Tuesday, March 03, 2020

taanis esther as a kiyum of simchas purim

Fasting and hesped are prohibited both on the day of, as well as the day before and after holidays recorded in Megillat Taanis.  We pasken that “batlah Megillat Taanis.” We no longer celebrate any of the Megillat Taanis holidays that were observed during the time of Bayis Sheni, with the exception of Chanukah and Purim.
The Rishonim ask: since one is not allowed to fast on the day before a holiday mentioned in Megillat Taanis, how are we allowed to fast Taanis Esther, the day before Purim? 
The Rosh in Taanis (ch 2) answers:
1) Paradoxically, it is only the lesser holidays of Megillat Taanis that need the added safeguard of no fasting before/after around them to grant them significance.  Purim itself is “divrei kabbalah,” i.e. the holiday given to us through a navi (see Shitah Mekubetzet beginning of Bava Kama that kabbalah in this context comes from the root k-b-l = to complain -- the neviim complained to us about the aveiros that we were doing).  Since it is more chamur, it needs no special demarcation on the day before/after.
2) Taanis Esther is part and parcel of commemorating the nes of Purim.  Only a fast that is distinct from the holiday being celebrated is precluded, but here, the fast is part and parcel of the Y"T itself.
I was wondering if there might be a nafka mina between these answers in the case where someone is a onein on both Taanis Esther and Purim r”l.  An onein is normally exempt from doing all positive mitzvos, but has to keep lavim.  I would assume this extends to the prohibition of eating on a fast day.  However, since according to the second answer of the Rosh the fast of Taanis Esther is actually part of the positive kiyum of celebrating the holiday of Purim, if the onein is exempt from the kiyum mitzvah of celebrating the holiday itself (see OC 666:7), perhaps he should be exempt from the taanis as well. 

1 comment:

  1. "there might be a nafka mina [...perhaps he {the onein} should be exempt from the taanis"]

    as there is surely a nafka mina by hesped: Rosh's reason 1, green-light the hesped; his reason 2, prohibit the hesped, for it is "distinct from the holiday"
    ...or is it? perek 10 of the megillah proclaims Mordechai's gadlus as left on record [ie. >after< his death], hespedim that might be construed as also "part and parcel" of Purim! [and thus the onein--through exemption from the positive kiyum, might also be exempt from the prohibition on hesped-- give him the green light to eulogize! (though not while his mouth is full)]