Jewish Minor Fasts 101

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Practices

With the exception of Yom Kippur, none of the other communal fast days in the Jewish calendar may fall on the Sabbath. Hence, the Jewish calendar must sometimes be adjusted in order to ensure that these fasts are observed on other days of the week. On the minor fasts, only eating and drinking are restricted, not other signs of mourning, such as wearing leather, that are prohibited on major fast days. In addition, the laws concerning who may break his or her fast--or skip the fast altogether--are more lenient for minor fasts.

In addition to various additional readings in the synagogue on these days, one of the characteristic traditions associated with these fast days is the giving of charity or tzedakah.

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