Ta'anit Esther


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Ta'anit Esther (Fast of Esther)

Between February 13 and March 13; Adar 13
The Fast of Esther commemorates the three days that Queen Esther fasted before petitioning her husband, King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) of Persia, to spare the Jews of her country from destruction by Haman, the Persian prime minister, in the sixth century b.c.e. ( See Purim.)
Ordinarily observed on the 13th day of the Jewish month of Adar, Ta'anit Esther is observed on the preceding Thursday (Adar 11) when Adar 13 falls on the Sabbath.
This date was originally a minor festival commemorating Judah Maccabee's defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor, known as the "Day of Nicanor." In time it gave way to the present Fast of Esther.
CONTACTS:
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
11 Broadway
New York, NY 10004
212-563-4000; fax: 212-564-9058
www.ou.org
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 229