Those Who Are Obligated and Exempt From the Fast of Tisha Be’av
|Someone Ill with a Non-Life-Threatening Illness
One who is ill (meaning that he is actually bedridden and the like, even if the illness is not life-threatening) is exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’av. When in doubt about one’s status, one should consult a prominent halachic authority. (Aches and pains, such as the common headache and the like, are not grounds to exempt one from fasting on Tisha Be’av.)The Elderly
An elderly person who is weakened by fasting is considered “ill” for all intents and purposes and is exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’av. Even if he has no internal illness, he must eat on Tisha Be’av. However, if the elderly individual is not actually ill and has merely been advised by doctors to eat on Tisha Be’av lest the fast weaken him and cause him to fall ill, he should eat or drink small amounts and in spaced out intervals of ten minutes, similar to the law on Yom Kippur (Chazon Ovadia-Arba Ta’aniyot, page 279).
A Woman Who Has Given Birth
The same applies to a woman who, G-d-forbid, miscarries following at least forty days of pregnancy (meaning that she miscarried a fetus who was in the womb for forty days or more; these forty days are counted from the actual conception, not the way the doctors calculate beginning from two weeks later) in that she is exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’av as long as she is still within thirty days of the miscarriage.
Pregnant and Nursing Women
Important Note: Anyone who is exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’av due to illness, such as, an ill individual, a woman who has given birth within thirty days, or a pregnant or nursing woman who feels ill, may eat and drink regularly and is not required to eat small amounts in spaced out intervals as is the law regarding someone ill on Yom Kippur (Chazon Ovadia-Arba Ta’aniyot, page 288).
Tomorrow, Tisha Be’av, we shall send out a Halacha regarding the laws of Motza’ei Tisha Be’av and the Tenth of Av.