|Ask Rabbi Lerner|
This will be my first Yom Kippur since Bat Mitzvah that I will unable to fast due to my pregnancy. What are the guidelines for appropriate practice?
Mazal Tov on the pregnancy, and as they say in Hebrew, "b'shaah tovah," may
everything occur in its proper course of time and health, for you and your future
Regarding fasting, pregnant women are to be guided by their doctors and are to be concerned about their own and their baby's health.
Fasting is a ritual designed to encourage you to repent of any sins. Bringing a new life into the world is a supreme act of commitment to life, to the future and of repentance!
Your own Rabbi is your ultimate authority, but informationally I encourage pregnant and nursing women to use common sense above all, and perhaps fast "a little." That is to say that one might refrain from an extra serving that would be more of a luxury than a need, but in no way to ever endanger your health - physical or emotional - and that of your future child.
Rabbi Barry Dov Lerner
Foundation for Family Education (FFFE)