Esther 4:16, Question 8. Why does the verse have the seemingly unnecessary word “similarly?”

  • The Alshich writes that Esther said she will fast “similarly,” or more accurately, “with you” because of the oft-mentioned Talmudic concept (Baba Kama 92a) that when a person needs something, and decides to also pray for another who also needs that, this person’s prayer becomes more effective.
  • Ben Ish Chai again points out that the gematria of kein (“so”) (20+50=70) is seventy, the amount of hours Esther would fast.
  • The Beis Yaakov quotes a Talmud (source unclear) that bad breath becomes strongest after 72 hours, and this is why Esther does not fast for 72 hours straight.
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