Friday, October 31, 2014

Ashura Ashira?

A guest post by Y. Bloch

So Ashura is next week, when Muslims fast to commemorate (at least according to Sunnis) the Splitting of the Sea. This is based on a tradition that Muhammad observed the Jews of Medinah fasting on this day and thought it was a good idea to memorialize the defeat of Pharaoh and salvation of the Israelites in this way. Now, Jews don't fast on the seventh day of Passover, when we commemorate the Split, nowadays. But the Talmud (Pesahim 68b) cites R. Eliezer's view that fasting is a viable option for holidays, and the prooftext is how the Torah talks about... the seventh day of Passover. Fascinating!

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