Isaiah 58: 3-7 (Is this the fast I desire?)

3 Why, when we fasted, did You not see? When we starved our bodies, did You pay no heed? Because on your fast day you see to your business and oppress all your laborers!

4 Because you fast in strife and contention, and you strike with a wicked fist! Your fasting today is not such as to make your voice heard on high.

5 Is such the fast I desire, a day for men to starve their bodies? Is it bowing the head like a bulrush and lying in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast, a day when Adonai is favorable?

6 No, this is the fast I desire: To unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of the yoke to let the oppressed go free; to break off every yoke.

7 It is to share your bread with the hungry, and to take the wretched poor into your home; when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to ignore your own kin."

Discussion Questions

  1. What is Isaiah's critique of the people and how they are fasting? What kind of behavior would he prefer? What is the purpose of fasting, according to Isaiah?
  2. This excerpt from Isaiah is included in the Yom Kippur liturgy. How would you compare Rabbi Milton Grafman's sermon from Rosh Hashana 1963 to the Isaiah reading? Consider tone, content, mood, and timing. What kind of behavior is Rabbi Grafman critiquing? What kind of behavior is he encouraging from his congregants?
  3. Would you characterize Rabbi Grafman's sermon as "prophetic"? Why or why not?

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Fasting is bowing down to God to seek his face or hear his voice. Understanding what's happening in that matter things you aren't certain for and giving him the obedience to answer what is next. Compromising things, we strongly desire to get closer to him and prayers answered. Thats like him of course.

How can I get a copy of the liturgy and Grafmans sermon?

Ya'ohshai said WHEN you fast not if. Early followers fasted regulary. It's not rocket science.

Fasting in the book of Isaiah is urging us to do the following
Feed the hungry,clothe the naked,pray for the oppressed, the sick, take care of members of our family and friends . There are genuine people in our various churches that need help. Provide shelter to the homeless.It’s a period we should be sober reflection to forgive those we offended and have offended us. A moment we have to forgive those we’re been keeping malice with . May God show us His mercy for us to to things right in Jesus name.

Fasting is a way of life showing that you are closer to your God and asking God to bless you with the things you hope to do but you are not certain that you can get it without God's grace

I believe that fastibg is talking to God ,obeying him,have faith in him and trust him whole heartedly.

But how you you start fasting.

What do I gain from fasting

What was fast that the lord called?
What it denial of food

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Isaiah 58: 3-7 (Is this the fast I desire?)." (Viewed on October 3, 2023) <>.


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