The Esther Fast is observed in remembrance of the Fast instituted by Mordechai and Queen Esther together with all Israel when they were under the governance of the Persian Empire. The fast was done as their spiritual response to the natural assaults and oppression from their enemies. For the Jews, it is a normal custom to institute a fast prior to a significant or crucial event like what happened in the Purim story.
Why is it called Esther Fast
The Fast was named after the Queen Esther which is translated in Hebrew as “Ta’anit Esther” because she was the first one to request to gather all the Jews for a cohesive and unified fast in preparation for the upcoming war against their enemy, Haman.
The Basis of Esther Fast
According to the Book of Esther, Queen Esther invited all Israel to organize a fast prior to her appearance to the King about the plot of Haman. She knew that fasting quiets the desires of the flesh and strengthens their sensitivity on spiritual facets, thus being able to have a direct access with their connection to the Lord.
Another fast was instituted by Mordechai and Esther which lasted for three days in preparation for their battle against the angry Persians. It is clear however, that fasting was practiced to confirm that man in his own limited physical strength will not be able to prevail in any battle without acknowledging God’s Divine strength and power working in them. Jews have this in mind that the battle is the Lord’s and strength and victory only comes from Him.
Significance of Esther Fast
The Esther Fast remembers God’s liberation of the Jewish people from the evil schemes of Haman. It also highlights the significant role of women in the forces at work in redemption. Such influence that Queen Esther holds caused the Jews to be delivered and spared from their permanent destruction.