Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Halocho #849 - Why do we fast on the 17th Tamuz?

Today - Tuesday - is the fast of 17 Tamuz which commemorates 5 major misfortunes which happened to the Jewish people on this date:

• Moshe Rabbeinu broke the Luchot - the tablets - upon seeing the Golden Calf being worshiped
• The daily Tamid sacrifice was suspended in the first Bet Hamikdash as a result of the siege
• At the time of the 2nd Bet Hamikdash the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the enemy, three weeks before the destruction
• Apustumus the wicked [Roman] burned a Sefer Torah
• An idol was placed in the Bet Hamikdash

On every fast-day there is Kriat HaTorah (Torah Reading) at both Shacharit and Mincha.

At Mincha, the 3rd Aliya also reads the Haftarah (דִּרְשׁוּ from Yeshayahu 55:6). Only somebody who is fasting should be called up to the Torah on a fast day.

During the Mincha Amida, individuals add the "עֲנֵנוּ" prayer into the 16th Bracha; שְׁמַע קוֹלֵנוּ. If one forgot, one does not need to make amends.

The Chazzan adds עֲנֵנוּ during both Shacharit and Mincha, as a separate Bracha before רְפָאֵנוּ.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 23:15, 19:14, 20:8

Have a meaningful fast,

- Danny
Tuesday, 17 Tamuz 5771

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