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Rabbi Arthur Segal’s love of people, humanity, and Judaism has him sharing with others “The Wisdom of the Ages” that has been passed on to him. His writings for modern Jews offer Spiritual, Ethical, and eco-Judaic lessons in plain English and with relevance to contemporary lifestyles. He is the author of countless articles, editorials, letters, and blog posts, and he has recently published two books:

The Handbook to Jewish Spiritual Renewal: A Path of Transformation for the Modern Jew

and

A Spiritual and Ethical Compendium to the Torah and Talmud

You can learn more about these books at:

www.JewishSpiritualRenewal.org
ALL ENTRIES ARE (C) AND PUBLISHED BY RABBI ARTHUR SEGAL JEWISH SPIRITUAL RENEWAL, INC, AND NOT BY ANY INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEE OF SAID CORPORATION. THIS APPLIES TO 3 OTHER BLOGS (CHUMASH, ECO, SPIRITUALITY) AND WEB SITES PUBLISHED BY SAID CORPORATION.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

BLUFFTON SUN: JULY 2016: RABBI ARTHUR SEGAL: MODERN LESSONS FROM ANCIENT FAST

 

BLUFFTON SUN: JULY 2016: RABBI ARTHUR SEGAL:

MODERN LESSONS FROM ANCIENT FAST

 JULY 2016: BLUFFTON SUN :RABBI DR ARTHUR SEGAL

Shalom and greetings:

In our tour through the Jewish calendar this year, we arrive at July 24, the fast day of 17th Tammuz,  and the beginning of ''the three weeks'' ending with the fast day of Tisha B'Av,  August 14th.  {The 17th is really on 7/23, but because Jews do not fast on Shabbat, it is commemorated on Sunday].  

Talmud Yerushalmi Ta'anit 4:5 teaches that five terrible things happened on Tammuz 17:

1. The tablets of the Ten Commandments were broken because the Israelites lost faith and worshiped the Golden Calf circa 1300 B.C.E.

2. The daily sacrifice was canceled as all animals had been eaten during  Jerusalem's  siege.

3. Jerusalem's wall was breached in 70 CE as Jews had hatred [sinat chinam] amongst each other. 

4. A Roman general burned the Torah.  

5. Hebrew King Meneshe set up an idol in the First Temple.

Most of us have seen Charlton Heston's portrayal of Moses smashing the Tablets. You probably won't be surprised to learn that the Talmud's different version.

Rabbi Shmuel  bar Nachman said: "The tablets were six handbreadths long and three broad. Moses was holding on to two handbreadths and God, was holding on to two of them and there was a space of two handbreadths in the middle. When the Israelites worshiped the golden calf, God wanted to grab them out of the hand of Moses. But Moses's hand was stronger and he seized them from Him." Rabbi Yochanan said: "The tablets wanted to fly, but Moses was holding on to them." Rabbi Nehemiah taught: "The writing itself flew off the tablets." (ibid).

Many of us smash The Tablets daily with our behaviors. Some treat the strangers among us, or even our fellows, without love. Many of us deny God, but curse Him when things do not go our way. While Traditional Jews are praying these three weeks for the restoration of the Temple and mourning its loss, I am praying for the return of civility and spirituality for all people. I am praying for the final dissolution of 'sinat chinam', hatred among us, either interpersonal, or sect versus sect. I am praying for the true establishment of loving our fellows as ourselves.

This is the modern lesson of Tammuz 17. Will you join me?

Rabbi Arthur Segal is an international lecturer, author, and teacher. Visit him at www.JewishSpiritualRenewal.org  . Email at RabbiASegal@aol.com   . 

 
RABBI DR ARTHUR SEGAL
 www.JewishSpiritualRenewal.com/books www.FaceBook.com/Arthur.L.Segal www.FaceBook.com/RabbiArthurSegalJewishSpiritualRenewal www.RabbiArthurSegal.blogspot.com
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