Seventeenth of Tammuz — “Break Two Tablets, and Fuggedaboutit!!”

The Talmud tells us that there were five tragic events that took place on the Seventeenth of Tammuz:

  1. Moses broke the Tablets with the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai…

I have always wondered about the first reason stated by our Sages, that we mourn due to the breaking of the Tablets.  I would think they should emphasize the CAUSE of the breakage…

Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai, carrying two stone Tablets, miraculously engraved by the Almighty with the words of the Ten Commandments.  Obviously, thought Moses, the people weren’t ready to possess such a sacred gift:

When He approached the camp, and saw the Calf and the celebrations, Moses burned with anger, and he cast the Tablets out of his hands, and smashed them at the base of the mountain.”  (Verse 19)

This sin of idol worship is probably the greatest communal sin ever committed by the Nation of Israel.

In view of this major stain on our historical record, why is it not listed as the real reason that we mourn on the Seventeenth of Tammuz?  Why do our Sages not state that on the Seventeenth of Tammuz, a mere 40 days after hearing the Ten Commandments, the People of Israel sunk to the depraved level of singing and dancing around and golden trinket and calling it a god???!  The broken Tablets were merely the result of this sin; but it’s the sin itself that should be considered the reason to mourn and to fast.

The rest of this message can be read by clicking here.

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Published in: on May 4, 2014 at 8:03 am  Leave a Comment  

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