Who should and who shouldn't fast on Yom Kippur?

Healthcare provider Meuhedet has published its medical instructions regarding people with medical conditions fasting on Yom Kippur.

 PRAYING AT the end of Yom Kippur  in Moshav Haniel, September 2020. (photo credit: CHEN LEOPOLD/FLASH90)
PRAYING AT the end of Yom Kippur in Moshav Haniel, September 2020.
(photo credit: CHEN LEOPOLD/FLASH90)

Kupat Holim (Health Maintenance Organization - HMO) Meuhedet published its annual medical recommendations for the Yom Kippur fast this week, instructing people regarding who should and who shouldn't fast and to what extent.

The instructions were written in cooperation with the Moked Harav organization, a medical advisory service regarding halachic-medical questions. 

What are the recommendations?

First, although eating and drinking are prohibited, there are some who are allowed to eat as much as 30 grams of food, and drink as much as four centiliters of water at a time. According to the recommendations, those who should eat "less than usual" should separate between eating and drinking these amounts by at least nine minutes.

Meuhedet is also providing water bags in the approved sizes as part of its preparation for Yom Kippur.

Second, any person who is ill whose health might be endangered by the fast, or if a woman is pregnant and her fetus might be hurt, must eat and drink in order to avoid any harm. However, they should eat and drink less than usual, unless their condition will worsen by doing so.

THE JEWISH CALENDAR year that ended last week, 5780, featured unforgivable errors  that will take the country years to recover from.  (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)THE JEWISH CALENDAR year that ended last week, 5780, featured unforgivable errors that will take the country years to recover from. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Even more so, if an ill person wants to fast and their doctor says they shouldn't, the patient should listen to the doctor.

Those who are allowed to eat and drink should still avoid sweets. 

According to the manual, people with various heart conditions, type 2 diabetes and other medical conditions generally shouldn't fast.

For pregnant women, it depends on their doctor's instructions; women within the first week after giving birth shouldn't fast and those who are nursing have to drink.