Counting To Asarah BiTevet – Fasting Training Exercises
We took a first look at Isaiah the Prophet (58:3) question, “Why, when we fasted, did You not see? When we starved our bodies, did You pay no heed?” Although it is rhetorical, a tool to have Hashem explain what is lacking from our fasting, there are Rishonim who look at the question as a cry for Hashem’s involvement in our lives (See Rabbeinu Yonah, Berachot 28b).
The Navi’s answer, “Because on your fast day you see to your business And oppress all your laborers,” is translated and applied differently by Rav Meshulam Feivish Heller, the Yosher Divrei Emes (#40).
He reads Yeshayahu’s response as, “Because on your fast day, you act as you wish, you allow the anger stirred by being hungry and thirsty to be acted out upon to depress others!” “What’s the point of fasting,” asks the Holy Rav Heller, “if it leads you to behave against God’s will!”
The Yosher Divrei Emes urges “Fasting From Negative Behaviors,” as the effective fast of Teshuva.
I am considering asking people I love to help me choose different negative characteristics to which I must pay attention and have a “Fast” of 1-3 days, depending on how much work, to prepare for Tenth of Tevet:
ALL BLI NEDER – WITHOUT AN ACTUAL PROMISE
EACH ACCEPTED WITH A PRAYER FOR GOD’S BLESSING (AS TAUGHT TO ME BY MY SISTER NAOMI (May she live and be well): “Hashem, I want to control my _______ but am failing without Your help. Please help me so I can be closer to You.”
Here’s my first Fasting Training Exercise:
- Three day fast from saying something derogatory about me.
- Debbie wants me to attempt a Single Day Fast from frustration with technical support.