The Temple Institute: The 10th of Tevet: a Day of Fasting, Reflection, and Renewed Commitment to the Future



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The 10th of Tevet: a Day of Fasting, Reflection, and Renewed Commitment to the Future

Yitzchak Reuven
10 Tevet, 5765; December 22, 2004


The 10th day of the month of Tevet marks the beginning of the siege on the walls of Jerusalem, by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, in the year 586 BCE. This was the beginning of an unrelenting attack that culminated some three years later in the razing of Jerusalem, the destruction and looting of the Holy Temple, and the banishment of the Jews of the kingdom of Judea into exile in Babylon. These cataclysmic events were recorded both in the Book of Jeremiah, and in the Book of Lamentations, by the prophet Jeremiah.

Some 2590 years later, for the people of Israel and Jerusalem, and at the very location where the house of G-d once stood, the siege continues, unabated.

Some 2590 years later, evil traducers are still persisting in their relentless efforts to blot out any sign that a Temple once stood here, and to blot out any hope that the house of G-d will yet be built again.

And some 2590 years later, the defenders of Jerusalem are still building walls, believing that these new walls, unlike those that stood then, will somehow prove unbreachable. "Except that the L-rd build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Except that the L-rd keep the city, the watchmen wakes but in vain." (Psalms 127:1) Walls built in fear will not stand. Walls built without conviction, without trust in the future, without faith in the L-rd, will crumble before the first onslaught. But a house built for the L-rd, with the love of G-d in our hearts, is a house for the ages: "'For I,' says the L-rd, 'will be to her a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory in the midst of her.'" (Zechariah 2:9) With a steadfast heart and an unflinching hand, we can build for Him a house. For when G-d dwells within us, He will surely be a wall of fire about us. And that is a wall no manner of enemy can breach.



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