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Does anyone know anything about something called "The Fast Of The Firstborn"?

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  • Does anyone know anything about something called "The Fast Of The Firstborn"?

    Not long ago, I wanted to find out a bit more about the Jewish celebration of the Passover. And I came across something I'd never heard of before.
    The Fast Of The Firstborn.
    Can anyone tell me what it is and how it is supposed to go?
    I am the firstborn of my parents' kids...and I'd kind like to know.

    Thanks!
    God Who was made flesh for me and nailed upon a lonely tree
    What gift can I bring that would suffice to repay such great sacrifice?
    All that I am I lay at Your throne. Make me, Lord, Your very Own.

  • #2
    Shalom,

    This is a minhag (custom) that commemorates the death of the first born. It is celebrated the day before Passover (14th day of Nissan). There are different customs surrounding this fast day. Most hold that only first born males are obligated to fast. Others hold that first born females should also fast.

    If there are no children, then the oldest member of the household fasts.

    If you are not Jewish, or are a convert, it is my understanding that it you are not obligated to fast.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by davidpneff View Post
      Shalom,

      This is a minhag (custom) that commemorates the death of the first born. It is celebrated the day before Passover (14th day of Nissan). There are different customs surrounding this fast day. Most hold that only first born males are obligated to fast. Others hold that first born females should also fast.

      If there are no children, then the oldest member of the household fasts.

      If you are not Jewish, or are a convert, it is my understanding that it you are not obligated to fast.
      Thank you, David. I was beginning to think that nobody was going to respond. I truly appreciate you for taking the time to answer my question.
      Really, thanks, and may God rain down blessings on you and your loved ones.

      I am a firstborn. I'd really like to know more about this fast.
      For instance, how long does this fast last?
      Do those who are fasting miss the Passover meal?
      When and how is the fast over?
      What prayers are said, if any?

      As you see, I am full of questions. Is there a book or something that can help answer these questions?
      God Who was made flesh for me and nailed upon a lonely tree
      What gift can I bring that would suffice to repay such great sacrifice?
      All that I am I lay at Your throne. Make me, Lord, Your very Own.

      Comment


      • #4
        In many cases, the fast is no longer observed.

        While the fast of the firstborns is still in effect today regarding penitence and giving charity, it is usually not observed by fasting. What is usually done is that firstborn males over 13 years old attend some special event that involves a mitzvah and accompanying mitzvah-meal. Since they are present, they are permitted to partake of the mitzvah-meal. Having broken the fast for a mitzvah, they may eat for the rest of the day. This event is usually a “siyum”, celebrating the completion of a Talmudic tractate that is scheduled for the eve of Passover after the morning prayer service.


        https://ohr.edu/holidays/pesach/ask_the_rabbi/3473

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TripleT View Post
          In many cases, the fast is no longer observed.





          https://ohr.edu/holidays/pesach/ask_the_rabbi/3473
          Thank you, Triple T.



          God Who was made flesh for me and nailed upon a lonely tree
          What gift can I bring that would suffice to repay such great sacrifice?
          All that I am I lay at Your throne. Make me, Lord, Your very Own.

          Comment


          • #6
            If you choose to observe it, the date is April 10 and the fast lasts from dawn to sunset.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TripleT View Post
              If you choose to observe it, the date is April 10 and the fast lasts from dawn to sunset.
              God bless you.

              God Who was made flesh for me and nailed upon a lonely tree
              What gift can I bring that would suffice to repay such great sacrifice?
              All that I am I lay at Your throne. Make me, Lord, Your very Own.

              Comment


              • #8
                Oddly it is "observed in the breach". Rabbinic law provides a few situations in which firstborns are allowed to eat instead of fast. One of them involves being at a lesson in Talmud that morning which happens to contain the conclusion of a Talmudic tractate. .... So many synagogues that otherwise never have Talmud lessons at all make a point of extending the morning prayers enough to include roughly 15 minutes of a study of the last few pages of a Talmudic tractate. As the conclusion of a Talmudic tractate in class is a cause for celebration, all the participants are freed from the stricture of fasting that day.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shoonra View Post
                  Oddly it is "observed in the breach". Rabbinic law provides a few situations in which firstborns are allowed to eat instead of fast. One of them involves being at a lesson in Talmud that morning which happens to contain the conclusion of a Talmudic tractate. .... So many synagogues that otherwise never have Talmud lessons at all make a point of extending the morning prayers enough to include roughly 15 minutes of a study of the last few pages of a Talmudic tractate. As the conclusion of a Talmudic tractate in class is a cause for celebration, all the participants are freed from the stricture of fasting that day.
                  Doesn't that sound just a bit like trying to get around the rules?

                  Just sayin'....
                  God Who was made flesh for me and nailed upon a lonely tree
                  What gift can I bring that would suffice to repay such great sacrifice?
                  All that I am I lay at Your throne. Make me, Lord, Your very Own.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Barrd View Post

                    Doesn't that sound just a bit like trying to get around the rules?

                    Just sayin'....
                    So you would prefer that heaven burdens be laid on people? The rabbis have it right to make it as easy as possible.
                    Open Heart, who loves the Lord.

                    "Torah is not education, it's transformation." – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Open Heart View Post

                      So you would prefer that heaven burdens be laid on people? The rabbis have it right to make it as easy as possible.
                      Why?
                      Is a fast really that heavy a burden??
                      God Who was made flesh for me and nailed upon a lonely tree
                      What gift can I bring that would suffice to repay such great sacrifice?
                      All that I am I lay at Your throne. Make me, Lord, Your very Own.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Barrd View Post

                        Why?
                        Is a fast really that heavy a burden??
                        I observe the fasts. I find them extremely hard. Especially when you have to go without water.
                        Open Heart, who loves the Lord.

                        "Torah is not education, it's transformation." – Rebbitzen Dena Weinberg

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Open Heart View Post

                          I observe the fasts. I find them extremely hard. Especially when you have to go without water.
                          I honestly didn't think water would be forbidden...
                          God Who was made flesh for me and nailed upon a lonely tree
                          What gift can I bring that would suffice to repay such great sacrifice?
                          All that I am I lay at Your throne. Make me, Lord, Your very Own.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Barrd View Post
                            Not long ago, I wanted to find out a bit more about the Jewish celebration of the Passover. And I came across something I'd never heard of before.
                            The Fast Of The Firstborn.
                            Can anyone tell me what it is and how it is supposed to go?
                            I am the firstborn of my parents' kids...and I'd kind like to know.

                            Thanks!
                            Wikipedia says this:

                            J. M. W. Turner's depiction of the Plague of the Firstborn (The Tenth Plague of Egypt, 1802)
                            Hebrew: תענית בכורות‎ (Ta'anit B'chorot) or תענית בכורים‎ (Ta'anit B'chorim).

                            Translation: "Fast of the firstborn"
                            Judaism and Jews
                            Judaism
                            This fast commemorates the salvation of the Israelite firstborns during the Plague of the Firstborn
                            fasting
                            14th day of Nisan at dawn (12th day of Nisan whenever Passover begins on Sunday)
                            14th day of Nisan (or the 12th day as above)
                            April 10
                            March 30
                            April 18
                            April 7
                            Passover
                            Fast of the Firstborn (Hebrew: תענית בכורות‎, Ta'anit B'khorot[1] or תענית בכורים‎, Ta'anit B'khorim[2]); is a unique fast day in Judaism which usually falls on the day before Passover (i.e., the fourteenth day of Nisan, a month in the Jewish calendar; Passover begins on the fifteenth of Nisan). Usually, the fast is broken at a siyum celebration (typically made at the conclusion of the morning services), which, according to prevailing custom, creates an atmosphere of rejoicing that overrides the requirement to continue the fast (see Breaking the fast below). Unlike all other Jewish fast days, only firstborns are required to fast on the Fast of the Firstborn.

                            This fast commemorates the salvation of the Israelite firstborns during the Plague of the Firstborn (according to the Book of Exodus, the tenth of the ten plagues wrought upon Ancient Egypt prior to the Exodus of the Children of Israel), when, according to Exodus (12:29): "...God struck every firstborn in the Land of Mitzrayim (Ancient Egypt)...."[3]

                            Origins

                            The origins of the Fast of the Firstborn are found in the Talmud, and the custom may have existed even prior to Talmudic times. The primary Talmudic source quoted for this custom is found in Tractate Soferim (21:3), where it is stated that firstborns fast "in commemoration of the miracle that they were saved from the Plague of the Firstborn."[4] Rabbeinu Asher, in his comprehensive halakhic commentary on the Babylonian Talmud (Pesachim 10:19), as well as Rabbeinu Aharon HaKohein in his Orchot Chayyim (p. 76, 13), quote the Jerusalem Talmud (Pesachim 68a) as an additional source for the fast.[5]

                            Rabbi Yehuda Grunwald (Rabbi of Satmar and student of the Ketav Sofer) suggests that the firstborn Israelites fasted in trepidation in advance of the Plague of the Firstborn; despite a divine guarantee of safety, they felt a need to fast in repentance to achieve greater divine protection. Rabbi Grunwald thus posits that this was the precedent for the Fast of the Firstborn (Zichron Yehuda, vol. 1. 133).

                            Meaning of the fast

                            In Judaism, there are essentially three potential purposes in fasting, and a combination of some or all of these could apply to any given fast. One purpose in fasting is to atone for sins and omissions in Divine service. Fasting is not considered the primary means of acquiring atonement; rather, sincere regret for and rectification of wrongdoing is key (see Isaiah, 58:1–13).

                            Nevertheless, fasting is conducive to atonement, for it tends to precipitate contrition in the one who fasts (see Joel, 2:12–18). This is why the Bible requires fasting (lit. self-affliction) on Yom Kippur(Jewish holiday of atonement) (see Leviticus, 23:27,29,32; Numbers, 29:7; Tractate Yoma, 8:1; ibid. Babylonian Talmud, 81a). Because, according to the Hebrew Bible, hardship and calamitous circumstances can occur as a result of wrongdoing (see, for example, Leviticus 26:14–41), fasting is often undertaken by the community or by individuals to achieve atonement and avert catastrophe (see, for example, Esther 4:3,16; Jonah 3:7). Most of the Talmud's Tractate Ta'anit ("Fast[s]") is dedicated to the protocol involved in declaring and observing fast days.
                            Anyone notice the heresy, which I made bold red?
                            MY FOUR APOLOGETIC AXIOMS

                            1. Any verse ripped from its context is a pretext 100% of the time

                            2. We attack lies so others will see the truth; that is proof of our love for all cultists, not our hatred .

                            3. Inconsistency is a tiny hobgoblin haunting every cult

                            4. "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire







                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by john t View Post

                              Wikipedia says this:

                              J. M. W. Turner's depiction of the Plague of the Firstborn (The Tenth Plague of Egypt, 1802)
                              Hebrew: תענית בכורות‎ (Ta'anit B'chorot) or תענית בכורים‎ (Ta'anit B'chorim).

                              Translation: "Fast of the firstborn"
                              Judaism and Jews
                              Judaism
                              This fast commemorates the salvation of the Israelite firstborns during the Plague of the Firstborn
                              fasting
                              14th day of Nisan at dawn (12th day of Nisan whenever Passover begins on Sunday)
                              14th day of Nisan (or the 12th day as above)
                              April 10
                              March 30
                              April 18
                              April 7
                              Passover
                              Fast of the Firstborn (Hebrew: תענית בכורות‎, Ta'anit B'khorot[1] or תענית בכורים‎, Ta'anit B'khorim[2]); is a unique fast day in Judaism which usually falls on the day before Passover (i.e., the fourteenth day of Nisan, a month in the Jewish calendar; Passover begins on the fifteenth of Nisan). Usually, the fast is broken at a siyum celebration (typically made at the conclusion of the morning services), which, according to prevailing custom, creates an atmosphere of rejoicing that overrides the requirement to continue the fast (see Breaking the fast below). Unlike all other Jewish fast days, only firstborns are required to fast on the Fast of the Firstborn.

                              This fast commemorates the salvation of the Israelite firstborns during the Plague of the Firstborn (according to the Book of Exodus, the tenth of the ten plagues wrought upon Ancient Egypt prior to the Exodus of the Children of Israel), when, according to Exodus (12:29): "...God struck every firstborn in the Land of Mitzrayim (Ancient Egypt)...."[3]

                              Origins

                              The origins of the Fast of the Firstborn are found in the Talmud, and the custom may have existed even prior to Talmudic times. The primary Talmudic source quoted for this custom is found in Tractate Soferim (21:3), where it is stated that firstborns fast "in commemoration of the miracle that they were saved from the Plague of the Firstborn."[4] Rabbeinu Asher, in his comprehensive halakhic commentary on the Babylonian Talmud (Pesachim 10:19), as well as Rabbeinu Aharon HaKohein in his Orchot Chayyim (p. 76, 13), quote the Jerusalem Talmud (Pesachim 68a) as an additional source for the fast.[5]

                              Rabbi Yehuda Grunwald (Rabbi of Satmar and student of the Ketav Sofer) suggests that the firstborn Israelites fasted in trepidation in advance of the Plague of the Firstborn; despite a divine guarantee of safety, they felt a need to fast in repentance to achieve greater divine protection. Rabbi Grunwald thus posits that this was the precedent for the Fast of the Firstborn (Zichron Yehuda, vol. 1. 133).

                              Meaning of the fast

                              In Judaism, there are essentially three potential purposes in fasting, and a combination of some or all of these could apply to any given fast. One purpose in fasting is to atone for sins and omissions in Divine service. Fasting is not considered the primary means of acquiring atonement; rather, sincere regret for and rectification of wrongdoing is key (see Isaiah, 58:1–13).

                              Nevertheless, fasting is conducive to atonement, for it tends to precipitate contrition in the one who fasts (see Joel, 2:12–18). This is why the Bible requires fasting (lit. self-affliction) on Yom Kippur(Jewish holiday of atonement) (see Leviticus, 23:27,29,32; Numbers, 29:7; Tractate Yoma, 8:1; ibid. Babylonian Talmud, 81a). Because, according to the Hebrew Bible, hardship and calamitous circumstances can occur as a result of wrongdoing (see, for example, Leviticus 26:14–41), fasting is often undertaken by the community or by individuals to achieve atonement and avert catastrophe (see, for example, Esther 4:3,16; Jonah 3:7). Most of the Talmud's Tractate Ta'anit ("Fast[s]") is dedicated to the protocol involved in declaring and observing fast days.
                              Anyone notice the heresy, which I made bold red?
                              I can always count on you, my Brother!
                              Thank you.

                              I wonder how many Mormons have even heard of the Fast of the Firstborn...let alone have any idea what it is all about...
                              God Who was made flesh for me and nailed upon a lonely tree
                              What gift can I bring that would suffice to repay such great sacrifice?
                              All that I am I lay at Your throne. Make me, Lord, Your very Own.

                              Comment

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