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September 1, 2019
Rabbi Eytan Yehudah Dzikowski
Why were fast days, known as “Bahab” instituted?
שֹׁפְטִ֣ים וְשֹֽׁטְרִ֗ים תִּֽתֶּן־לְךָ֙ בְּכָל־שְׁעָרֶ֔יךָ אֲשֶׁ֨ר ה' אֱלֹ-הֶ֛יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לְךָ֖ לִשְׁבָטֶ֑יךָ וְשָׁפְט֥וּ אֶת־הָעָ֖ם מִשְׁפַּט־צֶֽדֶק׃
You shall appoint for yourself magistrates and officials for your tribes, in all the settlements that the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall govern the people with due justice.
The Sages instituted fast days on the Monday, Thursday, and the following Monday after Sukkot and Pesach.
These are intended to be days of repentance, to atone for any sins one may have committed due to the lax attitude that is prevalent during the Holidays.
These days were chosen because they are days of grace. Moshe went up to get the second set of Luchot on a Thursday and came down on a Monday.
(Tosefot Kidushin 81a “Sakva”, Tur; Ohr Hachaim 134)
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