Prayer for Taanis Esther

Lord God, Who dwells on high and looks forward to the prayers of Your children, Who listens to the cry that emanates from the depths of their heart, and saves them at all times from those who rise up against them:

In the days of Mordechai and Esther in Shushan the capital, a scion of Amalek rose against Your people who lived in the provinces of King Achashverosh and Haman the wicked. He found favor in the eyes of the king who ruled over one-hundred-and-twenty-seven provinces and all of their Jewish inhabitants. He persuaded the king to persecute them in his rage, to destroy and wipe out all the seed of Your faithful Israel throughout his kingdom, and to plunder their property.

You inspired Your righteous Mordechai and Esther to decree a fast for three days and three nights. All the seed of Israel gathered together to cry out intensely and bitterly to Your Holy Name. They donned sackcloth and ashes, and repented wholeheartedly. Their cry and the cry of the holy flock of Jewish children reached Your Heavenly heights. The angels on high cried out and wept before You that You tear up the harmful decree against Your people. Eliyahu, the man of G-d, girded his loins and ran to those sleeping in the Cave of Machpelah Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov and to the faithful shepherds Moshe and Aharon, and roused them to cry out to You to nullify this severe decree that had been issued against Your children in all of the provinces of King Achashverosh.

And You, merciful and gracious G-d, Who has the attribute of mercy ascend over the attribute of strict judgment, heard the supplications of both the living and of those who are buried in the dust. You showed great mercy toward Your people and redeemed them from those who sought to take their lives. The wicked Haman and his sons fell into the ditch that they dug for themselves. The king ordered that he be hung from the gallows he prepared for Mordechai the Jew, and that his house and property be given to Mordechai and Esther.

Master of All Worlds, accept our fast and affliction today as reward for the fast that the righteous Esther decreed in Shushan the capital. As reward for the fast, atone for our sins, and may they never again be mentioned. Redeem us from all who seek to take our lives. Always grant us and all of Your people Israel joy and gladness, just as You made Your children rejoice in the days of Mordechai and Esther. May all of Your people Israel observe these days of Purim year after year for the sake of Your Holy Name. Amen, selah.

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