Monday, January 5, 2009

Mourning for Jerusalem


For the fast of the Tenth of Tevet, observed Tuesday January 6 this year:

"Anyone who mourns for Jerusalem will merit to see its joy!"
(Talmud, Taanit 30a)

Although Jews are once again able to live in Jerusalem, until there is peace and until Jews are able to again serve Gd in the Beit haMikdash [Jerusalem Temple], it will not truly be considered rebuilt

Have an easy and meaningful fast,


  1. Good morning,

    Fast questions: 1) I seem to remember hearing, from time to time, that if one has difficulty fasting, one should at least fast until hatzos. Is this true and is there merit to an abbreviated fast? 2) If this is a day of mourning, why don't we extend our observance to include not shaving, no music, etc.? (By the way, I found the exchange re: secular studies/ choosing a rav etc. to be very interesting). Be well,


  2. I learned that if you look carefully at the gemara, the correct translation is "merit"- in the present tense not the future- "will merit" I heard a wonderful drash that it is through the mourning that we actually can feel the Beit Hamikdash built presently on some level by keeping the hope alive.

  3. Hi Michael,
    There is value to doing as much as one can. However, if one is sick enough to break the fast, one should break it regardless of the time. And if one can hold out a little longer, one should hold out a little longer.

    Re: other elements of the fast - The chachamim reserved the strictest elements for the most intense avelut, for the destruction of the Beit haMikdash itself.

    That is a beautiful idea, although I would consider it homiletic rather than literal. The word זוכה is a valid form of "future" in that grammar.