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What are Shushan Purim and the Fast of Esther?

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014 11:05 am by shirlala

Shushan Purim
At the very end of the Purim story when the Jews have managed to reverse this time of “grief and mourning to one of festive joy,” Esther gets a new house, Mordechai gets a promotion and it’s clearly time for another party. But when exactly should the party start? Remember that in the story the Jews inside the walled city of Shushan continued to fight on the 13th and the 14th of Adar, so their celebration was to be on the 15th of Adar. This is called Shushan Purim and is still celebrated today in Jerusalem. Everyone else celebrates on Adar 14th. Both days were to be observed “as feasting and merrymaking and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and gifts to the poor.” (Esther 9:22)

The Fast of Esther
In Hebrew Ta’a-NIT Es’Ter, the fast takes place on the 13th of Adar. Remember when Esther tells Mordechai to have all of the Jewish people in Shushan fast on her behalf (Esther 4:16)? Today, some fast from the morning of the 13th until after the reading of the Megillah.

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Posted in Holidays, Purim