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Fast of the 17th of Tammuz 2018
The fast of the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, known as Shivah Asar B’Tammuz, is the start of a three-week mourning period for the destruction of Jerusalem and the two Holy Temples.
The fast actually commemorates five tragic events that occurred on this date:
- Moses broke the tablets when he saw the Jewish people worshipping the Golden Calf.
During the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, the Jews were forced to cease offering the daily sacrifices due to the lack of sheep.
- Apostomos burned the holy Torah
- An idol was placed in the Holy Temple
- The walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans, in 69 CE, after a lengthy siege. (Three weeks later, after the Jews put up a valiant struggle, the Romans destroyed the second Holy Temple on the 9th of Av.)
- The Jerusalem Talmud maintains that this is also the date when the Babylonians breached the walls of Jerusalem on their way to destroying the first Temple.
NOTE: The Jewish calendar date begins at sundown of the night beforehand. Thus all holiday observances begin the night before, as listed. The exception to this rule is most fast days, which begin at dawn of the date listed (aside for Tisha b’Av and Yom Kippur which also begin the night before). Jewish calendar dates conclude at nightfall. For more information click here.