Broken Fast

This morning I forgot that it was a fast day (17 Tammuz) and drank a glass of water. Is there any point continuing to fast, or can I just eat at this point? Also, is there any way to make up the fast now that I broke it?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

On a fast day, there are really two obligations – to fast and not to eat (which when we think of it, are not identical). Thus, even though you are technically no longer fasting, you should still not eat (Mishna Berurah 549:3). Likewise, people who are sick or pregnant and permitted to eat on minor fast days should eat only the minimum amount required for their health (Shulchan Aruch O.C. 554:5).

There is no need to make up the missed fast. Since on public fast days we mourn specific events which occurred on specific days, there is nothing gained by fasting on a different day. Note also that even though your own fast is broken you can still add the aneinu prayer in the mincha services. Since most people are still fasting, you can still refer to the day as “the day of our fast” (Shulchan Aruch 568:1, MB 3).

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