About the Month of Tammuz

Tammuz, the tenth month of the civil year and the fourth month of the religious year, always has 29 days. The zodiac sign of the month of Tammuz is Cancer. The word Tammuz is of Babylonian origin, Tammuz being the name of a god who figured prominently in the Summerian and Babylonian pantheon. While the Bible refers several times to the "fourth month," the word Tammuz appears only in reference to the Babylonian god: (Ezekiel 8:14). "Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was towards the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz."

graphic Hebrew text

17 Tammuz: The breachings of the walls of Jerusalem by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE, and by the Roman emperor Titus in 70 CE are commemorated on this day. [more]

The Talmud also associates this date with several additional sad and memorable events:

  • the day Moses smashed the first tablets of the Law;
  • the day that the daily sacrifices in the Second Temple came to an end;
  • the day the Romans set up an idol in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
The date marks the commencement of the annual three weeks of mourning culminating in the fast of Tish'ah be-Av. According to tradition, Noah also sent a dove out of the ark of the 17th of Tammuz.



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