Transforming violence into peace (Radical Torah repost)
Seven jewels from smicha week

Taking note of 17 Tammuz

Today is 17 Tammuz, a minor fast day in which we remember the long ago day when the walls around Jerusalem were breached, the first step toward the destruction of 9 Av. It's also considered to be the anniversary of the day when Moshe shattered the first set of tablets upon seeing the Golden Calf -- a different kind of breakage.

I wrote a post about this day two years ago, Reflections on 17 Tammuz. I don't have anything new to add, so I'll just point you there again.

I'm not fasting today, for obvious reasons, but if you are, I hope that your fast is meaningful. May we find a way today to be open to whatever may flow through the places in us which are broken, remembering that our brokenness can be a place where holiness is found.

On a semi-related note, I wanted to point to a new initiative which recently came across my desk: Fast for Gaza. "In Jewish tradition a communal fast is held in times of crisis both as an expression of mourning and a call to repentance. In this spirit, Ta'anit Tzedek – Jewish Fast for Gaza is a collective act of conscience initiated by an ad hoc group of rabbis, Jews, people of faith, and all concerned with the ongoing crisis in Gaza." I'm inspired to see so many of my colleagues and teachers already on the list.

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