Tenth of Tevet

Tenth of Tevet (Hebrew: עשרה בטבת‎, Asarah BeTevet), the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tevet, is a fast day in Judaism. It is one of the minor fasts observed from before dawn to nightfall. The fasting is in mourning of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia—an event that began on that date and ultimately culminated in the destruction of Solomon's Temple (the First Temple) and the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah (today the southern West Bank).

The day has no relationship to Hanukkah, but it happens to follow that festival by a week. Whether the 10th of Tevet falls 7 or 8 days after Hanukkah depends on whether the preceding Hebrew month of Kislev has 29 or 30 days in the relevant year.

Tenth of Tevet
Official nameHebrew: עשרה בטבת
Observed byJews
TypeJewish religious, national
SignificanceRemembers the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylonia
Begins10 Tevet at 72 minutes before sunrise
Endsat the beginning of 11 Tevet
2018 dateDecember 18, 2018[1]
2019 dateJanuary 7, 2020 (rather than in December 2019)
2020 dateDecember 25, 2020
FrequencyAnnual (per Hebrew Calendar)[note 1]


According to II Kings,[2] on the 10th day of the 10th month (Tevet)[note 2], in the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign (588 BCE), Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, began the siege of Jerusalem. 18 months later, on the 17th of Tammuz at the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah's reign[note 3] (586 BCE), he broke through the city walls.[3] The siege ended with the destruction of the Temple three weeks later, on the 9th of Av (Tisha B'Av), the end of the first Kingdoms and the exile of the Jewish people to Babylon. The Tenth of Tevet is thus considered part of the cycle of fasts connected with these events, which includes Shivah Asar B'Tammuz (17th of Tammuz) and Tisha B'Av (9th of Av).

The first reference to the Tenth of Tevet as a fast appears in the Book of Zechariah,[4] where it is called the "fast of the tenth month." One opinion in the Talmud [5] states that the "fast of the tenth month" refers to the fifth of Tevet, when, according to Ezekiel,[6] news of the destruction of the Temple reached those already in exile in Babylon. However, the tenth is the date observed today, according to the other opinion presented in the Talmud.[7] Other references to the fast and the affliction can be found in the books of Ezekiel (the siege)[8] and Jeremiah.[9][10]

According to tradition, as described by the liturgy for the day's selichot, the fast also commemorates other calamities that occurred throughout Jewish history on the tenth of Tevet and the two days preceding it:

  • On the eighth of Tevet one year during the 3rd century BCE, a time of Hellenistic rule of Judea during the Second Temple period, Ptolemy, King of Egypt, ordered the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, a work which later became known as the Septuagint.[11] Seventy two sages were placed in solitary confinement and ordered to translate the Torah into Greek. According to Jewish belief and literature it is known that no two renditions of the translation from the rabbinical sages matched each other but under threat of death to themselves and there families the Rabbi's were forced to come to a consensus. Judaism see's this event as a tragedy, as it reflected a deprivation and debasement of the divine nature of the Torah, and a subversion of its spiritual and literal qualities. They reasoned that upon translation from the original Hebrew, the Torah's legal codes and deeper layers of meaning would be lost. Many Jewish laws are formulated in terms of specific Hebrew words employed in the Torah; without the original Hebrew wording, the authenticity and essence of the legal system would be damaged. The mystical ideas contained in the Torah are also drawn from the original Hebrew. As such, these would not be accessed by individuals studying the Torah in Greek (or any other language) alone.
  • On the ninth of Tevet, "something happened, but we do not know what it was..." (Shulchan Aruch). The selichot liturgy for the day states that Ezra the Scribe, the great leader who brought some Jews back to the Holy Land from the Babylonian exile and who ushered in the era of the Second Temple, died on this day, and this is verified by the Kol Bo. But according to the earlier sources (the Geonim as recorded by Bahag and cited in Tur Orach Chaim 580), the specific tragedy of 9 Tevet is unknown. Some manuscripts of Bahag (not those available to the Tur) add that Ezra and Nechemiah died on this day—but only after first stating that the Rabbis have given no reason for why the day is tragic. Other suggestions are given as to why the ninth of Tevet is notable as well.[12]


As with all minor Jewish fast days, the Tenth of Tevet begins at dawn (alot ha-shahar) and concludes at nightfall (tzeit hakochavim). In accordance with the general rules of minor fasts as set forth in the Shulchan Aruch,[13] and in contrast to Tisha B'Av, there are no additional physical constraints beyond fasting (such as the prohibitions against bathing or of wearing leather shoes). Because it is a minor fast day, Halacha exempts from fasting those who are ill, even if their illnesses are not life-threatening, and pregnant and nursing women who find fasting difficult.[14] The Mishnah Berurah notes that it is still commendable to observe all the restrictions of Tisha B'Av on the minor fast days (except the restriction of wearing leather shoes). Even so, it says, one should not refrain from bathing in preparation for Shabbat when the Tenth of Tevet falls out on a Friday.[15]

A Torah reading, the Aneinu prayer in the Amidah, and the Avinu Malkeinu prayer are added at both Shacharit and Mincha services in many communities, unless the fast falls on Friday, when Tachanun and Avinu Malkeinu are not said at Mincha. At Shacharit services, Selichot are also said, and at Mincha, in Ashkenazic congregations, the Haftarah is read.[16]

The Tenth of Tevet is the only minor fast day that can coincide with Friday in the current Jewish calendar. When it does, the unusual event of a Torah and Haftarah reading at the Mincha service right before Shabbat takes place. This is fairly rare; the most recent occurrence was in 2013, while the next will happen in 2020. If it falls on Friday, the fast must be observed until nightfall, even though Shabbat begins before sunset (up to 72 minutes earlier, depending on the halachic authority), and even though this requires one to enter Shabbat hungry from the fast, something typically avoided. It cannot be determined for sure whether other fasts would have the same ruling, because no other fast day can fall out on Friday.[note 4]

Although this fast is considered a minor fast, the Abudirham attributed to it an additional theoretical stringency not shared by any other fast except Yom Kippur, namely that if the Tenth of Tevet were to fall out on a Shabbat, this fast would actually be observed on Shabbat. (This cannot happen under the current arrangement of the Hebrew calendar.) The reason the fasts of the Tenth of Tevet and Yom Kippur must be observed on the actual day on which they occur is because of the phrase "the very day" (עצם היום הזה) is used in reference to both of them, in Ezekiel 24:2[17] in reference to the Tenth of Tevet, and similarly for Yom Kippur in Leviticus 23:28.[18] This view is rejected by the Beit Yosef and all other major halakhic authorities, but was popularized by Rabbi Moses Sofer, who wrote a homily based on the philosophy behind this view.

Although the Tenth of Tevet is an annual observance on the Jewish calendar, its placement around the end of the Gregorian calendar year means that in some Gregorian years, there is no observance of the fast, while in other years, the fast is observed twice. Thus, the Tenth of Tevet does not occur at all in 2019. Instead, the "2019" observance of the fast will take place in January 2020, while the subsequent observance will occur in December 2020.[19]

Day of general kaddish

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel chose to observe the Tenth of Tevet as a "general kaddish day" (yom hakaddish ha'klalli) to allow the relatives of victims of the Holocaust, and whose yahrtzeits (anniversaries of their deaths) is unknown, to observe the traditional yahrtzeit practices for the deceased, including lighting a memorial candle, learning mishnayot and reciting the kaddish. According to the policy of the Chief Rabbinate in Israel, the memorial prayer is also recited in synagogues, after the reading of the Torah at the morning services.[20][21] To some religious Jews, this day is preferable as a remembrance day to Yom HaShoah, since the latter occurs in the month of Nisan, in which mourning is traditionally prohibited.

See also


  1. ^ On the "secular" (Gregorian) calendar, this can result in some Gregorian years having no occurrence, while others have two. For example, there is an occurrence in December 2018. The following occurrence is in January 2020 (2019 having been skipped), while the occurrence after that is in December 2020 (two occurrences in 2020).
  2. ^ Counting from Nisan, per Exodus 12:1–2 See Hebrew calendar § New year.
  3. ^ In the Biblical calendar, each year in the reign of the Kings of Judah or Israel is dated from 1 Nissan. For example, even if a king began his reign on 29 Adar, a day prior to 1 Nissan, the next day would already be tabulated as Year 2 of his reign. Hence, Tevet (tenth month) of Year 9 of Zedekiah is only 18 months prior to Tammuz (fourth month) of Year 11 of Zedekiah.
  4. ^ However, the Ninth of Av can fall out on Saturday night into Sunday, and in such a case one observes all stringencies of the fast (except the prohibition of wearing leather shoes) from sunset on Saturday evening.


  1. ^ "Asara B'Tevet – Fast commemorating the siege of Jerusalem". www.hebcal.com. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  2. ^ 2Kings 25:1–25:4
  3. ^ Jeremiah 52.6–7
  4. ^ Zechariah 8:19
  5. ^ Rosh Hashanah 18b
  6. ^ Ezekiel 33:21
  7. ^ "Tenth of Tevet"
  8. ^ Ezekiel 24:1–24:2
  9. ^ Jeremiah 52:4–52:6
  10. ^ The Tenth of Tevet – Asarah B'Tevet (at jewishagency.org)
  11. ^ Tur Orach Chaim 580, quoting Bahag.
  12. ^ "Jewish Perspectives on Early Christianity - Nittel, the Ninth of Teves and Pope Simon Peter (Dr. Shnayer Leiman)". www.yutorah.org.
  13. ^ Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 549–550, 561–562
  14. ^ Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 550:2.
  15. ^ Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 550 s.k. 6.
  16. ^ Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 566
  17. ^ Ezekiel 24:2
  18. ^ Leviticus 23:28
  19. ^ "Asara B'Tevet – Fast commemorating the siege of Jerusalem – עשרה בטבת | Hebcal Jewish Calendar". www.hebcal.com. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
  20. ^ Tevet 10 – Holidays
  21. ^ Amar, Shlomo. "Letter of the Rishon Le'Tzion concerning the 10th of Tevet" (PDF) (in Hebrew). Retrieved 16 December 2013.

External links

2009 in Israel

Events in the year 2009 in Israel.


Aneinu, also transliterated as Aneynu or Anainu (Hebrew for "answer us") is a Jewish prayer of atonement, asking God to forgive and protect his followers. It is most often recited by a cantor on public fast days including the Fast of Gedaliah, the Tenth of Tevet, the Fast of Esther, the 17th of Tammuz, and Tisha B'Av.

The prayer (translated below) is added into the weekday Shemoneh Esrei on the above fast days during the Afternoon service.

Break fast

Not to be confused with Breakfast, also with a meaning of "breaking of the fast."A break-fast in Judaism is the meal eaten after fast days meals such as Yom Kippur and Tisha B'Av. During a Jewish fast, no food or drink is consumed, including bread and water. The major fasts last over 25 hours, from before sundown on the previous night until after sundown on the day of the fast. Four other shorter fasts during the year begin at dawn and end after sunset. In Islam fasting mostly occurs during the month of "Ramadan" where Muslims fast for the whole duration of the month for around 30 continuous days. The fasting starts at dawn and ends by sunset where the first meal "break fast" is eaten. During the time of fast no form of food and drinks are consumed.


December is the twelfth and final month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and is the seventh and last of seven months to have a length of 31 days.

December got its name from the Latin word decem (meaning ten) because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar, which began in March. The winter days following December were not included as part of any month. Later, the months of January and February were created out of the monthless period and added to the beginning of the calendar, but December retained its name.In Ancient Rome, as one of the four Agonalia, this day in honor of Sol Indiges was held on December 11, as was Septimontium. Dies natalis (birthday) was held at the temple of Tellus on December 13, Consualia was held on December 15, Saturnalia was held December 17–23, Opiconsivia was held on December 19, Divalia was held on December 21, Larentalia was held on December 23, and the dies natalis of Sol Invictus was held on December 25. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar.

The Anglo-Saxons referred to December–January as Ġēolamonaþ (modern English: "Yule month"). The French Republican Calendar contained December within the months of Frimaire and Nivôse.


Dieting is the practice of eating food in a regulated and supervised fashion to decrease, maintain, or increase body weight, or to prevent and treat diseases, such as diabetes. A restricted diet is often used by those who are overweight or obese, sometimes in combination with physical exercise, to reduce body weight. Some people follow a diet to gain weight (usually in the form of muscle). Diets can also be used to maintain a stable body weight and improve health.

Diets to promote weight loss can be categorized as: low-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, very low calorie and more recently flexible dieting. A meta-analysis of six randomized controlled trials found no difference between low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, and low-fat diets, with a 2–4 kilogram weight loss over 12–18 months in all studies. At two years, all calorie-reduced diet types cause equal weight loss irrespective of the macronutrients emphasized. In general, the most effective diet is any which reduces calorie consumption.A study published in American Psychologist found that short-term dieting involving "severe restriction of calorie intake" does not lead to "sustained improvements in weight and health for the majority of individuals". Other studies have found that the average individual maintains some weight loss after dieting. Weight loss by dieting, while of benefit to those classified as unhealthy, may slightly increase the mortality rate for individuals who are otherwise healthy.The first popular diet was "Banting", named after William Banting. In his 1863 pamphlet, Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public, he outlined the details of a particular low-carbohydrate, low-calorie diet that had led to his own dramatic weight loss.

Ezra in rabbinic literature

Allusions in rabbinic literature to the Biblical character of Ezra, the leader and lawgiver who brought some of the Judean exiles back from Babylonian captivity, contain various expansions, elaborations and inferences beyond what is presented in the text of the Bible itself.

Jerusalem in Judaism

Since the 10th century BCE Jerusalem has been the holiest city, focus and spiritual center of the Jews.Jerusalem has long been embedded into Jewish religious consciousness and Jews have always studied and personalized the struggle by King David to capture Jerusalem and his desire to build the Holy Temple there, as described in the Book of Samuel and the Book of Psalms. Many of King David's yearnings about Jerusalem have been adapted into popular prayers and songs. Jews believe that in the future the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem will become the center of worship and instruction for all mankind and consequently Jerusalem will become the spiritual center of the world.

Jewish holidays

Jewish holidays, also known as Jewish festivals or Yamim Tovim (ימים טובים, "Good Days", or singular יום טוב Yom Tov, in transliterated Hebrew [English: ]), are holidays observed in Judaism and by Jews throughout the Hebrew calendar. They include religious, cultural and national elements, derived from three sources: Biblical mitzvot ("commandments"); rabbinic mandates; Jewish history and the history of the State of Israel.

Jewish holidays occur on the same dates every year in the Hebrew calendar, but the dates vary in the Gregorian. This is because the Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar (i.e., based on the cycles of both the sun and moon), whereas the Gregorian is a solar calendar.

Psalm 74

Psalm 74 (Greek numbering: 73) is part of the Biblical Book of Psalms. A community lament, it expresses the pleas of the Jewish community in the Babylonian captivity. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 73 in a slightly different numbering system.

Public holidays in Israel

Note: for exact dates in the Gregorian calendar see Jewish holidays 2000-2050.

Public holidays in Israel refers to national holidays officially recognized by the Knesset, Israel's parliament. The State of Israel has adopted most traditional religious Jewish holidays as part of its national calendar, while also having established new modern holiday observances since its founding in 1948. Of the religious and modern holidays below, some are bank holidays / federal holidays requiring all schools, government institutions, financial sector, and most retailers in Jewish Israeli society to be closed, while other holidays are marked as days of note or memorial remembrances with no breaks in public or private sector activities.

As is the case with all religious Jewish holidays, most public holidays in Israel generally begin and end at sundown, and follow the Hebrew calendar. Because of this, most holidays in Israel fall on a different Gregorian calendar date each year, which syncs every 19 years with the Hebrew calendar.

Shabbat, the weekly Sabbath day of rest, in Israel begins every Friday evening just before sundown, ending Saturday evening just after sundown. Most of the Israeli workforce, including schools, banks, public transportation, government offices, and retailers within Jewish Israeli society are shut down during these approximately 25 hours, with some non-Jewish retailers and most non-kosher restaurants still open.


The Septuagint (from the Latin: septuāgintā literally "seventy", often abbreviated as LXX and sometimes called the Greek Old Testament) is the earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures from the original Hebrew. It is estimated that the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or Pentateuch, were translated in the mid-3rd century BCE and the remaining texts were translated in the 2nd century BCE. Considered the primary Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is quoted a number of times in the New Testament,particularly in the Pauline epistles,by the Apostolic Fathers, and later by the Greek Church Fathers.

The full title in Ancient Greek: Ἡ τῶν Ἑβδομήκοντα μετάφρασις, literally "The Translation of the Seventy", derives from the story recorded in the Letter of Aristeas that the Septuagint was translated at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus(285–247 BCE) by 70 Jewish scholars (or, according to later tradition, 72: six scholars from each of the twelve tribes of Israel) who independently produced identical translations. The miraculous character of the Aristeas legend is indicative of the esteem in which the translation was held in the ancient Jewish diaspora and, later, early Christian circles.

According to later rabbinic tradition (for which the Greek translation was regarded as a distortion of the sacred text, and thus not suitable for use in the synagogue), the Septuagint was handed in to Ptolemy on the date of an annual fast (known as the "Tenth of Tevet fast") and mourning for the Jewish people. Be that as it may, it is clear that a Greek translation was in circulation among the Alexandrian Jews who were not fluent in Hebrew, but in lingua franca Greek. The evidence of Egyptian papyri from the period have led most scholars to view as probable Aristeas's dating of the translation of the Pentateuch to the third century B.C.E. Grätz ("Gesch. der Juden", 3d ed., iii. 615) stands alone in assigning it to the reign of Philometor (181–146 B.C.[E.]). Whatever share the Ptolemaic court may have had in the translation, it evidently satisfied a pressing need felt by the Jewish community, among whom a knowledge of Hebrew was rapidly waning before the demands of every-day life."The Septuagint should not be confused with other Greek versions of the Old Testament, most of which did not survive except as fragments (some parts of these being known from Origen's Hexapla, a comparison of six translations in adjacent columns, now almost wholly lost). Of these, the most important are those by Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion.

Modern critical editions of the Septuagint are based on the Codices Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, and Alexandrinus.

Seventeenth of Tammuz

The Seventeenth of Tammuz (Hebrew: שבעה עשר בתמוז‎ Shiv'ah Asar b'Tammuz) is a Jewish fast day commemorating the breach of the walls of Jerusalem before the destruction of the Second Temple. It falls on the 17th day of the 4th Hebrew month of Tammuz and marks the beginning of the three-week mourning period leading up to Tisha B'Av.The day also traditionally commemorates the destruction of the two tablets of the Ten Commandments and other historical calamities that befell the Jewish people on the same date.


A ta'anit (taanis in Ashkenaz pronunciation, or taʿanith in Classical Hebrew) is a fast in Judaism in which one abstains from all food and drink, including water. A Jewish fast may have one or more purposes, including:

A tool for repentance

An expression of mourning

Supplication, such as the Fast of Esther.

Temple in Jerusalem

The Temple in Jerusalem was any of a series of structures which were located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. These successive temples stood at this location and functioned as a site of ancient Israelite and later Jewish worship. It is also called the Holy Temple (Hebrew: בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, Modern: Bēt HaMīqdaš, Tiberian: Bēṯ HaMīqdāš, Ashkenazi: Bēs HaMīqdoš; Arabic: بيت المقدس Beit Al-Maqdis; Ge'ez: ቤተ መቅደስ: Betä Mäqdäs).


Tevet (Hebrew: טֵבֵת‎, Standard Tevet; Sephardim/Yemenite/Mizrachim Tebeth; Ashkenazi Teves; Tiberian Ṭēḇēṯ; from Akkadian ṭebētu) is the fourth month of the civil year and the tenth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It follows Kislev and precedes Shevat. It is a winter month of 29 days. Tevet usually occurs in December–January on the Gregorian calendar.

Tisha B'Av

Tisha B'Av (Hebrew: תִּשְׁעָה בְּאָב IPA: [tiʃʕa bəˈʔav] (listen), lit. "the ninth of Av") is an annual fast day in Judaism, on which a number of disasters in Jewish history occurred, primarily the destruction of both Solomon's Temple by the Neo-Babylonian Empire and the Second Temple by the Roman Empire in Jerusalem.

Tisha B'Av is regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar and it is thus believed to be a day which is destined for tragedy. Tisha B'Av falls in July or August in the Gregorian calendar.

The observance of the day includes five prohibitions, most notable of which is a 25-hour fast. The Book of Lamentations, which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem is read in the synagogue, followed by the recitation of kinnot, liturgical dirges that lament the loss of the Temples and Jerusalem. As the day has become associated with remembrance of other major calamities which have befallen the Jewish people, some kinnot also recall events such as the murder of the Ten Martyrs by the Romans, massacres in numerous medieval Jewish communities during the Crusades, and the Holocaust.

Yom HaShoah

Yom Hazikaron laShoah ve-laG'vurah (יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורה; "Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day"), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah (יום השואה) and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Day, is observed as Israel's day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, and for the Jewish resistance in that period. In Israel, it is a national memorial day. The first official commemorations took place in 1951, and the observance of the day was anchored in a law passed by the Knesset in 1959. It is held on the 27th of Nisan (April/May), unless the 27th would be adjacent to the Jewish Sabbath, in which case the date is shifted by a day.

Zechariah 8

Zechariah 8 is the eighth chapter of the Book of Zechariah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Zechariah, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.

Jewish and Israeli holidays and observances
Jewish holidays and
Holidays / memorial days
of the State of Israel
Ethnic minority holidays
Hebrew calendar months

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