October 10, 2005

by Reb Yudel
Gil Student wins this year's prize for inadvertent self parody in the title of a blog entry

With the "why didn't he post about it sooner" title of Vomiting in Halakhah

This is the first in a series of brief posts about the status of vomiting in halakhah. While this might seem like a somewhat bizarre topic, the issues are actually quite relevant. The current topic -- vomiting on Yom Kippur -- is hopefully not an issue for most readers. However, the two subsequent topics will probably be issues that arise every once in a while in the average observant Jew's life (although hopefully not too often).
A close reading will show not only Gil's typical erudition, but also enough inyana d'yoma to show that Gil wasn't aiming for shock value with this topic:


On Yom Kippur, the prohibition is a function of affliction rather than eating per se. Therefore, one could say that without the satisfaction of having the food settle in one's stomach one is not liable.

The Minhas Hinukh (313:2) reaches the conclusion that this is proper but stops short of issuing a lenient ruling on this basis. The Hasam Sofer (Responsa, Orah Hayim 127) writes confidently that the prohibition on Yom Kippur requires enjoyment of the stomach. Therefore, one who eats a ke-zayis and then vomits it before it has a chance to settle is not liable. Similarly, one who eats half a ke-zayis, vomits it, and then shortly eats another half a ke-zayis is not considered as if he has eaten a full ke-zayis.

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