The fast actually commemorates five tragic events that occurred on this date: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.
- Moses broke the tablets when he saw the Jewish people worshipping theGolden Calf.
- During the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, the Jews were forced to cease offering the daily sacrifices due to the lack of sheep.
- Apostomos burned the holy Torah.1
- An idol was placed in the Holy Temple.2
- 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.)
- 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)
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.
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.