Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fasting for Atonement

A patron requested citations to sources in Rabbinic literature that discuss the practice of fasting in order to gain atonement for sins. Here are some sources that I found. Please, feel free to “join the conversation” by adding additional sources in the “Comments” section.
- Yerushalmi, Betsah 2:8, s.v. a[mar] R[abi] Hananyah paam ahat yatset.
- Bavli, Hagigah 22b, s.v. amru kol yamav husharu shinav mipne taaniyotav.
- Ibid., Moed Katan 25a, s.v. de-yoma had ithafikha.
- Ibid., Bava Metsia 33a, s.v. yativ Rav Hisda arbain taanita
- Shulhan Arukh, Orah Hayim, chpt.334, paragraph 26, s.v. Hagah… ve-im avar ve-hilel tsarikh le-hitanot.
- Shulhan Arukh, Yoreh De’ah, chpt.185, paragraph 4, s.v. Hagagh…ve-im pirash mimenah.
- Shulhan Arukh, Orakh Hayim, chpt.568, paragraph 4.
- Shneur Zalman, of Lyady, 1745-1813. Likute AmarimTanya, Igeret ha-Teshuvah, chpt.1-3.
- Vidas, Elijah ben Moses de, 16th cent. Reshit Hokhmah, shaar ha-Teshuvah.
- Ricchi, Raphael Immanuel ben Abraham Hai, 1688-1743. Mishnat Hasidim, masekhet Teshuvah.

1 comment:

  1. You can also find material concerning this question in my book Holy Men and Holy Artists, published by Oxford University Press. Briefly, after the destruction of the Temple fasting became, for some, a substitute for sacrifice. R. Sheshet, a third century Babylonian sage is quoted, for example, as praying that the diminution of his blood and fat as a result of fasting be considered the equivalent of blood and fat being offered on the altar. Fasts were instituted when there was drought or when other calamities befell the community.

    Eliezer Diamond