state that a Jew need not be an expert physician to render such an opinion. Since he is aware of a threat to life and knows the seriousness of Yom Kippur, his view is accepted. A gentile, however, must be an expert physician for his view to be considered.

31.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 618:4) differs and states that if two physicians say that the sick person should eat, their opinion should be followed. Since two physicians have made such a statement, no further risks should be taken with a person's life.

32.

Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi gave this suggestion when asked regarding such a problem (Yoma 83a).

33.

This refers to a sense of infirmity that overcomes a person because of lack of nourishment; he becomes, dizzy, faint, and unable to focus his eyes.

34.

If all that is immediately available is non-kosher food, he should be fed food that involves a prohibition that is least severe first. [See Hilchot Ma'achalot Asurot 14:17, the Rambam's Commentary on the Mishnah (Yoma 8:4), and the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 618:9). See the Noda BiY'hudah, Vol. I, Orach Chayim, Responsum 36, which focuses on this issue.]

35.

The intent is non-kosher species. Even if their flesh is tasty, they are considered loathsome by Jewish law.

36.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 616:2) explains that when a child's constitution is strong, his training to fast should begin at age nine. If he is weak, the training can be postponed a year.

37.

The Ra'avad differs and maintains that since males and females reach maturity at different ages, that factor should be taken into account in this law. According to his view, a male child is not obligated to complete the fast until he is twelve, and a female must complete the fast at age eleven.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim, loc. cit.) quotes the Rambam's view. The Ramah mentions a third opinion, which does not require children to complete a fast at all. He states that when a child's constitution is weak, this view should be followed.

38.

Even a fraction of a day is considered to be a day. Therefore, if a girl's birthday is on Yom Kippur, she is obligated to fast from her twelfth birthday onward.

39.

In this instance, however, even a child with a weak constitution should make every effort to complete the fast. For it is possible that the child had pubic hairs, which would cause him or her to be considered to be an adult, but they fell off (Ramah, Orach Chayim 616:2).

40.

Even if a child desires to fast, he should be prevented from doing so (Ramah, Orach Chayim, loc. cit.).

Shevitat Asor - Chapter Three

1

It is forbidden to wash on Yom Kippur,1 whether using hot or cold water.2 One may not wash one's entire body [at one time], nor any individual limb. It is even forbidden to immerse one's small finger in water.

A king and a bride may wash their faces:3 a bride so that she will not appear unattractive to her husband, and a king so that he will appear splendorous, as [Isaiah 33:17] states: "Your eyes shall behold the king in his splendor."4 Until when is a wife considered to be a "bride"? For thirty days.5

א

אָסוּר לִרְחֹץ בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים בֵּין בְּחַמִּין בֵּין בְּצוֹנֵן. בֵּין כָּל גּוּפוֹ בֵּין אֵיבָר אֶחָד אֲפִלּוּ אֶצְבַּע קְטַנָּה אָסוּר לְהוֹשִׁיטָהּ בַּמַּיִם. וְהַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַכַּלָּה רוֹחֲצִין אֶת פְּנֵיהֶן. כַּלָּה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּתְגַּנֶּה עַל בַּעְלָהּ. וְהַמֶּלֶךְ כְּדֵי שֶׁיֵּרָאֶה בְּיָפְיוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ישעיה לג יז) "מֶלֶךְ בְּיָפְיוֹ תֶּחֱזֶינָה עֵינֶיךָ". וְעַד כַּמָּה נִקְרֵאת כַּלָּה עַד שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם:

2

When a person is soiled with filth or mud, he may wash off the dirt in an ordinary manner without reservation.6 [Similarly,] a woman may wash one hand in water and give a piece of bread to a child.7

A person who is ill may wash in an ordinary manner even though he is not dangerously ill. Similarly, all those who are obligated to immerse themselves [for the sake of ritual purity] should immerse themselves in an ordinary manner. This applies both on Tish'ah B'Av and on Yom Kippur.8

ב

מִי שֶׁהָיָה מְלֻכְלָךְ בְּצוֹאָה אוֹ טִיט רוֹחֵץ מְקוֹם הַטִּנֹּפֶת כְּדַרְכּוֹ וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ. וּמְדִיחָה אִשָּׁה יָדָהּ אַחַת בְּמַיִם וְנוֹתֶנֶת פַּת לְתִינוֹק. וְהַחוֹלֶה רוֹחֵץ כְּדַרְכּוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְסֻכָּן. וְכָל חַיָּבֵי טְבִילוֹת טוֹבְלִין כְּדַרְכָּן בֵּין בְּתִשְׁעָה בְּאָב בֵּין בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים:

3

[The following rules apply] in the present age9 when a man has a seminal emission on Yom Kippur: If it is still moist, he should wipe it off with a cloth; this is sufficient. If it is dry, or he has become soiled, he may wash the soiled portions of his body and pray.10 It is, however, forbidden for him wash his entire body or to immerse himself.

For a person who immerses himself in the present age is not ritually pure11 - [he is impure regardless - ] because of ritual impurity contracted from a human corpse.12 The practice of washing after a nocturnal emission before prayer in the present age is only a custom. And a custom may not nullify a prohibition; it may only prohibit that which is permitted.13

The statement that a person who had a seminal emission on Yom Kippur should immerse himself was applicable only [in the era] when it was required to immerse oneself after a seminal emission and, as explained, this ordinance has already been nullified.

ג

מִי שֶׁרָאָה קֶרִי בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים. אִם לַח הוּא מְקַנֵּחַ בְּמַפָּה וְדַיּוֹ. וְאִם יָבֵשׁ הוּא אוֹ שֶׁנִּתְלַכְלֵךְ רוֹחֵץ מְקוֹמוֹת הַמְלֻכְלָכִין בִּלְבַד וּמִתְפַּלֵּל. וְאָסוּר לוֹ לִרְחֹץ כָּל גּוּפוֹ אוֹ לִטְבּל. שֶׁאֵין הַטּוֹבֵל בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה טָהוֹר מִפְּנֵי טֻמְאַת מֵת וְאֵין הָרְחִיצָה מִקֶּרִי לִתְפִלָּה בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה אֶלָּא מִנְהָג וְאֵין מִנְהָג לְבַטֵּל דָּבָר הָאָסוּר אֶלָּא לֶאֱסֹר אֶת הַמֻּתָּר. וְלֹא אָמְרוּ שֶׁהָרוֹאֶה קֶרִי בְּיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים טוֹבֵל אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁתִּקְּנוּ טְבִילָה לְבַעֲלֵי קְרָיִין וּכְבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁבָּטְלָה תַּקָּנָה זוֹ:

4

It is forbidden to sit on mud that is moist14 enough that if a person places his hand on it, sufficient moisture will rise up with it so that if he joins this hand to his other hand, the other hand will also become moist.15

A person should not fill an earthenware container with water and use it to cool himself, for the water permeates through its walls. It is even forbidden to use a metal container [for this purpose], lest water sprinkle on his flesh.16 It is permitted to cool off [by holding] fruit [against one's flesh].

ד

טִיט שֶׁהוּא לַח בְּיוֹתֵר כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּנִּיחַ אָדָם יָדוֹ עָלָיו וְתַעֲלֶה בָּהּ לַחְלוּחִית שֶׁאִם הִדְבִּיק אוֹתָהּ לְיָדוֹ הָאַחֶרֶת תִּדְבַּק בָּהּ לַחְלוּחִית אָסוּר לֵישֵׁב עָלָיו. לֹא יְמַלֵּא אָדָם כְּלִי חֶרֶשׂ מַיִם וְיִצְטַנֵּן בּוֹ שֶׁהַמַּיִם נִזְחָלִים מִדְּפָנָיו. אֲפִלּוּ כְּלֵי מַתָּכוֹת אָסוּר שֶׁמָּא יִנָּתְזוּ מַיִם עַל בְּשָׂרוֹ. וּמֻתָּר לְהִצְטַנֵּן בְּפֵרוֹת:

5

On the day preceding Yom Kippur, a person may take a handkerchief and soak it in water, wring it out slightly,17 and place it under clothes [so that it will not be exposed to the heat of the sun]. On the following day, he may wipe his face with it without any reservation,18 despite the fact that it is very cold.

ה

לוֹקֵחַ אָדָם מִטְפַּחַת מֵעֶרֶב יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים וְשׁוֹרֶה אוֹתָהּ בְּמַיִם וּמְנַגְּבָהּ מְעַט וּמַנִּיחָהּ תַּחַת הַבְּגָדִים וּלְמָחָר מַעֲבִירָהּ עַל פָּנָיו וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ קֹר הַרְבֵּה:

6

A person who is going to greet his teacher,19 his father,20 or someone who surpasses him in knowledge, and similarly, a person who is going to study in the House of Study, may pass through water21 that is neck-high22 without any reservation.23

[Moreover, after] he performs the mitzvah that he intended to perform, he may return to his home via the water. For if we did not allow him to return, he would not go, [and with this restriction, we would] thwart [his observance of] the mitzvah.

Similarly, a person who goes to guard his produce may pass through water that is neck-high without any reservation.24 These leniencies are granted], provided one does not extend his hands out from under the fringes of the garments, as one would do during the week.25

ו

הַהוֹלֵךְ לְהַקְבִּיל פְּנֵי רַבּוֹ אוֹ פְּנֵי אָבִיו אוֹ מִי שֶׁהוּא גָּדוֹל מִמֶּנּוּ בְּחָכְמָה אוֹ לִקְרוֹת בְּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ עוֹבֵר בַּמַּיִם עַד צַוָּארוֹ וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ וְעוֹשֶׂה מִצְוָה שֶׁהָלַךְ לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ וְחוֹזֵר בַּמַּיִם לִמְקוֹמוֹ. שֶׁאִם לֹא תַּתִּיר לוֹ לַחֲזֹר אֵינוֹ הוֹלֵךְ וְנִמְצָא נִכְשָׁל מִן הַמִּצְוָה. וְכֵן הַהוֹלֵךְ לִשְׁמֹר פֵּרוֹתָיו עוֹבֵר בַּמַּיִם עַד צַוָּארוֹ וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יוֹצִיאוּ יְדֵיהֶם מִתַּחַת שׁוּלֵי מְעִילֵיהֶם כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁעוֹשִׂין בְּחל:

7

It is forbidden to wear a [leather] shoe or a sandal,26 even on one foot. It is, however, permitted to wear a sandal made of reeds, rushes,27or the like. Similarly, a person may wind cloth over his feet or the like, for his feet remain sensitive to the hardness of the ground and he feels as if he is barefoot.28

Although children are allowed to eat, drink, wash, and anoint themselves, they should be prevented [from wearing] shoes and sandals.29

ז

אָסוּר לִנְעל מִנְעָל וְסַנְדָּל אֲפִלּוּ בְּרַגְלוֹ אַחַת. וּמֻתָּר לָצֵאת בְּסַנְדָּל שֶׁל שַׁעַם וְשֶׁל גֶּמִי וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְכוֹרֵךְ אָדָם בֶּגֶד עַל רַגְלָיו וְיוֹצֵא בּוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי קְשִׁי הָאָרֶץ מַגִּיעַ לְרַגְלָיו וּמַרְגִּישׁ שֶׁהוּא יָחֵף. הַתִּינוֹקוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מֻתָּרִין בַּאֲכִילָה וּבִשְׁתִיָּה וּרְחִיצָה וְסִיכָה מוֹנְעִין אוֹתָן מִמִּנְעָל וְסַנְדָּל:

8

All people are allowed to wear sandals [to protect themselves] from being bitten by scorpions and the like.

A woman who has just given birth may wear sandals for thirty days, lest she be chilled. The same law applies to other people who are sick, even if their illness is not dangerous.30

ח

מֻתָּר לְכָל אָדָם לִנְעל אֶת הַסַּנְדָּל מֵחֲמַת עַקְרָב וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּשָּׁכֶנּוּ. וְהַחַיָּה מֻתֶּרֶת לִנְעל אֶת הַסַּנְדָּל מִשּׁוּם צִנָּה כָּל שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם. וְהַחוֹלֶה כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם סַכָּנָה:

9

[Just as it is forbidden to anoint] one's entire body, so too, is it forbidden to anoint a portion of one's body. [This restriction applies] both to anointment that brings one pleasure and to anointment that does not bring one pleasure.31

When a person is sick, however, or if he has sores on his scalp, he may anoint himself in an ordinary manner without any reservation.

ט

אָסוּר לָסוּךְ מִקְצָת גּוּפוֹ כְּכָל גּוּפוֹ בֵּין סִיכָה שֶׁל תַּעֲנוּג בֵּין סִיכָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ שֶׁל תַּעֲנוּג. וְאִם הָיָה חוֹלֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ סַכָּנָה אוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ חֲטָטִין בְּרֹאשׁוֹ סָךְ כְּדַרְכּוֹ וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ:

10

There are communities where it is customary to light a candle on Yom Kippur, so that one will be modest with regard to one's wife and thus not be prompted to engage in sexual relations. There are, by contrast, other communities where it is customary not to light a candle, lest one see one's wife, be attracted to her, and be prompted to engage in sexual relations.32

If Yom Kippur falls on the Sabbath, it is an obligation to light [a candle incumbent on the members] of all communities. For lighting a candle on the Sabbath is an obligation.33

Blessed be God who grants assistance.

י

יֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ לְהַדְלִיק אֶת הַנֵּר בְּלֵילֵי יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לוֹ בֹּשֶׁת פָּנִים מֵאִשְׁתּוֹ וְלֹא יָבוֹא לִידֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ הַמִּטָּה. וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ שֶׁלֹּא לְהַדְלִיק שֶׁמָּא יִרְאֶה אִשְׁתּוֹ וְתִשָּׂא חֵן בְּעֵינָיו וְיָבוֹא לִידֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ. וְאִם חָל יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים לִהְיוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת חַיָּבִין הַכּל לְהַדְלִיק בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁהַדְלָקַת נֵר בְּשַׁבָּת חוֹבָה: סָלִיק הִלְכוֹת שְׁבִיתַת עשׂוֹר

Footnotes
1.

Our Sages instituted this prohibition based Solomon's description (I Kings 2:26) of David's affliction, which included being forced to go without washing (Yoma 77a).

2.

With regard to the prohibition against washing on the Sabbath and holidays, a distinction is made between washing with hot water and washing with cold water, because that prohibition was instituted lest the keepers of the baths heat water on these holy days. On Yom Kippur, the prohibition was instituted to prohibit washing per se. In this regard, we find a verse (Proverbs 25:25), "Like cold water on a wearied soul," including even cold water.

3.

From this leniency, some authorities infer that the prohibition against washing is Rabbinic in origin. If its source had been in the Torah, the Sages would not have granted such a leniency. Nevertheless, it is possible to explain that since the Torah's prohibition applies only to washing for the sake of pleasure, washing for other reasons is permitted when necessary.

4.

See Hilchot Melachim 2:5.

5.

The Mishnah Berurah 613:26 mentions opinions that do not allow this leniency in the present age.

6.

For it is only washing for the sake of pleasure that is forbidden, and not washing for the sake of cleanliness (Yoma 77b).

7.

Yoma, ibid. explains that this refers to shibta, which Rashi interprets as meaning a spirit of impurity that rests on one's hands after sleep. For this reason, the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 613:2) allows one to wash one's hands upon arising in the morning.

8.

This applied only in the ages when the people observed the laws of ritual purity. At present, since we do not possess the ashes of the red heifer, there is no way we can purify ourselves from the impurity contracted through contact with a human corpse, and we are all ritually impure. Hence, it is forbidden to immerse oneself on Yom Kippur and Tish'ah B'Av. Even a woman who is obligated to immerse herself on this day to purify herself from the niddah state should postpone her immersion. (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 613:12, 554:8.)

9.

I.e., in contrast to the era of Ezra, who ordained that a person who saw a nocturnal emission must immerse himself in the mikveh before reciting the Shema, praying, or engaging in Torah study. (See Hilchot Kri'at Shema 4:8, Hilchot Tefillah 4:4-6 and notes.)

10.

For it is forbidden to pray while there is a trace of semen on one's body.

11.

I.e., although a seminal emission conveys ritual impurity and immersion in a mikveh removes that impurity, this is not of consequence in the present age.

12.

Which can be removed only when the ashes of the red heifer are sprinkled on a person.

13.

I.e., a person may accept a custom that requires more stringent conduct than that obligated by the letter of Torah law for various reasons. He may not, however, adopt any leniency in Torah law for such reasons.

14.

This would also be done for the purpose of cooling off (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 613:9).

15.

This is the explanation of the Rabbinic expression, טופח על מנת להטפיח.

16.

One may, however, use an empty container for this purpose (Shulchan Aruch, loc. cit.).

17.

I.e., he must wring it out so that it will no longer be טופח על מנת להטפיח, as explained in the previous halachah.

18.

The Ramah (Orach Chayim 613:9) forbids this, lest the person squeeze water from the cloth and thus perform one of the forbidden labors.

19.

For it is a mitzvah to greet one's teacher (Chaggigah 5b).

20.

Since honoring one's parents is a mitzvah.

21.

For his intent is to perform the mitzvah and not to take pleasure in bathing.

22.

The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit. 613:5) emphasizes that one should not enter water in which the current is fast-moving, because of the danger involved.

23.

The Ramah (Orach Chayim 613:8) states that even if there is a circuitous route that does not require one to pass through water, one may take a direct route through the water. Shulchan Aruch HaRav 613:13 and the Mishnah Berurah 613:22 differ, and prohibit passing through water if there is an alternative route, even one that is much longer.

24.

Although guarding one's produce is not a mitzvah, this leniency was granted because of a person's concern for his money. In this instance, the person is not allowed to return through water on Yom Kippur (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 613:12).

25.

Forcing the person to deviate from his ordinary pattern will remind him not to squeeze the water from his garments (Shulchan Aruch HaRav 613:8).

26.

Yoma 77a also regards going without shoes as an affliction, based on Solomon's statements describing David's afflictions (I Kings 2:26) cited previously, for II Samuel 15:30 describes how David walked barefoot when fleeing from Avshalom.

27.

Our translation for שעם is based on the gloss of Rabbenu Manoach. He also offers an alternative meaning of the word, "tree bark." In modern Hebrew, שעם means cork.

28.

The Mishnah Berurah 614:5 states that in his time, it was customary to wear socks and not shoes or sandals made of rubber or similar materials. Nevertheless, at present it has become customary to wear such shoes or sandals.

29.

Refraining from any of the other four activities mentioned could affect the child's health and growth. This is not true with regard to wearing shoes and sandals. On the contrary, children often go without shoes.

30.

The halachic equivalence between a woman who has just given birth and a sick person is established in Hilchot Shabbat 2:14.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 614:3) also grants this leniency to a person who has a wound on his foot. The Ramah (loc. cit.:4) states that shoes may also be worn outside if the streets are very muddy.

31.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 614:1) interprets this to mean that it is prohibited to anoint oneself even for purposes of cleanliness.

32.

Shulchan Aruch HaRav 610:1 explains that it is an obligation to honor Yom Kippur by kindling lights, just as it is a mitzvah to honor other holidays. Nevertheless, because of the fear that one might be prompted to engage in sexual relations, certain communities adopted the custom of nullifying this mitzvah in homes where a husband and wife live together. Pesachim 53b applies the verse (Isaiah 60:21) "And your nation are all righteous" to both customs.

In all communities, it is customary to light candles for Yom Kippur, either at home or in the synagogue. The above explanation clarifies the decision of the Ramah, who maintains that one should recite a blessing over these candles. There are, however, other explanations, and for this reason, there are authorities (see Sha'ar HaTziyun 610:5) who maintain that a blessing should not be recited.

33.

See Hilchot Shabbat 5:1.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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