The Shabbat Between Fast and Feast
This coming Shabbat is two days after the Fast of Esther and a day before Purim (two days before Shushan Purim celebrated in Yerushalayim). It is thus the bridge between fast and feast.
When we reflect on the connection between fasting and feasting we gain a deeper understanding of what Purim should mean to us. That is why Ohr Somayach is offering a symposium on Fasting and Feasting on the afternoon of Ta’anit Esther, 11 Adar II this year, in which outstanding faculty members of the yeshiva will deliver talks on the meaning of Purim then and now.
Our ancestors fasted on the day when they went to war against the Amalekites. Queen Esther fasted for three days before her crucial appearance before the king. Fasting would certainly seem to be a counterproductive measure in both cases. It demonstrated, however, that Jews rely more on the repentance and prayer that accompanies a fast than on the power of their arms or their physical gifts.
It is this faith in Heavenly help that will preserve Israelforever.