The Mysterious Fast on the Tenth of Tevet

Dec. 31 2014

The tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tevet (this year, January 1), is one of the more obscure and poorly understood dates on the Jewish calendar. The best-known explanation is that it commemorates the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, eventually leading to the destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C.E. and the dissolution of the Judean kingdom. Jeffrey Woolf analyzes the significance of the event in light of the biblical prophets:

[The prophet Ezekiel] knew what was going to happen, for he himself had a vision of the catastrophe for which the people were headed. But when the day [of the Babylonian attack on Jerusalem] actually arrived, he found it difficult to assimilate what was happening and therefore the Holy One, blessed be He, had to tell him emphatically, time and again, that this was indeed the reality. Little wonder, therefore, that the rest of the people were even more deeply traumatized when Jerusalem was put under siege. The stern lesson of the tenth of Tevet—that Jerusalem was vulnerable on account of the nation’s corruption—was what led the people to include the day on which the siege of Jerusalem began among the days of mourning and commemoration for the destruction of the First (and later also the Second) Temple.

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More about: Babylon, Ezekiel, First Temple, Jewish holidays, Prophets, Tenth of Tevet

 

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror