Fast of Esther Date in the current year: February 22, 2016

Fast of Esther The Fast of Esther (Ta'anit Ester) is observed by Jews on Purim eve on the 13th day of the month of Adar (or Adar II in the Hebrew leap years).

Esther is the eponymous heroine of the Biblical Book of Esther. She was a Jewish wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus. When royal vizier Haman decided to murder all the Jews in the Persian empire, she fasted for three days before telling the King she was Jewish and asking him to save the lives of her people.

It is believed that Esther fasted during Passover. As fasting during this holiday is considered inappropriate, the Fast of Esther became attached to Purim eve, the 13th of Adar. If this date falls on Saturday, the fast is instead observed on the preceding Thursday because fasting during Shabbat is forbidden unless it is Yom Kippur. The 13th day of Adar also was a fast day for the warriors while going out to battle.

Ta'anit Ester lasts from dusk till dawn. It is a minor fast day, and the laws of its observance are quite lenient. Those who are ill as well as pregnant women and nursing mothers are exempt from observing it.

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Fast of Esther, Ta'anit Ester, Jewish holidays, fast days, Purim