Esther 5:1,5:4 says that Esther made the first feast on the third day of the fast.

Earlier (4:16), Esther tells Mordechai that she will also fast for three days.

Did she eat at the feast, or was she still fasting?

  • 1
    By the way, Rashi to Megilah 16a (ולתעניתו) says that the "third day" is from when the decree was dispatched, the 13th of Nissan. Hence, though the fast was from 14th-16th (Rashi 15a, "יו"ט ראשון של פסח"), Esther went to the king and made the first feast on the 15th. That means that her 2nd feast was on the 16th, and would also have been during the fast. There are other opinions, like the Midrash Rabba, that hold that the fast was 13th-15th.
    – HodofHod
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 3:12

2 Answers 2


Alshich (to 5:5-8) says that indeed she didn't eat at the first feast. Among many other things, this explains why the first one is just described as "the party which Esther made" (5:5), while to the second one Achashverosh and Haman came "to drink with Queen Esther" (7:1).


The Maharal in his commentary to Megillas Esther says that Esther only fasted for 70 hours (as opposed to 3 full days, 72 hours), and she actually broke her fast before going to Achashverosh to prepare herself for meeting the king. This is hinted in the verse "גַּם-אֲנִי וְנַעֲרֹתַי, אָצוּם כֵּן; וּבְכֵן אָבוֹא אֶל-הַמֶּלֶךְ" (Esther 4:17) "we will fast כן - "כן is Gematria 70 - Esther was saying that she would fast 70, and with those 70 hours she would come to the King.

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