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Fast of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz in Israel

The Fast of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz is held on the 17th day of Tammuz, which is the fourth month of the Hebrew calendar. It observes five calamities that affected the Jewish people. These are: (1) Moses broke the tablets of stone and (2) an idol known as “the Golden Calf” was erected in 1313 BCE; (3) the daily sacrificial offerings were discontinued in 423 BCE; (4) Jerusalem’s walls were breached in 69 BCE; and (5) the Roman military leader Apostomus burned a Torah scroll possibly around 50 CE just before the Bar Kokhba revolt.

Fast of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz in Israel
Moses broke the stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. This event is one of the five calamities observed on the 17th of Tammuz.
Moses broke the stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. This event is one of the five calamities observed on the 17th of Tammuz.
©iStockphoto.com/ ZU_09

What Do People Do?

Many Jewish people fast from dawn until nightfall by abstaining from food and drinks. However, people who are ill or weak, children and pregnant or nursing mothers may not fast completely but only eat simple food. In addition, special prayers are recited and sections of the Torah and Haftarah (Haftorah, Haptara) are read during the morning and evening services. In contrast to some fast days, Jewish people may be permitted to wear leather and wash themselves on the 17th of Tammuz.

Public Life

The Fast of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz, also known as the 17th (or Seventeenth) of Tammuz, is not a public holiday in Israel.

Background

The 17th day of Tammuz is a day of mourning for Jewish people. It marks the anniversary of five calamities. On this day in the year 1313 BCE, Moses broke the tablets of stone that were inscribed with the Ten Commandments and the idol of “the Golden Calf” was erected.

On this date in the year 423 BCE, the daily sacrificial offerings were discontinued in the run up to the destruction of the first temple. In the year 69 BCE Jerusalem’s walls were breached, which resulted in the destruction of the second temple. Finally, the Roman military leader Apostomus burned a Torah scroll, possibly around 50 CE. This may have contributed to the Bar Kokhba revolt, the last war between the Romans and the Jews between 132 and 135 CE.

The 17th of Tammuz marks the start of the “Three Weeks” (Bein HaMetzarim), which is a period of mourning marking the destruction of both the First Temple and the Second Temple in Jerusalem. During the “Three Weeks”, it is customary to spend extra time studying Jewish law, to give extra charity and not to hold joyous celebrations, such as weddings, or wear new clothes.

Fast of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
TueJun 292010Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzObservance, Hebrew
TueJul 192011Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzObservance, Hebrew
SatJul 72012Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzObservance, Hebrew
TueJun 252013Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzObservance, Hebrew
TueJul 152014Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzObservance, Hebrew
SatJul 42015Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzObservance, Hebrew
SatJul 232016Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzObservance, Hebrew
TueJul 112017Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzObservance, Hebrew
SatJun 302018Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzObservance, Hebrew
SatJul 202019Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzObservance, Hebrew
ThuJul 92020Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzObservance, Hebrew

Quick Facts

The 17th day of the Jewish month of Tammuz is a day of mourning to mark the anniversary of five calamities that befell the Jewish people. It is known as the Fast of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz.

Fast of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fast of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Fast of Shiva Asar B'TammuzEnglish
שבעה עשר בתמוזHebrew
Schiwa Assar beTammusGerman
السابع عشر من تموزArabic
Shiva Asar B'Tammuz fasteNorwegian

List of dates for other years

Fun Holiday on July 23, 2016

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