Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Today and Tomorrow - Classes, Events, Services and the Fast of 17 Tammuz

Tomorrow is the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz - please note the following important points

The fast begins at 3:25 AM and ends at 9:01 PM

Because of the COVID-19 crisis if you at all feel that fasting might weaken your resistance to infections, you don't have to fast. The same applies if the fast is unduly difficult for you. If you have any questions on this matter please call or text Rabbi Yaffe on 617.595.6437

There will be actual, socially distanced services on Thursday 17 Tammuz / 07/09 please see the full schedule below. The service will also be simulcast on Zoom

17 Tammuz on-Site  Services will be held in social Hall in a special designated area -different from Friday Night .

Please enter Through Front Door and have your temperature taken. wear a mask and practice social distancing 
Morning Services and Selichot 7AM  Mincha / Maariv  7:50PM

Classes and Services 
Wednesday 7/8 On Zoom
Special Class: The Real Story of the 17th of Tammuz  -with Rabbi Yaffe, at 6:15 PM preceded by Mincha
6:00 PM EDT (US and Canada) Wednesday @ 6PM

Also on Facebook Live:

Avot Derav Natan (Ethics of Judaism -expanded ) Daily -Thursday and Friday  8:30 -9AM EDT On Zoom
Also on Facebook Live:

Thursday Midrash: On Zoom
Also on Facebook Live:

No Thursday Evening "Big Idea" Class due to Fast of 17 Tammuz services 
Background  and practices for the 17th of Tammuz and  the Three Weeks

Five great catastrophes occurred in Jewish history on the 17th of Tammuz:

  1. Moses broke the tablets at Mount Sinai – in response to the sin of the Golden Calf.
  2. The daily offerings in the First Temple were suspended during the siege of Jerusalem, after the Kohanim could no longer obtain animals.
  3. Jerusalem's walls were breached, prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.
  4. Prior to the Great Revolt, the Roman general Apostamos burned a Torah scroll – setting a precedent for the horrifying burning of Jewish books throughout the centuries.
  5. An idolatrous image was placed in the Sanctuary of the Holy Temple – a brazen act of blasphemy and desecration.

(Originally, the fast was observed on the Ninth of Tammuz since that was the day Jerusalem fell prior to the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE. However, after Jerusalem fell on the 17th of Tammuz – prior to the destruction of the Second Temple – the Sages decided upon a combined observance for both tragedies, the 17th of Tammuz.)

How Do We Observe the 17th of Tammuz?

  • No eating or drinking is permitted from the break of dawn, until dusk.
  • Pregnant and nursing women – and others whose health would be adversely affected – are exempted from the fast.
  • Should the day coincide with Shabbat, the fast is delayed until Sunday.
  • Bathing, anointing, and wearing leather shoes are all permissible.
  • The "Aneinu" prayer is inserted into the Amidah of Shacharis and Mincha by the chazan. Individuals insert it in Mincha only.
  • Slichos and "Avinu Malkeinu" are recited.
  • Exodus 32:11, in which the "13 Attributes of Mercy" are mentioned, is read at both the morning and afternoon services.
  • Isaiah 55:6 – 56:8, which discusses the renewal of the Temple service, is read as the Haftorah at the Mincha service.
A full three weeks of our year—the three weeks "between the strictures" of Tammuz 17 (July 9t)h) and Av 9 (July 29 -30) —are designated as a time of mourning over the destruction of the Holy Temple and the resultant galut—physical exile and spiritual displacement—in which we still find ourselves.
In this period, many calamities befell the Jewish people throughout the generations. It was during this period of between the straits that both the first and second Temples were destroyed.
During this period, we lessen the extent of our rejoicing. We don't:
  • Conduct weddings. (Engagement parties – without music – are allowed until Rosh Chodesh Av.), Play musical instruments or listen to music,
  • Recite the Shehecheyanu blessing. Thus, we do not wear new clothing or eat fruit which we have not yet eaten this season so that we will not be required to recite Shehecheyanu
  • Take a haircut or shave. (Speak to your rabbi if there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from observing any of the above customs.)

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