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Can I Break the Fast?

Shapiro's 11 year old son, Greg, walked up to his father's rabbi during the break between the Musaf and Mincha services on Yom Kippur.

"Rabbi Pollak, you must help me...I know that we're supposed to fast this day, but I am so thirsty. I must be allowed to have something to drink!"

Rabbi Pollak quietly but firmly responded, "I am sorry, but it must be pekuach nefesh (life-threatening) before the fast may be broken."

"But, you don't understand," whined young Shapiro, "if I don't get something soon, I am going to faint from thirst." Shapiro had continued on for some time when the rabbi finally relented and instructed the Gabbai to give Greg a shot-glass of water.

Young Shapiro quickly downed the liquid, whereupon he gasped, "That's the last time I have salt herring for breakfast on Yom Kippur."

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