Jewish Moments

FAST ON MY BEHALF

צומו עלי

The Fast of Esther: A Time for Communal Gathering & Solidarity

The video was created and produced by OpenDor Media, and inspired by the Mabua Israeli Midrasha

What might we learn from the Jewish tradition of communal fasting and prayer? How might we draw inspiration from the ritual of fasting before Purim, initiated by Queen Esther, as a way to acknowledge the plight of the hostages and cry out for their release?

Ta’anit Esther, the Fast of Esther, is a day of fasting before the holiday of Purim. In the Megillah, the scroll of Esther, Esther requests of Mordecai and all her fellow Jews to join her and her handmaids, in a fast for three days as a symbol of communal solidarity and pain, before she approaches King Ahasuerus to plead on behalf of her people. Later, the 13th of Adar, the day before Purim, was set as a day of fasting, called Taanit Esther: The Fast of Esther. Some years, such as this year, it is observed on the 11th of Adar, which this year is on Thursday, March 21st. The traditional practice is to refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. We fast to pray for life, to ask for forgiveness and to plead to be saved from danger. This year, as we face the painful reality of war and 134 of our people held hostage in Gaza, there’s an initiative to mobilize all the Jewish people to join and observe this day of fasting (whether that is their usual practice or not), as an act of solidarity with their plight, to pray and call for their safe return.

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Dedicate this activity in honor of

Carmel Gat 39
Carmel was taken from Kibbutz Be’eri.
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