Seventeenth of Tammuz Date in the current year: July 23, 2016

Seventeenth of Tammuz Seventeenth of Tammuz (Shiv'ah Asar b'Tammuz) is a minor fast day in Judaism. It commemorates the day when the walls of Jerusalem were breached proceeding to the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans.

This fast occurs on the 17the day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz. It marks the beginning of the mourning period that lasts for three weeks and culminates in Tisha B'Av, the anniversary of the destruction of both the First and the Second Temples.

The breach of the walls of Jerusalem was not the only calamity that befell the Jewish people on Tammuz 17. On this day, Moses broke the Twin Tablets of the Ten Commandments; korban ceased to be brought at the Temple; a Torah scroll was burnt by a Roman military leader; an idol was erected in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

The fast of the 17th of Tammuz lasts from dawn to shortly after dusk. Deprivations applicable to the major fasts (such as Tisha B'Av and Yom Kippur) do not apply on this day. For example, it is not prohibited to wear leather shoes. Nevertheless, many Ashkenazi Jews prefer to refrain from public entertainment, listening to music, and haircuts. The morning and afternoon services in synagogues are supplemented with special prayers.

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