Ta'anit Esther: What You Should Know
When we were faced with a great war orchestrated by Haman to destroy every Jew on the fourteenth
of Adar, a fast day was enacted by Mordechai and Esther on the preceding day to pray for victory and salvation. Just as we celebrate every year the victory on Purim, so too we commemorate and pray for
the continued salvation of our people worldwide on every level on Taanit Esther, a day that had brought us such immeasurable victory.
The fast is also based upon that which Mordechai decreed before Esther was to enter into the chambers of Achashverosh to plea on behalf of the Jewish nation that was threatened with genocide. This fast actually transpired on Pesah, though it was transposed to Purim eve. This is because it relates to the day of Purim, and it enables us to enter Purim - a day when the gates of Heaven are wide open - with proper prayer and frame of mind.
I have a headache, can I break my fast?
Only one who is ill may break his fast. If one only has a headache he continues to fast. He may, however, swallow Tylenol or the like to alleviate the pain. Pregnant and nursing women are exempt from fasting.