Swimming on Fast Days, Dangerous Activities

Is there any prohibition with swimming on a minor fast day, such as the upcoming Shiva Asar b’Tammuz?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

Technically there is no prohibition with bathing on a fast day. However, there is room to be stringent and to lessen such pleasures on a fast, especially to swim for pleasure rather than exercise.

For the upcoming fast of 17 Tammuz, there is an additional potential reason to be strict. Since the Three Weeks are considered a time of harsh judgment in Heaven, we avoid dangerous activities. Thus, one should not swim in rough or deep water during this time.

Note that swimming and bathing for pleasure are prohibited entirely during the Nine Days. See this related response: Swimming for Exercise, Swimming Lessons.

(Sources: Shulchan Aruch O.C. 550:2, Taz 1, Mishbetzot Zahav 1, Mishna Berurah 6, Teshuvot v’Hanhagot (R. Sternbuch) II 263.)

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