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mother fasting when she can break 17th tammuz

Question:

Hi, my wife drinks coffee daily and gets bad headaches on fasts and since we have a 5 year old who is ADHD type kid, she finds herself really screaming and a bit out of it and not able to be a nice mother (whom she normally is under normal circumstances), she’s to the point where she can’t function and must lay down and the house is not good atmosphere should she even attempt to fast since every time this occurs, recently I’ve been telling her just break the fast as soon as she gets to this point, but I’m now asking if she must even wait till this point? Why should she get to this point if it’s a vadai she’ll feel like this early in the day and have to yell?

Please advise

Answer:

It is difficult to give an exact point when a person that isn’t feeling well can break their fast. In general, everyone feels weak and will get irritable as a result, but that doesn’t mean that they automatically can break their fast. This is why it would be a good idea to discuss this with a Rov in person. R’ Moshe says that if a person has a headache that is worse than the way most people feel on a fast, then the person can break his fast. From what you are describing, it sounds like the caffeine withdrawal is making her irritable and giving her a headache, and from stress of your ADHD child she has to lay down. This can be solved easily by her taking a caffeine pill in the morning, this way she will feel better and won’t get irritable. Alternitively you should help out in the house or hire a baby sitter for the kids.

 

Best Wishes and I hope that things work out easier for you on the next fast day.

 

Sources:

Igros Moshe O:CH 4-114. Kovetz Halachos ( Bein Hamitzarim) 17-10 ftnt. 12.

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