This is a minor fast, which begins by dawn the coming Tuesday.. Make sure to check your local times, to be sure when..
On this day we commemorate five tragedies:
- Moshe Rabenu (A”S) broke the first tablets of stone, when seeing the dancing around the gold calf..
- The daily Tamid (the daily offering) ceased to be brought in the Beyt HaMiqdash..
- The walls of Jerusalem was breached, leading to the destruction of the Beyt HaMiqdash three weeks later..
- The Roman leader Apostomus (Y”S) burned a Sefer Torah, prior to the rebellion of Bar Kochba..
- An idol was erected in the Beyt HaMiqdash..
This day begins the three weeks until Tisha B’Av, three weeks where we shouldn’t be too joyful, as well as we’re not supposed to buy new clothes or eat fruits that we haven’t eaten before in this season (since Rosh HaShanah), since we’re not supposed to say the blessing of “Shehehiyanu” in this period.. Weddings are not celebrated in this period.. The tradition is furthermore not to eat meat in this period.. Neither do we shave or get our hair cut in this period..
The reason is found in the fact, that while Jerusalem was under siege of the Romans, it wasn’t possible to bring good or new food to the defenders and people living in the city, as well as new clothes wasn’t bought (of obvious reason)..
The day itself is a minor day of fast, and is often overseen, but it introduce three weeks leading to Tisha B’Av (the ninth day in the month of Av), where the tradition says that many sad things happened, for example the destruction of both the first and the second Beyt HaMiqdash (the Temple), the expulsion of the Jews in England in 1290 and in Spain in 1492, just as well as the first World War started on this day (the first of August 1914, where Germany declared war against Russia)..
Personally this period, the two days included, is a period of sorrow and repentance, but also to a certain degree of joy.. Even though this is a sad period with many tragedies (it’s noteworthy to consider the fact, that the war against Hizbullah took place in this period, with many civilians killed) and we should look deeply within us selves, the period also witnesses of the great hand of HaShem, always ensuring the survival and existence of the Jewish People.. No matter how much the nations of the world has tried to exterminate us, HaShem has kept his hand over us, and made sure that today, 3,300 years after we received Torah at Har Sinay, 3,300 years since the first attempts to destroy us by the hands of the Egyptians and ‘Amaleq (Y”S), we’re still here, and as long as we follow Moshe Rabenu (A”S), instead of following the example of Korah, Dathan and Aviram, we will continue to exist, BE”H..