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A mass Shema reading event at the Kotel

Today (Thursday) is ‘Esther’s Fast’, backing Purim every year. The day before Purim is usually the fast day, i.e., the 13th of Adar, but this year the fast was advanced by two days due to the Sabbath. On this day, the fasters are reminded of the prayers that Esther and Mordechai carried out According to the Biblical story, with all the Jews of the Capital Shushan, in the hope of Esther’s success in visiting Achashverosh, in order to cancel the decree of extermination imposed on the Jews under the influence of Haman. The end is well known – Esther’s mission has succeeded, the Jews have been saved, and Purim has been celebrated every year since; but before any celebration, it is necessary to recognize the plight, to pray and to cry out for it. In addition, an important aspect of Esther’s fast in Shushan was the unity of the Jewish comunity – “Go gather all the Jews”, without differences in ideology, race and gender; these messages of awakening to a common cry and general unity of the people of Israel seem especially relevant today, and in light of the challenges facing the State of Israel in its war in Gaza and other fronts.

This inspired an event taking place this evening, a special mass prayer that will be held at the Western Wall Plaza, dedicated to the release of the hostages, against the increasing reports of the possibility of an upcoming deal. As part of the event, those present will pray the most familiar prayer to any Jew, wherever he is – Shema – at exactly 17:30, Jews in Israel and the Diaspora are invited to join as well. The event will be broadcast live in Israel and around the world and will be hosted by the actor Aviv Alosh. In addition, the President of the State of Israel, Buzhi Herzog, and Rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovich, are expected to participate. According to the organizers, there is the potential for the participation of 10 million people through broadcasting, with the help of an advertising campaign that has now been launched in Israel and around the world. If Esther and Mordechai could have known that 2,500 years after their deeds tens of millions of Jews are praying under their inspiration, they would have calmed down a bit. Indeed, we Jews have always been persecuted, but even 2,500 years from now, the world will progress wherever it goes, one can expect to find a Jew fasting in Esther’s Fast.

To respond – rxpuyhi@gmail.com

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