On Thursday (June 30) we began the Hebrew month of Tammuz, a month that features many significant events throughout our history.
It starts with the anniversary of the birth date and death date of Yosef (Joseph) on the first day of the month. He was so great that he was awarded by our Patriach Yaakov a double portion of his inheritance (Bava Batra 123).
It takes a positive turn on the 3rd of Tammuz (July 2) when Joshua kept the sun still (Joshua 10:12-14) in a war that the Jews fought in defense of our allies the ‘Givonim,’ while the Jews waged war against the Canaanite nations. Joshua kept the sun still, in order to halt the daytime so that the Jews would not go into war desecrating Shabbat.
The month then takes on a sad trajectory as on the 9th of Tammuz (July 8) the Jerusalem walls were breached by the Babylonian army of King Nebuchadnezzar and the city was invaded (Rosh Hashana 18b), whereafter King Ziddikiahu of Judah was captured and taken to Babylon.
Then, on the 17th Tammuz (July 16) we have a fast day to mourn FIVE calamities. These include the Jerusalem walls being breached again, an idol being erected in the Temple, and Moses breaking the first Tablets (Luchot).
This year as it falls on a Shabbat the fast will be on Sunday July 17. This is also the start of the ‘Three Week of Mourning’ until Tishah B'Av, during which we refrain from weddings and undertake a measure of mourning for the destruction of the Temple. This was the period between the fall of Jerusalem and the Destruction of the Temple.
As Hashems servants our job is not only to worship him through action but also with our emotion. Tammuz truly is a month where we take an emotional roller coaster (whilst also being on summer break!).
May we merit that Hashem will see our devotion and bring the final redemption speedily in our days.