Ta'anit Asarah b'Tevet
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If you look for heterim to allow you to eat on a fast day or if you spend the entire day focused on your stomach, looking forward eagerly to the moment you can eat again, then something is very, very wrong.
We should welcome the opportunity to set aside physical needs in order to look deeply within. We should be so consumed with our spiritual work that the time passes without any thought to food and drink. We should be so ashamed, anxious and saddened by our current situation that we have no appetite and would be unable to eat if we could. We should come away from our fast - not just with feelings of regret and a desire to do better - but, with an action plan for making concrete corrections that will elevate ourselves and the world around us.
If we do it right, we should be different people coming out of the fast than we were when we entered into it.
1 Call with a [full] throat, do not spare, like a shofar raise your voice, and relate to My people their transgression, and to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet they seek Me daily and they wish to know My ways, like a nation that performed righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of its God: they ask Me ordinances of righteousness; they desire nearness to God.
3 "Why have we fasted, and You did not see; we have afflicted our soul and You do not know?" Behold, on the day of your fast you pursue business, and [from] all your debtors you exact [payment].
4 Behold, for quarrel and strife you fast, and to strike with a fist of wickedness. Do not fast like this day, to make your voice heard on high.
5 Will such be the fast I will choose, a day of man's afflicting his soul? Is it to bend his head like a fishhook and spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?
6 Is this not the fast I will choose? To undo the fetters of wickedness, to untie the bands of perverseness, and to let out the oppressed free, and all perverseness you shall eliminate.
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and moaning poor you shall bring home; when you see a naked one, you shall clothe him, and from your flesh you shall not hide.
8 Then your light shall break forth as the dawn, and your healing shall quickly sprout, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall gather you in.
9 Then you shall call and the Lord shall answer, you shall cry and He shall say, "Here I am," if you remove perverseness from your midst, putting forth the finger and speaking wickedness.
10 And you draw out your soul to the hungry, and an afflicted soul you sate, then your light shall shine in the darkness, and your darkness shall be like noon.
11 And the Lord shall always lead you, and He shall satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; and you shall be like a well-watered garden and like a spring of water whose water does not fail.
12 And [those coming] from you shall build ancient ruins, foundations of generations you shall erect, and you shall be called the repairer of the breaches, restorer of the paths, to dwell in.
13 If you restrain your foot because of the Sabbath, from performing your affairs on My holy day, and you call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honored, and you honor it by not doing your wonted ways, by not pursuing your affairs and speaking words.
14 Then, you shall delight with the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the high places of the land, and I will give you to eat the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
A sincere fast is an easy fast...
~ Tzom Kal ~
"The Amazing Connection Between 'G-d Bless Trump,' the Fast of the 10th Day of Tevet and the Mighty IDF"