Last week we got our Essay Topics.
Immediately I decided that I would Discuss the Sacred Texts of Judaism…but then I think about how I have to hand in this essay by the 26th of July and this essay has to be 3000 words. But then I could choose 2 topics and have the essays be 1500 words each.
But instead of reading the whole bible and trying to come up with something to say about it…I could choose instead to Discuss a Particular Figure of Character from Jewish Literature or History.
Next week is Purim…to me that holiday is just about dressing up. I remember the last time I dressed up from Purim I was about 5 years old and my mother made we were a …in every picture I am in, you will see me sulking, because I wanted to be a , like pretty much every other girl in my class.
Don’t think I have ever dressed up for Purim since then…and that was in 1991. This year I am dressing up…thankfully I get to decide what I want to be, but it has to relate to the theme of the …so this weekend I got my Afro Wig and Peace Sign Necklace and Earrings.
The Jews fast twice in the Hebrew Calendar. Yom Kippur, which is much later in the year…but there is another fast which I never really knew about…and that is The Fast of Esther. Yesterday when I met with one of the Rabbis, I asked her about the Fast of Esther. She gave me a brief description of it, and in the end I became more curious to know more about it, particularly since it is done the day before Purim, which is next week.
On the 13th of Adar, the Fast of Esther is observed in memory of the Fast observed by Mordechai and Esther and all Israel. On that very day, the enemies of the Jews had planned to subjugate and destroy them. ‘The opposite, however, occurred and the Jews ruled over their enemies. The practice of fasting was observed by the people of Israel whenever they were faced by war.
The aim of the fast was to affirm that a man does not prevail by physical or military strength, but only by lifting his eyes heavenward in prayer so that Divine Mercy might give him the strength to prevail in battle. This then was the purpose of the fast observed by Israel at the time of Haman, when they gathered to defend themselves against those who sought to destroy them. And in memory of that Fast, a yearly Fast was fixed for generations on the same day. We are to recall thereby that God accepts each person’s prayer and penitence in the hour of his trouble.
This fast is a minor fast and My Rabbi told me that she doesn’t always do it. But together we thought that maybe we should do it in honor of what is happening right now between Ukraine and Russia. And maybe I could end off my essay on how the Fast of Esther, even though not observed today, or at least not by many, we are still living in a time when war amongst nations still exists and how we still need to turn to G-d to give us the power to defend ourselves and each other.
This year is a leap year in the Jewish Calendar. So instead of there being an extra day, there is in fact an extra month. On the 13 of Adar II 5782, will be the day of The Fast of Esther. On the Gregorian Calendar that is the 16th of March 2022.
Next week when I fast, I will be fasting for my own knowledge of the Holiday and Festival and I will also be fasting for the war that is going on between Ukraine and Russia and I will pray that is doesn’t escalate into any kind of Nuclear World War.
Now that I think about it, I may just write 2 essays.