7 Adar Bet 5776
Not exactly - even though the High Holy Days are seven months away.
A three-day fast (the kind Queen Esther of Persia commanded upon the Jewish People all those many centuries ago) has been declared in Israel (Rabbis Arik Naveh and Yuval Asherov haCohen, shlit"a, are featured in the video below), extending to the Jewish world, and so far over 22,600 have signed up. That's since Shabbat Pekudei, when I first heard about it from a very dear friend of mine in the neighborhood. I couldn't find it online, but fortunately, my friend posted the link in our local e-newsletter, so that I could go there, sign up, and spread the word just that much further.
The dates are Monday-Wednesday, March 21-23. Most who are fasting will begin after Ma'ariv/Arvit prayers Sunday night. The fast will end Wednesday night after Ma'ariv/Arvit, whatever time it is for you.
Moral support for fasters and other participants can be found here.
Essentially, we are now at the point in world history when everything begins to happen that we've ever heard about regarding the Complete Redemption. But it is a long, hard road and we Jews have helped make it so. Not for the reasons the nations are breathing down our collective neck, looking to annihilate us. Nay, it is the exact opposite. We have not been "ourselves" enough. We identify too much with the nations we and our ancestors have lived among (unless you are one of the lucky ones whose family has always lived here. There are some of those too. But even then the land was ruled by others, and Jews were kept poor here by the usual methods.). Generations-wise, we haven't been out of the lands of exile very long. As the saying goes, it is easier to take the Jew out of the exile than to take the exile out of the Jew. We have forgotten HaShem and failed to take Him into account.
Even today's Israeli government refuses to identify Jewishly any more than it absolutely has to, which is why we still have our hodgepodge of British-Ottoman-and now-American law (and probably other obscure laws somewhere in the middle). And, let's not forget "International Law"!
And we mustn't forget our brothers and sisters still in exilic lands. Our confusion here in Israel keeps all but the most intrepid away. But you out there, too, must take HaShem into account. After all, He gave us this land, including you. Those who consider this a shame now will be all the more ashamed later, when the war is won and we inhabit our entire land in peace. Showing faith — davka while the world still doesn't agree that we belong here — is important.
Last but not least, we each need to take heed to ourselves and our personal behavior as well as our attitude towards our fellow Jews. We couldn't do any of this without national consciousness.
The link, in 5 languages: עברית | English | Français | русский | Español
(By the way, I'm happy to have the opportunity to link to more languages that my readers speak.)
***NOTE for those who feel intimidated by this challenge: If for medical reasons you cannot fast, you do not have to fast; you may do other things - tzedakah and Tehillim are highly recommended; also contemplation of our situation as well as our actions and effect on the world around us. Kol hakavod to those who feel the burden and can carry it all the way to the finish line. Complete instructions
And when this is all over, have the best Purim ever, G-d willing. Meanwhile, it's time to wake up...the life and family you save may be your own.
All the videos on the site are in Hebrew...
...and we all understand this one (not on the site).
May we succeed, each in his/her own way. Participation is the most important thing.