Although its meaning has been broadened in modern times, to fast has traditionally meant to abstain from all or certain foods. In fact, the words “to fast” come from a Hebrew word which means to cover the mouth. Two other words, “inna napso”, meaning "to afflict the soul," also refer to fasting.
Many of our readers are too young to remember the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930’s. During this war supporters of the rebel forces formed a clandestine subversive organization which worked within Madrid, then enemy territory, to help their own political and military causes. One rebel general named the subversive group The Fifth Column. Today, this term remains a picturesque addition to our vocabulary, meaning an enemy working secretly from within.
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