Chief rabbis rule: IDF soldiers in Gaza don't need to fast on Tisha Be’Av

Rabbis Lau and Yosef also said that soldiers on the frontline do not need to observe the other laws of mourning.

August 4, 2014 20:59

Israeli soldiers prepare for a patrol just outside the Gaza Strip. (photo credit: REUTERS)

JERUSALEM — Israeli soldiers talking part in the Gaza operation are exempted from fasting on Tisha Be’Av, the chief rabbis of Israel ruled.

Rabbis David Lau (Ashkenazi) and Yitzhak Yosef (Sephardi) presented their ruling on Jewish law, or halacha, on Monday — the fast was to begin at sundown.

“As IDF soldiers are standing on the frontline and fighting and sacrificing their lives for the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, we hereby declare that according to Jewish law, soldiers on the frontline are exempt from fasting on Tisha Be’Av, and all the mourning laws do not apply to them,” the ruling stated.

Tisha Be’Av, which ends on Tuesday after sundown, commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.

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