The fast of Esther began today at 4:51 AM, and ends at 6:35 PM.
This is the most lenient of the fasts we encounter throughout the year, and as such, you do need to fast if you are pregnant, and may also be exempt from fasting if you are ill or elderly. In any event, we should remember the origins of this fast day. We commemorate Esther HaMalka’s three day fast, which she undertook in preperation of approaching the king Achashverosh, a selfless act which she performed for all Jews, and could’ve led to her death. Nonetheless, she did it- but only after fasting and asking other Jews to do the same, in an attempt to petition G-d to help her.
Her plan worked, and we survived. But before the joyous holiday of Purim, we need to remember the hardships and struggles which came before it. On this note, I wish everyone an easy fast!