This week at Azamra
11 Tammuz 5784 / 17 July 2024

Torah Calendar

8-21 Tammuz, 5784
July 14-27, 2024

For this week's study schedule & classes, CLICK HERE

Attributes of the month of Tammuz: Ruling permutation of the letters of HAVAYAH: KEH VAV KEH YOD, contained in the concluding Hebrew letters of zeH einenU shoveH lI, "...this is not of worth to me..." (Esther 5:13). The month's corresponding letter is: CHET; Human attribute: VISION; Body Part: RIGHT HAND; Tribe: REUVEN; Constellation: SARTAN (Cancer, the Crab).

Monday July 15 / 9 Tammuz

On this day at the end of the First Temple period, the wall of Jerusalem was breached by Nebuchadnezzar's armies signalling the beginning of the destruction of the city and the Temple, and King Tzedekiah and his ministers tried to escape through a secret tunnel to Jericho but were captured.

Friday night-Saturday July 19-20 / 14 Tammuz
Shabbat Parshat BALAK

Torah reading BALAK Numbers 22:2-25:9 telling the story of Bilaam's abortive efforts to curse Israel at the behest of Balak king of Moab; Haftara: Micah 5:6-6:8.

Saturday night-Sunday July21-22 / 15 Tammuz

Yahrzeit of outstanding tzaddik, scholar and kabbalist Rabbi Chaim ben Atar (1696-1743), known as the Ohr HaChayim ("Light of Life") after the title of his commentary on the Torah. Thousands visit his Jerusalem gravesite on the lower slope of Mount of Olives directly facing the Temple Mount with the assurance that their prayers will not go unanswered.

Tuesday July 23 / 17 Tammuz

Today is the fast of Shiva Asar (=17) B'Tammuz commemorating the sin of the golden calf and the breach of the walls of Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period as well as other tragedies. The fast begins at dawn on Tuesday morning and lasts until nightfall.

Today's fast initiates the period of semi-mourning known as The Three Weeks or Bein HaMetzarim ("between the straits"), culminating in Tisha Be'Av, the fast of the Ninth of Av on Monday night-Tuesday August 12-13 commemorating the destruction of the two Temples. During these three weeks of semi-mourning it is customary not to celebrate weddings, listen to music or cut one's hair. Other stringencies are added from the beginning of the month of Av (August 5). It is proper to devote special times, particularly at midday and midnight, to mourning the destruction of the Temple. It is also appropriate to study the laws of the Temple as set forth in Ezekiel chapters 40 onwards, the mishnaic Tractate Middot and Hilchot Beit HaBechirah (Laws of the Temple, available here in English translation) in Rambam's Mishneh Torah code.

Wednesday July 24 / 18 Tammuz

On this day Moses ascended Mount Sinai the second time in order to pray and conciliate G-d after the sin of the golden calf.

Friday night-Saturday July 26-27 / 21 Tammuz
Shabbat Parshat PINCHAS

Torah reading: PINCHAS Numbers 25:10-30:1 telling of the reward of Pinchas for his heroism and of Israel's inheritance of the Promised Land, and detailing the yearly cycle of the Temple sacrificial services. Haftara: I Kings 18:46-19:1-21.

While the mood on the weekdays of The Three Weeks is somber, this is not so on the Shabbatot in this period, which are occasions for great spiritual elevation and joy.

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