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Chapter 141:1-2 (b)
Laws of the Megillah

2 (b). [Although the entire Jewish People have accepted the Fast of Esther as a public fast day], it is not as binding an obligation as the four fasts mentioned in the prophetic writings (see Chapter 121). Therefore, leniencies can be taken in a time of need. For example, pregnant and nursing women and people who are ill, even one who merely feels pain in his eyes, need not fast if they suffer great discomfort. Similarly, a woman who has given birth within thirty days and a groom during the seven days after the wedding, do not have to fast. These people should "repay" this fast at a later date (1).

In contrast, other individuals who are healthy should not separate themselves from the community and are obligated to fast. Even a person on a journey for whom the fast is difficult is required to observe it.

FOOTNOTES:

(1) That is, they should fast for a day in the future, to make up for not fasting during the Fast of Esther.

 

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