Laws of Public Fast Days
1. It is a positive commandment, based on the words of the prophets, to
fast on certain days of the year when calamities occurred to our ancestors.
The purpose of these fasts is to arouse our hearts and motivate us [to
pursue] the paths of repentance. It should serve as a reminder of our
misconduct ("ma'aseinu ha'ra'im"), and that of our ancestors, which
resembles our own, and which ended up causing these calamities to occur to
them and to us. The recollection of these matters should inspire us to
repent and improve our behavior, as [Leviticus 26:40] states: "They shall
confess their sin and the sin of their fathers."
Therefore, on these days, a person is obligated to examine his behavior and
repent for [any misconduct]. [This, and] not the fasting per se, is the
fundamental objective. Thus, in regard to the people of Nineveh, [Jonah
3:10] states: "And G-d saw their deeds..." [The Talmud in tractate Ta'anis
16a] relates: The prophet does not say: "And G-d saw their sackcloth and
fasting," but rather, "And G-d saw their deeds, that they had turned from
their evil ways."
Fasting is only a preparatory step for repentance. Therefore, those people
who fast, but go on pleasure strolls and waste the entire day with useless
activities, have fulfilled the secondary aspect [of the day,] while
ignoring its primary intent.
Halacha-Yomi, Copyright (c) 2002 Project Genesis, Inc.
TZAV AND PURIM:
Shlomo Katz - 5769
Purim: Basic Concepts And Laws
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760
Commandments Increase Free-Will
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762
Behind the Purim Mask
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768
Pie From the Sky
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773
Allowing US To Leave The Light On For HIM
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773
The Great Shabbat
Shlomo Katz - 5764
Why Are The Laws Of Korban Todah Found In Parshas Tzav?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771
"And He has Commanded Us"
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771
Straight From the Heart
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758
When Things Look Bleak
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768
Different Generations / Different Challenges
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5768
Delving into the Megila
A Well-Red Parshah
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760
The Importance of Being, the Importance of Having...a Rav
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766
God's Commandments: The Key to a Healthier Jewish Society
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770