Fast of Esther

The Fast of Esther ("Ta'anit Ester", Hebrew תענית אסתר) is a Jewish fast from dawn until dusk on Purim eve, commemorating the three day fast observed by the Jewish people in the story of Purim. This fast was accepted by the Jews for all future generations, as it is stated in the Book of Esther: "They had established for themselves and their descendants the matters of the fasts and their cry." (Esther 9:31)

The Fast is observed on the 13th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. If the Fast of Esther falls on Shabbat (Saturday), the fast is instead observed on the preceding Thursday.

Since the Fast of Esther is not one of the four public fasts ordained by the Prophets, the laws are more lenient; pregnant women, nursing mothers, and those who are weak are not required to observe it.

(Note: in certain situations a weak, sick, or pregnant person is not required or even permitted to observe "any" Jewish fast day; a rabbi should be consulted to determine the law for one's specific situation.)


It is generally accepted in the rabbinic tradition that the original three-day "Fast of Esther"mentioned in chapter 4 of Book of Esther occurred on the 14th, 15th, and 16th days ofNisan, these being the eve and first two days of Passover. They fasted on Passover because Esther reasoned it would be better to fast on one Pesach lest they all be destroyed and thus never be ableto observe the holiday in the future. The 13th of Adar was a fast day for the warriors while goingout to battle, as it is believed to have been customary to fast during the battle in order to gaindivine favor. Because fasting during Passover would be inappropriate in almost all circumstances, the "Fast of Esther" became attached to the eve of Purim, the 13th of Adar.

Dates observed

The Gregorian date for the Fast of Esther in 2008 is Thursday March 20. The fast (unlike more major fasts) also does not take place on a Friday because it would interfere with Sabbath preparations.

ee also

*Fasting in Judaism

Jewish and Israeli holidays


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fast of Esther — noun (Judaism) a minor fast day on Adar 13 commemorates three days that Esther fasted before approaching the Persian king on behalf of the Jewish people; the fast is connected with Purim • Topics: ↑Judaism • Hypernyms: ↑minor fast day * * *… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fast of Esther — Date: 1887 a Jewish fast day observed the day before Purim in commemoration of a fast proclaimed by Queen Esther …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Fast of Esther — Tanit Esther, fast which is held the day before the Jewish holiday of Purim …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Fast of Esther — Judaism. See Taanith Esther. * * * …   Universalium

  • ESTHER, FAST OF — (Heb. תַּעֲנִית אֶסְתֵּר, Ta anit Esther), the day before purim on which it is customary to fast (unless that day falls on the Sabbath; see below). The She iltot of R. Aḥa of Shabḥa (eighth century; ed. by S.K. Mirsky, 3 (1964), 222, no. 69) has… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Fast of the Firstborn — Infobox Holiday caption = J. M. W. Turner s depiction of the Plague of the Firstborn ( The Tenth Plague of Egypt , 1802) holiday name = Fast of the firstborn official name = Hebrew: תענית בכורות ( Ta anit B chorot ) or תענית בכורים ( Ta anit B… …   Wikipedia

  • ESTHER — (Heb. אֶסְתֵּר), daughter of Abihail, an exile at susa , and heroine of the Book of Esther. The name Esther is probably from Old Persian star (well attested in the later Persian dialects), with the same meaning as English star. She is once called …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Esther Mujawayo — bei einer Lesung in Düsseldorf Esther Mujawayo (* 10. September 1958 in Taba Gitarama, Ruanda) ist Soziologin, Traumatherapeutin und Autorin aus Ruanda. Sie ist Mitgründerin von AVEGA (Association des Veuves du Genocide d Avril), der Assoziation… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Esther Ofarim — (1966) Esther Ofarim (hebräisch ‏אסתר עופרים‎, gebürtig Esther Zaied; * 13. Juni 1941 in Safed, Galiläa) ist eine israelische Schauspielerin und Sängerin. Ofarim trat zunächst als Solokünstleri …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Esther — • Queen of Persia and wife of Assuerus, who is identified with Xerxes (485 465 B.C.) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Esther     Esther      …   Catholic encyclopedia

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