Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The five tragedies of the 17th of Tammuz


The fast day of the 17th of Tammuz, observed on Tuesday July 15th this year, commemorates five tragedies:

1. Moses descended from meeting Gd and receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai, saw the Jews celebrating with the Golden Calf, and broke the two tablets Gd had given him.

2. The daily Tamid offering, which had been brought regularly in the Jerusalem Beit haMikdash [Temple] from the time the Jews built the Mishkan for over one thousand years, was halted during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem before the Beit haMikdash was destroyed.

3. The Romans invaded Jerusalem, prior to destroying the second Beit haMikdash. (According to the Talmud Bavli, the Babylonians invaded Jerusalem to destroy the first Temple on the 9th of Tammuz. According to the Talmud Yerushalmi, both invasions occurred on the 17th of Tammuz.)

4. A Greek or Roman official named Apostimos held a public burning of the Torah.

5. Idols were set up in the Temple itself; it is not clear what year this happened.

(Mishneh Berurah 549:2)

צום קל ומועיל,

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