Saturday, July 19, 2008

Not Fasting Weather, But...

Jewish fast days require that we neither eat nor drink. Tomorrow is one of them, the 17th of Tammuz. It's a "short," meaning "daylight only" fast. But this is dehydration weather.

I ought to drink and drink tonight so I'll feel better tomorrow.

The 17th of Tammuz is the beginning of the period of Three Weeks which culminates with the 9th of Av, stretched to the 10th. This is the period of time when our Holy Temple was destroyed.

Three weeks, you may be wondering. Why three weeks? It couldn't have taken that long.

That's because the attack wasn't spontaneously on the Holy Temple, our Beit HaMikdash. It was a long process, approaching Jerusalem and then our enemies surrounded the Jerusalem City Walls and then breached them and then approached the Beit Hamikdsh and began the destruction which only ended on the 10th.

Rarely is aggression spontaneous, a surprise. There are always signs if you know how to read them. The problem, like in the late summer of 1973, Israeli military and politicians kept filtering the data received through their theories and ideologies. That's why Israel was "surprised" on Yom Kippur when Egypt and Syria attacked.

That's why Jews are supposed to fast twice during the hottest day of the year and spend the interim three weeks contemplating the destruction of our Holy Temple, so we won't make the same mistake again.

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