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What are all the Fast Days?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Holidays » Fast Days | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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The 3rd of Tishrei (the Fast of Geddaliah). (see also "Why do we fast on the Third of Tishrei (Tzom Gedaliah)?" )

The 10th of Tishrei (Yom Kippur). (see also "What is Yom Kippur?" )

The Tenth of Tevet. (see also "What happened on Asarah B'Tevet?" )

The 13th of Adar (the Fast of Esther). (see also  "What is the Fast of Esther?" )

On the 14th of Nissan all first-born fast. (see also  "What and when is the Fast of the Firstborn?" )

All fasts are preempted by Shabbat aside for Yom Kippur. If a fast falls out on Shabbat, we fast on the following Sunday except for the Fast of Esther when we fast on the Thursday before.
The Seventeenth of Tammuz. (see also  "Why do we fast on the Seventeenth of Tammuz?" )

The Ninth of Av. (see also "What happened on the Ninth of Av?" )

All fasts start at dawn except for Yom Kippur and the Ninth of Av which begin at sunset on the evening beforehand. All fasts conclude at nightfall.

All fasts are preempted by Shabbat aside for Yom Kippur. If Yom Kippur falls out on Shabbat we still fast. If another fast falls out on Shabbat, we fast the next day, Sunday. (The Fast of Esther is an exception to this rule. If this fast falls out on Shabbat, we fast on the Thursday beforehand, because the day after Shabbat, Sunday, will be Purim.)


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Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Tishrei
The seventh month of the Jewish calendar. This month, which arrives in early autumn, has more holidays than any other month: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement. This late-autumn high-holiday is the holiest day of the year. We devote this day to repentance and all healthy adults are required to fast.
Purim
A one-day holiday celebrated in late winter commemorating the miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from a decree of annihilation issued by Persian King Ahasuerus in the year 356 BCE.
Esther
1. Jewish wife of Persian King Ahasuerus in the 4th century BCE. Foiled the plot of Haman, the prime minister, to exterminate all the Jews. The holiday of Purim commemorates this miraculous salvation. 2. One of the 24 Books of the Bible, which chronicles the abovementioned story.
Adar
The twelfth month on the Jewish calendar. This month (which falls out approx. February-March), is the most joyous month on the calendar due to the holiday of Purim which is on the 14th and 15th of this month.
Nissan
The first month of the Jewish calendar. This month, which falls out in early spring, is known for the holiday of Passover which starts on the 15th of Nissan.
Tevet
The tenth month on the Jewish calendar. Falls out in mid-winter.
Av
The fifth month of the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to July-August. The saddest month of the year due to the destruction of the Temples, and the many other tragedies which befell the Jews in this month.
Tammuz
The fourth month on the Jewish calendar, normally corresponding to June-July.
Fast of Esther
The fast commemorates the fasts which the Jews fasted during the perilous times of the Purim story. Observed on the day before Purim, the 13th of Adar (unless that date falls out on the Sabbath).