ב"ה
To view Shabbat Times click here to set your location

Shabbat, July 16, 2022

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
To view Halachic Times click here to set your location
Jewish History

The Talmud (Taanit 28b) lists five tragic events in Jewish history that occurred on Tammuz 17, on account of which a fast was instituted on this day (see Laws & Customs").

The first of these occurred in 1313 BCE, forty days after the Giving of the Torah on Sivan 6. Upon descending Mount Sinai and witnessing Israel's worship of the Golden Calf (see "Today in Jewish History" for yesterday, Tammuz 16), Moses smashed the Tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments which he was carrying down from the mountain.

(for the other four tragedies of Tammuz 17, see below)

Links:
Broken & Whole
The 120-Day Version of the Human Story
Moses Breaks the Tablets

The daily sacrificial offerings (Korban Tamid) in the Holy Temple were discontinued, three weeks before the Babylonians' destruction of the First Temple in 423 BCE.

The other three national tragedies mourned on Tammuz 17 are connected with the Roman conquest of Jerusalem and their destruction of the Second Temple in the year 69 CE:

--The walls of the besieged city of Jerusalem were breached.

--The Roman general Apostomus burned the Torah and,

--placed an idol in the Holy Temple.

The fighting in Jerusalem continued for three weeks until the 9th of Av, when the Holy Temple was set aflame.

Links:
The Destruction of the Holy Temple
The Three Weeks

Laws and Customs

To mourn the breaching of Jerusalem's walls and the other tragic events that occurred on this day (see "Today in Jewish History") and repent and rectify their causes, Tammuz 17 was instituted as a fast day. This year, however, the actual fast is held tomorrow (Sunday), due to the holiness of Shabbat

The 17th of Tammuz also marks the beginning of The Three Weeks period of mourning which culminates on the 9th of Av, commemorating the conquest of Jerusalem, the destruction of the Holy Temple and the dispersion of the Jewish people.

Weddings and other joyful events are not held during this period; like mourners, we do not cut our hair, and various pleasurable activities are limited or proscribed. (Consult the Code of Jewish Law (Shulchan Aruch) or a qualified rabbi regarding specific proscriptions).

The Lubavitcher Rebbe urged that the Three Weeks should be a time of increased giving of charity and Torah study (in keeping with the verse (Isaiah 1:27), "Zion shall be redeemed by law, and her returnees by charity"), particularly the study of those portions of Torah that deal with the laws and the deeper significance of the Holy Temple.

Links:
TheThreeWeeks.com
Some Laws and Customs of the Three Weeks
About Holy Temple

During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we study a weekly chapter of the Talmud's Ethics of the Fathers ("Avot") each Shabbat afternoon; this week we study Chapter Six.

Link: Ethics of the Fathers, Chapter 6

Daily Thought

The core of a Jew is wrapped up in the six words of the Sh'ma Israel.

Very roughly, and at great compromise to the richness of each word, it says, "A Jew must contemplate: G‑d—who is our G‑d—that G‑d is One."

Meaning: Not simply that there is only one G‑d, but that this oneness of G‑d is such that nothing—not the heavens, not the earth, and not even all the vast wonders they contain—nothing at all exists outside the perfect Oneness that transcends and encompasses all things.

But then, it only takes two Hebrew words to say that G‑d is one. Why do we need six?

Because at this point you must turn your ear inward. And from there you will hear that this Oneness is not a knowledge you learned from your teachers, discerned from your observations, or intuited out of your sense of wonder.

No—this sense of Oneness is yours because it is the furnace that burns within the powerhouse of your soul, the oxygen that breathes within every facet of your being, the unstoppable current that drives every movement of your life. It is within you, at your very core.

The knowledge, the tradition, the contemplation—all this is vital and necessary: To awaken within you that which you knew before you were born.

And so:

Sh'ma: Learn, contemplate, grasp, and then listen deep inside…

Yisrael:...innermost of my soul, for whom this is the absolute reality…

A-do-nai:...(focus when saying this name upon the written but unspeakable name of) the One who transcends time, space, and all dualities…

E-lo-hei-nu:...know that this is the very same One who breathes within the essence of my soul, who belongs to me more than anything possession I own, more than my hand and heart belong to me, granted to me as an irrevocable gift, and therefore I know that…

A-do-nai:...the power that sustains all being…

Echad:...is absolutely One. In the heavens above and on the earth below, there is nothing else.

Contemplate this, and how could you not be filled with love, with a yearning that consumes heart and soul, to bond with that Oneness in every mitzvah you do, every word of Torah you speak, every thought and every action of your day?

Likutei Torah, Drushim L’Rosh Hashanah 62d.