The Fast of Esther or “Ta’anit Esther” in Hebrew language is a Jewish fast that begins in the dawn and ends at the evening prior to Purim holiday. It is observed in remembrance to the three-day fast done by the Jews led by Queen Esther and Mordechai in the story of Purim.
When is Fast of Esther 2014
The Fast of Esther is generally observed on the 13th day of the Hebrew month of Adar but if the 13th of Adar falls on a Saturday (Shabbat), the fast is observed on a Thursday which is the 11th day of Adar, in honor and respect of the Shabbat day.
Fast of Esther 2014 will be observed on the 11th day of Adar which is March 13, 2014 in the Gregorian calendar.
It falls on the dawn of Wednesday, March 12 and ends in the nightfall of Thursday, March 13.
Fast of Esther Origin and Background
The original Fast during the time of Esther was observed by the Jews on the 13th, 14th and 15th day of Nisan, straightway after Mordechai got an inside information about Haman’s royal decree and his letter to annihilate and exterminate all the Jews in the empire on the 13th day of Nisan.
The Fast of Esther however, is observed on the 13th of Adar in commemoration of the Fast observed by Israel on the day of their preparation and deployment for battle against their adversaries. The fast was named after the Queen because she is the one who proposed to do it and let God be involved and be in the picture of this notable event.
The Laws and Custom of Fast of Esther
- Eating and drinking is prohibited while wearing of shoes and washing is allowed.
- The Fast of Esther is not a major fast so women in their pregnancy, nursing mothers and those who are physically weak are not mandatory to observe it.
- It is also a customary to continue the fast until after the reading of the Book of Esther or the Megillah
- The fast begins at dawn and ends after nightfall.
- During the afternoon prayer which is Minchah, it is a custom to give three halves of coins which is the basis of local currency and is given to the poor.
Fast of Esther 2015
The Fast of Esther will be observed on the 13th day of Adar; Hebrew Year 5775.
The Fast of Esther falls on the 04th of March in the Gregorian calendar which begins on the dawn of Tuesday, March 03 and ends on the nightfall of Wednesday, March 04.