Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fasting and Sleeping, Last Year I Got Up from Shiva...

Today is the 17th of Tammuz, a fast day.
The fast actually commemorates five tragic events that occurred on this date:
  1. Moses broke the tablets when he saw the Jewish people worshipping theGolden Calf.
  1. During the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, the Jews were forced to cease offering the daily sacrifices due to the lack of sheep.
  1. Apostomos burned the holy Torah.1
  1. An idol was placed in the Holy Temple.2
  1. The walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans, in 69 CE, after a lengthy siege. (Three weeks later, after the Jews put up a valiant struggle, the Romans destroyed the second Holy Temple on the 9th of Av.)
  1. The Jerusalem Talmud maintains that this is also the date when the Babylonians breached the walls of Jerusalem on their way to destroying the first Temple. (Chabad.com)
Without the help of caffeine I find myself napping a lot on a fast day. Normally I don't nap. Caffeine can override tiredness in many people. I use coffee to perk myself up when traveling. My typing and thinking are more accurate after my morning coffee. It (plus extra water) also gets the kishkes moving preventing certain digestive disorders.

I hope that the vegetable soup simmering on the stove for breaking the fast will be satisfying but not too stimulating. I must sleep well tonight.

my mother
Shirley Spiegelman
Last year on the 17th of Tammuz I got up from shiva for my mother. Since people do come to visit on that last morning I got up and put on my "shiva outfit" with the ripped shirt. I was surprised at how many friends showed up. After we talked awhile, the time came to literally get up. The custom is for someone to walk the mourner out of the house, and so my friends and I walked out together.

Later in the day I went to a neighbor for the weekly T'hillim, Psalms. It was a suitable way for a first "social" event after sitting shiva, while still in the Shloshim thirty day mourning period.

I guess that the 17th of Tammuz will now always have a different significance for me.

2 comments:

Tzivia in AliyahLand said...

Thank you for this reminder. For me also, this year, personal and communal mourning are a little bit mixed.
I just updated my annual Tisha b'Av FAQ this morning, in case any of your readers are interested in the nitty gritty details of the big fast coming up.

Batya Medad said...

Tzivia, when's your brother's shloshim finished? I finished after Tisha B'Av.