The Three Weeks

Posted on July 17th, 2017
BY MATTHUE ROTH for myjewishlearning.com


The destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem is commemorated with a period of mourning.


The three-week period in summer that begins with the fast of the 17th of Tammuz and climaxes with Tisha B’Av is known simply as “The Three Weeks.” It is a time of grieving for the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. This mourning period was first mentioned in the biblical Book of Zechariah in the Prophets — and, since then, it has been observed as a period of sadness.

The Multiple Tragedies
The 17th day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz is a date in which many tragedies and pitfalls happened, according to the Mishnah (Taanit 4:6). It is traditionally believed to be the date that Moses broke the original Ten Commandments tablets after coming upon the Israelites as they worshiped the Golden Calf. 

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17th of Tammuz

Posted on July 10th, 2017
BY MJL STAFF


A minor fast day with major history.


The 17th of the month of Tammuz is observed as a minor fast day, with eating and drinking forbidden from dawn until sundown. Like Tisha B’Av, which comes just three weeks later, the 17th of Tammuz (often called by its Hebrew name, Shiva Asar b’Tammuz) is said to commemorate not to just one calamitous event in Jewish history, but several tragedies of the Jewish people.

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July 4th, history and the Jews

Posted on July 3rd, 2017
From The Jewish News of Northern California


July 4th is almost upon us. Israel is celebrating its 69th year of existence.

All American Jews and Americans, should recognize this shining moment of historical success of our mutually beneficial survival. The world is convulsing with terrorist warfare, lives are shattered, blood and tears fill so many streets … and yet in the quiet corners of our minds, we should be so thankful that our brave fathers and mothers struggled to land on these blessed shores for as long as this nation has existed.

Jewish history and world history (our Western civilization) have enjoyed such an interesting dancing partnership together! There were times we refused to accept the dance with our partner, and there were more times when we were rejected for the dance. But this is the strange path of Jewish growing-up in the Western world.

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Why Some Jewish Women Go to the Mikveh Each Month

Posted on June 26th, 2017
BY MJL STAFF 


What is niddah, or taharat ha mishpacha, and who observes it?


For thousands of years, Jewish couples have observed the laws of niddah (literally, separation) to sanctify their sexual relationship.

Traditionally, a married couple refrains from intimacy during a woman’s menstrual period and for seven days afterward. Immersion in the mikveh , a Jewish ritual bath, marks the point at which the couple may reunite physically.

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Are Jews the Chosen People?

Posted on June 26th, 2017
BY MJL STAFF


And what does chosenness mean anyway?

 

The idea that the Jews are the “chosen people” and have a special relationship with God is ubiquitous in Jewish sources. However, the nature of this relationship is not without complication and ambiguity.

Origins of the Chosen Concept

The notion of Jews being chosen has its root in several biblical verses. One of the most prominent, Deuteronomy 7:6, says, “For you are a people consecrated to Adonai your God: of all the peoples on earth Adonai your God chose you to be God’s treasured people.” The next two verses provide the reason for this choice. God did not choose the Israelites because of their numbers; rather, God chose the Israelites and freed them from slavery because God loved them and because God had made promises to their ancestors, the biblical patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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