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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Fasting Guide for those Participating in the 72-Hour Fast

As mentioned in a number of Hebrew-language articles, on Rafi's blog, on CDG's blog, and elsewhere, there is a rabbinically-supported initiative to fast for 3 days straight on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of Adar Sheni this year.

As mentioned in the guide below, this is intended only for healthy people who are able to do so.



May our prayers and fasting bring about an end to our suffering and the beginning of our personal and national redemption.  Amen.

14 Comments:

At Thu Mar 17, 11:09:00 AM 2016, Anonymous Shiloh said...

Its our behavior that will end the suffering! But its easier to fast then it is to change ones behavior towards others.

 
At Thu Mar 17, 12:16:00 PM 2016, Blogger yaak said...

Shiloh,

Perhaps you missed items 2 and 7 on page 3. Please read them.

 
At Thu Mar 17, 02:08:00 PM 2016, Blogger smb said...

And if one can't do so, there other things one can do. For example, prayer with more kavanah, learning shmiras haloshon, or another middah, and so on

 
At Thu Mar 17, 03:15:00 PM 2016, Blogger Neshama said...

Who are the Rabbis? Does this include Rav Kanievsky? Rabbi Abuhatzeira?

 
At Thu Mar 17, 03:17:00 PM 2016, Blogger Ronnie Rendel said...

The Holy Baal Shem Tov introduced a new path in avoda warning stringently against fasting unless those traditional fast days specified in Shulcha Aruch. Since then, there were countless letters from the Lubavitcher Rebbeim discouraging people from adding fast days saying they add more harm then good. And that if someone feels s/he must fast, then to do a taanis dibur (refrain from speech) rather then food.

It is explained that the idea of fasting to atone for sins is sourced in the yetzer hara and can G-d forbid bring to a person's downfall, very different then the intended purpose. Gevald Gevald.

This message should be shared with those organizing this fast day.


Again - it will have only the opposite result and is a big spiritual danger for those participating.

 
At Thu Mar 17, 03:18:00 PM 2016, Blogger Ronnie Rendel said...

Again - gevald, gevald!

 
At Thu Mar 17, 03:59:00 PM 2016, Blogger yaak said...

Neshama,

It has support by the Edah Haharedit and a number of other rabbis. You can see some of their videos here.


Ronnie,

For those who are physically weak or for those men whose Torah learning will be negatively impacted by fasting, this fast is not for them.
However, there are many rabbis who disagree with the Ba'al Shem Tov ZY"A and say that even nowadays, we should take fasts upon ourselves if we are able. Everyone should ask his/her rabbi and doctor to see if such a fast is correct for him/her.

 
At Thu Mar 17, 04:32:00 PM 2016, Blogger yaak said...

Here are a couple of other examples where contemporary rabbis declared fasts:

Rav Wosner's Beit Din last year due to tragedies

Rav Boaron Shlit"a 2 years ago due to the war

 
At Thu Mar 17, 04:43:00 PM 2016, Blogger yaak said...

There are also a couple of prayer gatherings going on on Ta'anit Esther:

Prayer gathering at the Kotel for terror victims

Midnight Prayer at Ma'arat Hamachpela (h/t Rivka)

 
At Thu Mar 17, 05:23:00 PM 2016, Anonymous Yitz said...

Ronnie Rendel said it all, and well.
Nothing to add.

"there are many rabbis who disagree with the Ba'al Shem Tov "

The Baba Sali knew how to deal with this:

http://www.queensjewishlink.com/socially-savvy/the-unfortunate-consequences-of-disrespecting-a-tzadik/

 
At Thu Mar 17, 05:35:00 PM 2016, Blogger yaak said...

Yitz,

That's a puzzling analogy. Did it seem to you that I was disrespecting anyone, let alone the holy Ba'al Shem Tov? I was merely pointing out that there are many who disagree.

As I said, everyone should follow their rabbi's opinions.

 
At Thu Mar 17, 07:26:00 PM 2016, Blogger Ronnie Rendel said...

Yaak for sure would not disrespect anyone. And your blog is filled with so much Torah and ahavas Yisroel.

This is a good platform to warn that regardless of how one feels about himself, partaking in additional fasts is spiritually damaging R"L. It's just that most people, including rabbis, are not aware of this. I wouldn't know if it wasn't a subject the Rebbe spoke about so often. Hence the reason I said it here.

I would like to emphasise again that there Rebbe did give the option of taanis dibur which is much more powerful. One is allowed to say Torah, daven, and even speak necessities, but no idle chatter.

And the ultimate key to redemption is yeshiva, which is a product of contemplating the esoteric aspects of Torah. Maybe I will blog about it before next week.

 
At Fri Mar 18, 11:39:00 AM 2016, Blogger yaak said...

Thanks, Ronnie. I will respectfully add that it is but one view that many, but not all, follow.

What makes Yitz's comment so ironically wrong is that the Baba Sali himself was renown for his fasting and Sigufim.

Those who want to follow the Ba'al Shem Tov's view, please do so.
Those who want to follow the Baba Sali's view, please do so.

נהרא נהרא ופשטיה.

 
At Sat Mar 19, 08:40:00 PM 2016, Blogger Ronnie Rendel said...

Just want to add that in the Shulchan Aruch when it mentions that some do a three day fast, it's referring to B"H"B after Purim, not three days.

Also, the Lubavitcher Rebbe himself secretly partook in fasts before taking on leadership, and there are published letters from his father the Mekubal R' Levi Yitzchak urging him not to do so. But this is of course a conversation between tzadikim...

 

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