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A ta'anit or taanis (in Ashkenaz pronunciation) or ta╩┐anith in Classical Hebrew is a fast in Judaism in which one abstains from all food and drink, including water. A Jewish fast may have one or more purposes, including:
- A tool for repentance
- An expression of mourning
- Supplication, such as the Fast of Esther or a Ta'anit Halom (fast over a disturbing dream).1

Traditionally observant Jews fast six communal fasts throughout the year. These are:

  • Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)
  • Tisha B'Av (the 9th day of Av)
  • The Fast of Gedaliah on the day after Rosh Hashana
  • The 10th day of Tevet
  • The 17th of Tammuz
  • The Fast of Esther, which takes place immediately before Purim

1: Copied with permission from Wikipedia

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