Friday, August 7, 2009

Halocho #385 - The day the Western Lamp was extinguished

In the Bet Hamikdash, a Cohen would light the Menorah every afternoon. Its 7 lamps would burn until morning.

Miraculously, the Ner Ma'aravi - the Western Lamp - would burn all day, even though it was identical to the other 6 lamps. One of the reasons most Shuls have a Ner-Tamid always burning, is to commemorate this miracle.

Forty years before the destruction of the first Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple), in the days of the wicked King Achaz, (father of King Hezekiah), this miracle stopped.

This happened on the 17th of Av (some say on the 18th). As a result, this day was declared as one of the tragic days in our history and is included in the list of days on which it would be appropriate to fast.

Source: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 580:1-2, Yoma 39.

Shabbat Shalom

- Danny Erev Shabbat, 17 Av 5769

Please daven for a complete recovery for Tamar bat Naama - תמר בת נעמה

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