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As I understand, except for Taanis Cholom, a person can not take on himself a Taanis earlier than Mincha Gdola and not later than Shkia on the day before.

What is the reason for that? Why can’t a person plan for more than half a day or decide to fast before Alot, then be halachacly permitted to eat and drink even if he fasts next day.

And why does halacha go so far as to say that if a person didn’t make an explicit decision to fast at the time of Mincha and nevertheless fasts on the next day, it doesn’t count as a fast day?

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