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Fast of the 17th of Tammuz and the Three weeks

Jul 12th, 2014 by nzakon | 0

Tuesday July 15 is the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz

Fast begins 5:02 A.M.

If one plans on eating in the morning before the fast starts you should verbally express this before going to sleep the night before.

Mincha  7:45 P.M.

Fast ends 9:21 P.M.

If you are not feeling well, pregnant, nursing or unsure of you should fast for some other reason ask Rabbi Zakon.

Laws of the Three Weeks

The 3 weeks begin with nightfall Monday July 14

The 17th of Tammuz is mentioned in Neviim (Prophets) as “the fast of the fourth month” (Zechariah 8:19). The Mishnah (Taanit 4:8) lists five calamities that befell the Jewish people on this date:

  • Moses broke the two tablets of stone on Mount Sinai;
  • The daily tamid offering ceased to be brought;
  • The walls of Jerusalem were breached (proceeding to the destruction of the Temple);
  • Prior to Bar Kokhba’s revolt, Roman military leader Apostomus burned a Torah scroll;
  • An idol was erected in the Temple.

The Babylonian Talmud (Taanit 28b) places the second and fifth tragedies in the First Temple, while dating the third tragedy (breach of Jerusalem) to the Second Temple period. Jerusalem of the First Temple, on the other hand, was breached on the 9th of Tammuz (cf. Jeremiah 52.6-7).

The Three Weeks  is a period of mourning commemorating the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples. The Three Weeks start on the seventeenth day of the Jewish month of Tammuz  the fast of the Seventeenth of Tammuz  and end on the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av the fast of Tisha Bav, which occurs exactly three weeks later. Both of these fasts commemorate events surrounding the destruction of the Jewish Temples and the subsequent exile of the Jews from the land of Israel. According to conventional chronology, the destruction of the first Temple, by Nevuchadrezzar II, occurred in 586 BCE, and the second, by the Romans, in 70 CE. Jewish chronology, however, traditionally places the first destruction at about 421 BCE.

Observances of the Three Weeks:

During the three weeks we do not do the following:

  • taking a haircut
  • shaving (If one feels they must shave for a job please speak to Rabbi Zakon)
  • listening to music
  • as well, no Jewish marriages are allowed during the Three Weeks, since the joy of such an event would conflict with the expected mood of mourning during this time

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