Well, I am glad that in our days we are doing this by a one-day fast, and it is considered a minor fast, so it is only from sunrise to sunset. This is normally done on the 13th day of the month of Adar, the day before Purim itself, but this year the 13th is a Shabbat, and we don’t fast on Shabbat (with the exception of Yom Kippur), – so we have our Esther’s fast today, Thursday.
I have never found fasts to come easily. I am more the type of person who eats a meal every three hours and snacks in between. So now, going for a day without eating and drinking, is challenging. But I find the fact that it is a collective fast VERY helpful! We are doing this together, we are in this together. That thought is SO strengthening. If this was something I had just decided to do today, it would be so much easier to just break it, but now I want to stick to it because I feel empowered by the fact that I am not alone.
Also, – what a good thing to be doing, really! Fasting and praying. There is deep meaning in that. You are not wasting your time when you are investing in those things! Here I am working, cleaning and cooking (yes, cooking! Because we are going to want a yummy meal after sunset!), and the whole time there is a song or a prayer underneath my breath. Because I don’t want to be going through this fast without really making use of it. I don’t want to be just not eating, – I want to be strengthening my prayers through fasting.
And I am praying for deliverance for my people, just like they did in Esther’s days. Then Haman was plotting to kill them. Today we have numerous enemies who would like to see the Jewish People wiped off from the face of the earth. We better make good use of this fast-day!!
Of course it is not the fast that is saving us, – it is the God of Israel who is saving us and protecting us and keeping us alive every day! All honor and glory to Him! But then again, – HE told us to fast and pray, so there you go…
The children are aware of the type of day it is today, but they are keeping on with their various dress-up-days at school, and today the theme was HATS. Here they are with their morning-faces and one with a fruit-basket hat and one with a viking-hat:
Our son is interested in fasting, but I have him doing a partial fast for now, because I think that is all he can handle in his situation (read: I know how irritable he gets when his blood-sugar is low. That may be the case for us grown-ups too, but we should have a higher level of self control…).
Tomorrow we are going to be part of a Purim Parade in the streets of Jerusalem, and I hope to be back and tell you about that before Shabbat! We are going from joy to joy here, – with this fast-day thrown in there in the middle… Well, it is special too, there is no denying it!
Praying for our people. Together with our people. In Jerusalem. Amidst our people. What a privilege!!