Is fasting for three days, just like Esther and Mordecai, the first steps to a solution in Israel’s complex reality? A group of Israeli officials and activists think so, as they set out with that exact initiative.
Amid the current wave of terror, a new unique initiative has been spread by word of mouth, as well as on Facebook, YouTube and Whatsapp groups. In the past three months, the initiative has attracted hundreds of advocates, both religious and secular and from all politics spheres.
Movement organizers say, that currently more than ten thousand men and women have joined the cause, and that through the website which they set up, hundreds of Jews from Israel and abroad continue to participate in the “Great Fast”.
The organizers explained, "After decades of terrorism, and wars, external threats and continuous international pressure, a group people from all parts of society decided to take action. With Israeli society attracting so much radical terrorism, and with the boundaries of terrorism being so blurred now-a-days, we must do something to reconnect Israeli society to the values of and unity and mutual responsibility that are the foundation of the Jewish people."
They continued to explain that "the current wave of terror does not differentiate whether one is sitting at a Tel Aviv pub for a friend's party and was either killed or injured, or a mother from Otniel who fiercely fought to save her children, and by rescuing them, she left them orphaned."
The organizers stress that with continuous threats of annihilation, "the strength of Israel lies within its unity. If we are divided and separated, our enemies dreams to destroy Israel will come true."
Therefore, the group decided to initiate a process which took place among the people of Israel two thousand years ago. Esther and Mordehai faced the danger of annihilation, along with the people of Israel scattered throughout 127 countries of the Persian Empire. Haman’s dark initiative to wipe out all the Jews in the kingdom in one day, weakened the power of Jewish tradition.
“However, the solution to this, as we know, was Esther fasting for three days. That fast united all the Jews of the kingdom. It worked and the terrible decision to eradicate all the Jews was cancelled, and the people of Israel were saved.”
“We are all familiar with the tradition of fasting on the Day of Atonement to trigger internal soul-searching. Thus begins the realization that by fasting for three days, thousands of Jews will take a time out and contemplate unity, good will and our mutual love for one another. Such a move could change the sad reality that has dominated us for the past few months – the bereavement, personal anxieties, fears, denial.”
The organizers say that "those who will join in the fast will experience internal change and lead our society to a caring future, not only for us, but for our children and loved ones as well. It will lead to a future full of compassion, collaboration, greater equality."