The Four Fasts of the Destruction
After the First Temple was destroyed, the Prophets instituted fasts marking the tragic events surrounding the Destruction and the ensuing exile of the Jewish People.
Is it permissible for one to brush his teeth on a minor fast day?
The Fast of 17th of Tamuz - Why?
What happened on the seventeenth of Tammuz, and why are these events so tragic?
Introspection on the 17 of Tammuz
Perhaps it would be better during times of joy, to reflect, and to ask ourselves what we are so happy about.
Mourning the Destruction Today
The Seventeenth of Tammuz was supposed to be the day on which the Tablets of the Covenant were received and given to Israel, and the Ninth of Av was the day when the Spies would to return from the Land of Israel and proclaim, “The land is very good!”
Breaking the Tablets, Mending the Tablets
The Mishnah teaches us that the tablets were broken on the 17th of Tamuz as a result of the building of the Golden Calf. Rav Kook explains that if we understand the essence of idolatry we can find a way to mend the broken tablets.
The Minor Fasts and Their Laws
Did Jews fast over the destruction of the First Temple when the Second Temple stood? Must pregnant and nursing women abstain from eating and drinking on minor fasts? Rabbi Eliezer Melamed addresses these and other important questions.
Introspection on the Seventeenth of Tammuz
Fast days are occasion for introspection and repentance. After all, we are not fasting over the distant, unrelated past; we are fasting in response to our own present situation. How is it that instead of mourning we remain complacent and indifferent?
The Weak Point of the Seventeenth of Tammuz
There is a tendency, on fast days, for people to concentrate upon the calamities of the past and on the stages that led up to the destruction of the Temple. People reflect on the distant past when they aught - says the Rambam - consider the present.
The Breaking of the Tablets on the Seventeenth of Tammuz
The Tree of Knowledge contained a mixture of elements - both good and evil. This, then, was Adam's sin: He ate from the tree, and this caused existence to fall to a level whereupon there existed a mixture of both good and evil.