Mar 13, 2016

Fasting for 3 days, ala Mordechai and Esther

In Megillat Esther we learn about how Queen Esther called upon her people to fast for three days in anticipation of he approaching King Ahashverosh and attempting to thwart Haman's plans. The people did their part in accepting the fast, and Esther did her part, and the rest, as they say, is history.

A number of rabbis have come up with a similar plan for us in light of the deteriorated security situation. Rabbis Arik Naveh, Yohai Yemini, And Yuval Cohen (described as mekubalim) have called upon the people of Israel to accept a fast of three days (straight, including nights). The purpose is to arouse heavenly mercy, and also to give people and communities time and opportunity for introspection.

Rabbis Shmuel Eliyahu and Bentzion Mutzafi have signed on to the plea but added that those who cannot fast for three days should instead accept upon themselves a taanis dibbur or to daven..

The three day fast would begin on March 21, 2016 and continue for three days, with the third day coinciding with taanis esther.

They explain that we are facing threats just like Mordechai and Esther did, so we need to act like them and fast for three days.
source: Mynet

The article says so far 20,000 people have signed on to the initiative. I wonder how many people will be able, or even just attempt, to fast for three days. Most people seem to start complaining about hunger and headaches in the middle of even short one-day fasts.

Another note I might point out is that Esther and Mordechai did not just [call on the community to] fast, but they also acted, and the fasting was meant to help their plan of action be successful. Would fasting on its own have done the job? Perhaps, perhaps not. But if we are emulating Mordechai and Esther, the plan for fasting should also include a plan for action.

Would you join such a fast? I might. I have some family simchas during those days, so i am not sure how I would work that out, but theoretically I would try to join such an initiative. Hopefully it will not be too hot during those days and people fasting will not have to suffer through a heat wave with no water.





------------------------------------------------------
Reach thousands of readers with your ad by advertising on Life in Israel
------------------------------------------------------

13 comments:

  1. As far as a plan for action, presumably the government is working on various plans, so our fasting can augment their action.
    Of course, you realize that Esther's fast wasn't in Adar at all (it was in the middle of Nisan, including the 15th).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry, but this plan is just plain nuts. Anyone who fasts for 72+ hours straight is putting their lives and long-term health in danger - and, by the end of that period, will likely be in such bad shape, that they'd likely not be able to say any meaningful Tefilos.

    This just goes to reinforce my skepticism of so-called Mekubalim...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're totally wrong on this...I have fasted 3 days and nights with no ill effect...more than once...and at the end, was tired but always got some kind of blessing...sometimes not even the one I was aiming for. It comes from HaShem and it does, with the right attitude, work.

      Delete
    2. You're totally wrong on this...I have fasted 3 days and nights with no ill effect...more than once...and at the end, was tired but always got some kind of blessing...sometimes not even the one I was aiming for. It comes from HaShem and it does, with the right attitude, work.

      Delete
    3. interesting, Yael. including not drinking water?

      Delete
    4. The original article said three days and nights with no food or water - which is why I said 72+ hours, and why I think this (and those proposing it) are nuts. If it was no food only, but water allowed (even if only at night), I'd think them rather extreme - but not totally nuts as I think of them now.

      Delete
    5. Whenever I fast, whether required or not, I never drink because it makes me have a headache. I know that sounds backwards from others' experiences, but fasting itself has never given me a headache.

      Delete
    6. I'm just a little 62-yr old grandma...if I can do it, you all can do it!

      Delete
  3. First thing that came to mind when I read this was "how long can a person survive without water". From my brief googling, seems 3 days is into kidney damage and hospitalization. So I guess the question is... Is a 3 day fast a "daytime only" fast ala Tannis Esther - which would not seem possible - or a, l'havdil, Ramadan style "daytime" fast with water/meals each night? Or something different, like people who go on a hunger strike, 3 days without food but water ok?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder how they did it back in shushan and everywhere else at that time. it gets pretty hot there as well

      Delete
    2. Well, they had a much bigger motivation then.

      Delete
  4. I have done it twice, so I know that it is possible, but not advisable. And when I did it I was much younger. If I tried it again I would most probably wind up in the ER.

    The idea has merit, but only for a very very few yechidim who can handle it. This is not something for the general public.

    The biggest problem is that Tannis Esther is the third day. There will be people who, with the best intentions, will attempt this three day fast, but won't be able to finish it. Many of them run the risk of not being strong enough to fast Tannis Esther which is a required fast.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As far as I know, the Tannis Esther is a sunrise to sunset fast - not like Yom Kippur - so three days would still leave you drinking and eating in between the fasts. I think it's worth going for it - but I understand if some people want to save all of their focus for Tannis Esther.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...