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It’s good to be back!
Today is an important day in the Jewish calendar.
The 17th day in the month of Tamuz.
It’s a fast day. Commemorating many tragedies that happened on this day.
… It goes all the way back to the Torah.
Over 3000 years ago.
When Moshe comes down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments.
And sees that the Jews have made the Golden Calf!
(Can’t even think of trying that story in a minute!)
And Moshe smashes the Tablets!
The Jewish People had broken their relationship with G-d.
… And since then, this has been a tragic day in Jewish history.
The Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in the year 70.
And it was on the 17th day of Tamuz that they broke through the walls of Jerusalem.
The beginning of the end.
But the Romans were not only out to destroy Jerusalem.
They were out to destroy Judaism!
And on the 17th of Tamuz they did something for the first time.
They burned a Torah scroll in public.
…Unfortunately, many Torahs have been burned since then.
But the Jews never gave up hope.
… The Talmud tells the story of Rabbi Chanina.
He was burned at the stake by the Romans.
They wrapped him in a Torah scroll and set it on fire.
As the fire raged, one of his students asked him, “Master, what do you see?”
Rabbi Chanina’s reply was amazing.
And it has inspired Jews throughout history.
He answered, “I see that the parchment is burning.
But the letters are flying up to the heavens!”
Rabbi Chanina knew that the message of the Torah is eternal. Can not be destroyed.
And it will outlive our enemies.
… I find days like today fascinating.
It’s supposed to be a sad day. To remind us of Jewish suffering.
But at the same time?
I find myself inspired by the miracle of Jewish survival!
… All the best,