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Jewish Holidays

The Four Fasts, Then & Now

November 30, 2017, by

The Gemara in Maseches Rosh HaShana (18b) says that there are three categories regarding the four fasts (of Asarah b’Teves, Shiva Asar b’Tamuz, Tisha b’Av, and Tzom Gedaliah) : 1) when there is gezeiras malchus (persecution) all four fasts are obligatory as fasts, 2) when there is no gezeiras malchus but also not shalom only Tisha b’Av is obligatory, and the rest are optional, 3) when there is shalom all four are Yamim Tovim.  […]

The Four Fast Days and Sefer Zechariah

October 3, 2017, by

Why do we fast on Tisha B’av?  The primary answer, of course, is to remember the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash and Yerushalayim. Yet, according to the Navi Zechariah, not only Tisha B’av, but all four of the fast days (in which we remember Yerushalayim) will one day take on an added dimension. In the […]

The Broken Tablets’ Eternal Message

June 29, 2015, by

The Talmud records that the first tragedy that occurred on the 17th of Tammuz was the breaking of the tablets at Mt. Sinai. This event sets the tone for a day that would tragically be replete with other traumatic events suffered by the Jewish people throughout their history. The following teaching delves into the meaning […]

Digest of The Laws of Tisha B’Av and the Three Weeks

July 18, 2011, by

HALAKHA GUIDE / הלכות (According to the Ashkenazic practice) Notes in [brackets] based upon contributions from Rabbi Ari Kahn, whom we thank for his valuable input! Abbreviations A.H. = Arukh HaShulĥan B.H. = Biur Halakha E.Y. = Even Yisrael (Fischer) K.H. = Kaf HaĤayim K.S.A. = Kitzur Shulĥan Arukh M.B. = Mishna Berura M.H. = […]

Getting Married the Night of Shiva Asar B’Tammuz

July 18, 2011, by

Fast days, with the exception of Yom Kippur and Tisha B’Av, begin in the morning. Does that mean we can enjoy ourselves the night before? In particular, the Three Weeks, with the custom in memory of the destruction of the Temple of refraining from having parties, begin on Shiva Asar B’Tammuz. If the fast of […]