Anorexia and fasting on Yom Kippur

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This week we’re all gearing up for the big fast starting on Wednesday night, so I’ve been reviewing the rules of who fasts  and when we’re exempt from fasting for health reasons.  Last year, for the first time, I was part of a discussion about whether or not those suffering from anorexia or bulimia should fast.  Unlike, say, a diabetic, an anorexic girl or a recovering anorexic may not immediately become ill during the fast as a result of not eating.  But fasting could somehow allow them to revert back to destructive habits and practices, setting them back on a very dangerous path.  bulimia_1.jpg

As I was thinking about this, I wondered if there were similar allowances made in the Muslim community during Ramadan.  Do Muslim girls (or boys) who know they’re bulimic or anorexic get any exemption from the fast?  Not that I could find anywhere online.

Here’s something to [not] chew on: when you Google Jewish Bulimic you get almost twice as many hits as when you Google Muslim Bulimic.

Posted on October 7, 2008

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