17th of Tamuz, (Thursday, July 9, 2020, is a bad day all around
The Talmud, (Tractate Ta'anit 26b, the Mishnah 4:6),
lists five tragedies that befell the Jewish people on Shiva Asar
It all started way back at Har Sinai when Moshe went up the
mountain for forty days.
Bnei Yisroel panicked when they miscalculated his return by
one day. By the time Moshe returned only hours later, he had been replaced
by the Eigel Hazahav (Golden Calf)!.
seeing this idol, Moshe dropped the Luchot, the tablets containing
the Aseret Hadibrot (the Ten Commandments) from his hands,
breaking them into pieces. (Shmot
Despite the Babylonian siege of Yerushalayim, the two daily
sacrifices of the Korban Tamid in the first Bait Hamikdash,
were carried out as long as there were sheep to sacrifice.
was on this date, however, Shiva Asar B'Tamuz, that the Kohanim
finally ran out of sheep and the sacrifices stopped.
The next year, 3184 (586 BCE), after months of seige by the wicked Nebuchadnezzar's
army, the walls of Yerushalayim were finally breached, a prelude
to the destruction of Yerushalayim and the Bait Hamikdash.
the time of the second Bait Hamikdash,
3760 ( 70 CE), Titus, the Roman General breached the walls of the holy
city of Yerushalayim leading to the destruction of the Second
breaks came after many months during which the city's residents suffered
extreme hardships, sickness and hunger.
In the time of the Roman occupation, the wicked heathen Apostomos, captain
of the Roman forces, publicly burned a Torah during the period
preceding the destruction of the Second Bait Hamikdash. Apostomos
also placed an idol in the sanctuary.
The evil King Menashe placed an idol in the Kodesh Kedoshim,
an act of open blasphemy and desecration. (Melachim II 21:7)
these tragedies occurred on Shiva Asar B'Tamuz, our Sages designated
the 17th day of Tamuz as a communal fast
day, to be inspired to do Tshuva (repent).