Taanit esther - Welcome to Beit Chabad’s Purim website
Purim commemorates the miracle where the people of Israel were saved from the evil Haman who wanted to destroy all Jews at the times of the Persian empire.
At Beit Chabad’s Purim website, you will learn the day’s mitzvahs and customs as well as everything you need to know about Purim.
In addition, you can observe the mitzvahs of Matanot La’Evyonim and the Machatzit HaShekel through Beit Chabad using Bit or credit card.
Donations on the website are tax deductible in accordance with Section 46.
The donation is secured and performed through credit card or paypal
The payment is made by the Beit Chabad Foundation, Sderot, under Tzeirei Agudat Chabad Bn No. 580134229
Ta’anit Esther 2023 | Times of Ta’anit Esther
Ta’anit Esther (the Fast of Esther) begins on Adar 13, a day before Purim, the same day the war between the Jews and their enemies was won, with Am Israel getting the upper hand.
On 2023, Ta’anit Esther starts on Monday March 06, 2023 – Adar 13 5783.
Times the fast begins:
Beginning of Ta’anit Esther 2023
Tel Aviv: 4:46, Jerusalem: 04:45, Haifa 04:45
End of Ta’anit Esther 2023
Tel Aviv 18:07, Jerusalem: 18:05, Haifa 18:06
Giving a half of shekel during the fast
It is a mitzvah to donate in memory of the half shekel on the day of the fast, before the Mincha prayer.
The mitzvah can now be observed online with Beit Chabad – the donations are tax deductible in accordance with Section 46.
Why is the fast called Ta’anit Esther – Fast of Esther?
It is told in the Megillah that Queen Esther fasted for 3 days and commanded the people of Israel to fast with her, at the end, she went to King Ahasuerus and asked him to show mercy to the people of Israel and revoke Haman’s decree.
Esther knew that the reason for the decree was spiritual, and not just a coincidence, so while the evil Haman and King Ahasuerus were involved, they were merely vessels, with the true cause being spiritual.
That’s why when Esther tries to have the decree revoked, she focuses on what matters.
First, she turns to spiritual actions, fasting and praying and only after that does she take an earthly action – going to the king after 3 days of fasting.
Why do we fast on Ta’anit Esther?
Let’s clarify the question – unlike other fasts which mark events of national mourning that happened to the people of Israel over the years, such as the siege of Jerusalem, the destruction of Beit HaMikdash, the killing of many Jews and many other catastrophes.
The Fast of Esther marks the story of Purim, a happy event where the Jews were saved from the decree of the evil Haman in the times of Mordecai and Esther.
So, why do we fast on Ta’anit Esther?
One of the explanation for Ta’anit Esther
The Chofetz Chaim in his book ‘Mishna Berura’ explains the following things:
At the time of Mordecai and Esther in Shushan the capital, the Jews fasted during the war against their enemies as a virtue for succeeding in the war.
In Jewish history, there were other opportunities where during a war of Jews against their enemies, the leaders of the nation held a fast, for example – Moshe Rabeinu fasted during the war against Amalek.
In memory of this, we fast every year on Adar 13, the meaning of the fast is that we remember that God looks down and sees every person at his time of need, and when a Jew fasts and prays, Hashem helps him be saved from his enemies.
Ta’anit Esther in a leap year
Ta’anit Esther is set on Adar 13.
In a leap year, where there are two months of Adar, the fast takes place on the second month of Adar – Adar B.
If the date of the fast falls on a Saturday, it is moved up to Thursday.
Halakhas dealing with Ta’anit Esther
Ta’anit Esther begins at sunrise and ends when the stars come out.
As written above, since this day does not mark an atrocity that happened to the people of Israel and is not mentioned in the Gemara.
It is therefore written in Shulchan Aruch that it is less strict, which is why bathing is allowed during Ta’anit Esther.
Special exemptions during the Purim fast
The fast can be broken by
- A pregnant woman
- A woman after birth (breastfeeding)
- A man who is ill, even if his life is not in danger
A woman who doesn’t get too weak fasting
There are different approaches regarding a pregnant or breastfeeding women after 30 days from the time of birth, who doesn’t get too weak from fasting. (expanded on in the book ‘Mishna Berura’)
Rabbis sometimes make exemptions for the fast in the following cases: (According to piskei teshuvos siman 5686)
>> Any pregnant woman or a breastfeeding woman.
> Some make exemptions every two years after birth, despite the woman no longer breastfeeding.
>A weak person for whom the Purim fast will cause weakness and sorrow the next day, on Purim. Such an exemption should only be given by a Rabbi who is well versed in this matter.
Is Tefillin worn on Ta’anit Esther?
Yes, Halakha states that Tefillin is worn on Ta’anit Esther.
Is bathing allowed on Ta’anit Esther?
Bathing is allowed.
Is listening to music allowed on Ta’anit Esther?
Listening to music is allowed.
Virtues of Ta’anit Esther
A virtue of Ta’anit Esther mentioned in the holy books:
The day of the fast, Adar 13, is a day of virtue for the opening of the heavens and willingly accepting the prayer.
One of the great men of Israel stated that anyone who needs salvation for some matter or other should take the time during the fast and read chapter 22 of Psalms Lam’natzea’ch Al Ayelet HaShachar.
After that man will express his wish before Hashem and mention the virtue of Mordecai and Esther thanks to whom Hashem will listen to the prayer and open the gates of the heavens and the prayer will be willingly accepted. (Kav ha-Yashar)
At the Beit Chabad website, you will learn about Purim
Read also about the mitzvahs: