On the 17th day in the Jewish month of Tammuz, Jews the world over fast and lament to commemorate the many calamities that have befallen our people on this ominous day.
Going all the way back to Biblical times, Moses descended Mount Sinai on this day and, upon seeing the Golden Calf, broke the first set of Tablets carrying the Ten Commandments.
In the First Temple Era: In the year 3184 (586 BCE), the walls of Jerusalem were breached after many months of siege by Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian forces.
In later years, this day continued to be a dark one for Jews. In 1391, more than 4,000 Jews were killed in Toledo and Jaen, Spain, and in 4319 (1559), the Jewish Quarter of Prague was burned and looted. The Kovno ghetto was liquidated on this day in 5704 (1944), and in 5730 (1970), Libya ordered the confiscation of Jewish property.
The Mishna in Ta'anit 4:8 says that the 17th of Tammuz will be transformed into a day of joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts in the messianic era!
The fast of the 17th of Tammuz is observed from the break of dawn until nightfall.
This day is the beginning of the Three Weeks, an annual period of mourning over the destruction of the first and second Temples in Jerusalem. For more customs, please visit www.3weeks.org.
May we merit the rebuilding of the third temple in Jerusalem now!
Have an easy fast & Shabbat Shalom!
Candle lighting time in NYC is on Friday before 8:12 PM