Friday, July 03, 2015

What's the Significance of July 4th Falling on 17 Tammuz this Year?

ערב שבת קודש פר׳ בלק תשע״ה
The day before the [regular date of the] Fast of the Fourth Month

Leeba on asked me on Facebook, what I believed to be the significance of July 4, 1776 falling on 17 Tammuz, especially since as far as she knows,...
"July 2 [was] the date the resolution of independence was approved in a closed session of Congress"
Maier, Pauline, August 7, 1997, "Making Sense of the Fourth of July," American Heritage
Well, first off, 17 Tammuz, the "Fast of the Fourth Month" (Zech. 8:19), has historically not been a good day for the Jewish People...
משנה תענית ד,ו
חמישה דברים אירעו את אבותינו בשבעה עשר בתמוז, וחמישה בתשעה באב. בשבעה עשר בתמוז--נשתברו הלוחות, ובטל התמיד, והובקעה העיר, ושרף אפסטמוס את התורה, והעמיד צלם בהיכל...;
Mishnah Ta'anith 4:6
"Five things happened to our 'forefathers' on 17 b'Tammuz, and five on 9 b'Av. On 17 b'Tammuz--the tablets were broken, and the Tamid [offering] ceased, and the city [of Jerusalem] was breached, and Apastimos burned the Torah [scroll], and he set up an image (statue) in the Temple....."

Since the Destruction of the Second Temple, several other calamities have also occurred on the 17 b'Tammuz, and have included:
ד׳תתקצ״ט/1239 Pope Gregory IX ordered the confiscation of all manuscripts of the Talmud. (See Miriam's post at Shearim, elaborating on this, "The Church and the Talmud")

קנ״א/1391 More than 4,000 Jews were massacred in Toledo and Jaen, Spain

שי״ט/1559 The Jewish Quarter of Prague was burned and looted.

תש״ד/1944 The Kovno ghetto was liquidated.

5730/תש״ל Libya ordered the confiscation of Jewish property.
Here is my Esser Agaroth (2¢) response...

Regardless of when the U. S. Declaration of Independence was ratified, signed, publicized, what have you, the thoughts, feelings, and energies, if you will, are focused on the 4th of July.

As I state above, 17 b'Tammuz has not been a good day for the Jewish People, and thus, I would like to suggest that the 4th of July is not a good day for the Jewish People either.

In my opinion, living in the U. S. has given the Jews there as false sense of security, gross materialism, and other spiritual challenges.

The U. S. is a target destination for many Jews around the world, instead of the only true home of the Jewish People, Eretz Yisra'el (Land of Israel). The "American Dream" has caused a great many Jews to be detoured from their only proper destination, now that its gates have been opened to us.

Even now, I see on a daily basis, evidence of how difficult it is for Jews from the U. S. to adapt to life in Israel.

Three gifts were given to the Jews, but only through suffering: Torah, Eretz Yisra'el, and the World To Come.

Life in the U. S. has made them too comfortable, and too used to materialistic comforts which stand in the way of being more open-minded to the fact that not everything, nor everyone, operates in the way they are used from their lives in Galuth (exile).

It is so powerful, in fact, that many Jews do not remember, or do not want to remember, that the U. S., just like any other country in this world, is only to serve as a temporary dwelling place for us, until we are able to return to Eretz Yisra'el, just like Egypt was for us before the first Pesah (Passover) celebration, and subsequent exodus.

This year, we will not fast on 17 b'Tammuz, but rather on the 18 b'Tammuz, as 17 b'Tammuz falls on Shabbath.

While Americans are celebrating their Independence, we will be celebrating Shabbath. Then on they day after that, we will be fasting.

Let's hope that this year, Jews still in the U. S. will wake up to the fact that they do not belong there.

Let's also hope and pray that their realization will not come at the cost of a kick in the pants too difficult to recover from.


Batya said...

This post has been included in the latest joint Havel Havelim-Kosher Cooking Carnival,  Shiloh Musings: 17th of Tammuz Fast Postponed, HH and KCC, Too

Please visit and check out the other posts; read, comment and share, thanks.

Welcome to the joblogging community.

Esser Agaroth said...

Thanks, Batya.


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