The Relevance of the 17th of Tammuz in our Time

The Mishna in Taanit 26b outlines five tragic events that befell the Jewish people on the 17th of Tamuz:

  1. The Tablets were broken- When Moshe descended Mt. Sinai with the Tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written and saw the Jewish people worshipping the Golden Calf, he smashed the tablets at the foot of the mountain.
  2. The Tamid Offering was discontinued- There is a dispute in the Yerushalmi (Jerusalem Talmud) as to whether this occurred during the siege of Jerusalem by the Greeks during the Second Temple era or during the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans just before the destruction of the Second Temple.
  3. The City Wall was breached- Jerusalem's walls were breached by the invading Roman army three weeks before the destruction of the Second Temple.
  4. Apostumos burned the Torah- Apostumos, a Greek general burned the Torah that was kept in the Temple court. Written by Ezra the scribe, this Torah was the most authoritative copy of the Torah.
  5. Apostumos placed an idolatrous image in the Temple during the Greek occupation Of Israel in the Second Temple era.

The events that are happening in Israel today are painful reminders of past tragedies. The Jewish population in the Galilee is living under siege from Katyusha rockets being launched from Lebanon by Hezbollah. The Jews in Southern Israel are under attack by rockets being launched from Gaza.

We pray that with God's help the present military actions of the Israeli Defense Forces in Lebanon and Gaza will be successful and that peace will be restored to Israel.

It is our hope that The 17th of Tamuz will transform from a day of mourning to a day of joy.