with the fast of the 17th of Tammuz
from dawn on Sunday, July 9, 2009 until nightfall
Tisha B'Av and the 3 Weeks
WHAT HAPPENED ON THE 17TH OF TAMMUZ?
Five great catastrophes occurred in Jewish history on the 17th of Tammuz:
Moses broke the tablets at Mount Sinai — in response to the sin of the Golden Calf.
The daily offerings in the First Temple were suspended during the siege of Jerusalem, after the Kohanim could no longer obtain animals.
Jerusalem's walls were breached, prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.
Prior to the Great Revolt, the Roman general Apostamos burned a Torah scroll - setting a precedent for the horrifying burning of Jewish books throughout the centuries. An idolatrous image was placed in the Sanctuary of the Holy Temple - a brazen act of blasphemy and desecration.
(Originally, the fast was observed on the Ninth of Tammuz since that was the day Jerusalem fell prior to the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE. However, after Jerusalem fell on the 17th of Tammuz - prior to the destruction of the Second Temple - the Sages decided upon a combined observance for both tragedies, the 17th of Tammuz.)
HOW DO WE OBSERVE THE 17TH OF TAMMUZ?
No eating or drinking is permitted from the break of dawn, until dusk.
Pregnant and nursing women - and others whose health would be adversely affected - are exempted from the fast.
Should the day coincide with Shabbat, the fast is delayed until Sunday. Bathing, anointing, and wearing leather shoes are all permissible.
The "Aneinu" prayer is inserted into the Amidah of Shacharis and Mincha by the chazan. Individuals insert it in Mincha only. Slichos and "Avinu Malkeinu" are recited.
Exodus 32:11, in which the "13 Attributes of Mercy" are mentioned, is read at both the morning and afternoon services.
Isaiah 55:6 - 56:8, which discusses the renewal of the Temple service, is read as the Haftorah at the Mincha service.
~ Written by Rabbi Shraga Simmons, with thanks to Rabbi Moshe Lazerus.
Aneinu, also transliterated as Aneynu or Anainu (Hebrew for "answer us") is a Jewish prayer of atonement, asking God to forgive and protect his followers.
It is most often recited by a cantor on public fast days including the Fast of Gedaliah, the Tenth of Tevet, the Fast of Esther, the 17th of Tammuz, and Tisha B'Av.
The prayer (translated below) is added into the weekday Shemoneh Esrei on the above fast days during the Afternoon service.
"Answer us (aneinu), Adonai, answer us,
on this day of our fast, for we are in great distress.
Do not pay attention to our wickedness;
do not hide Your face from us and do not ignore our supplication.
Please be near to our outcry; please let Your kindness comfort us; before we call to You,
answer us, as it is said:
‘And it will be that before they call, I will answer; while they yet speak, I will hear.’
For You, Adonai, are the One who responds to His people Israel in time of distress,
who redeems and rescues in every time of distress and woe.
Blessed are You, Adonai, who responds to His people Israel in time of distress."