Can I Break the Yom Kippur Fast?
Shapiro's 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."