b'WESTERN MARBLE ARCH SYNAGOGUEVintage colour lithograph from 1882 of Hatach showing Esther the copy of the writing of the Decree. From the Book of Esther.and their cry, the explicitly referenced and most significant fast in the Megillah is not that one. It is the fast required by Esther in Megillah IV. She asks that the Jews of Shushan gather together and fast for her, who must risk her life to plead before Ahasuerus for the Jews, and that she and her women will fast too. The Rabbis read this as having taken place during Nisan, and that the three day fast included the beginning of Pesach, but that was in a time of extremity, and now the date of our one day fast is the thirteenth of Adar. Only if Purim falls on a Sunday, the fast is moved to the previous Thursday, because we dont fast on Shabbat.Yes, much of the Purim story is about Mordecai, who could easily have become the main protagonist of the narrative, except that he isnt. The Megillah is called Megillah Esther in her honour, and on the thirteenth of Adar we are remembering the words of a young woman who never forgot her origins or abandoned her faith, and who intervened for her people at the risk of her own life. Esther and her women, and all the Jews of Shushan fasted, they prayed, and in a time of adversity they trusted in God.38'