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Roman Siege of Jerusalem, 70 CE (3830)

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: Hebrew Calendar Alert - 17th of Tammuz, 3830 (July 14th, 70 CE)




The walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Roman Army #onthisday leading to the imminent destruction of the Second Temple 3 weeks later. Observant Jews around the world will be observing a 12 hour fast today from sunrise to sunset. We wish everybody fasting an easy and meaningful day.


A siege around Jerusalem had been in place since the 12th of Nissan (about 3 months earlier). The Jews had a limited amount of food and it is written that a significant amount starved to death. Then, today, on the 17th of Tammuz, the Roman Army led by Titus breached the walls and continued to fight and kill the Jews inside Jerusalem. This culminated with the destruction of the 2nd Temple on the 9th of Av. The Romans then captured the Jews and those over seventeen were sent to work whereas those under seventeen were sold into servitude. The Romans renamed Judea as Palestine and Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina.


The destruction of the Temple forced a shift in the practice of Judaism. Instead of a faith centered around sacrifices in the Temple, prayer services were enacted and Rabbinic Judaism became a central focus.

It is also passed down in Jewish tradition that four other tragic events happened #onthisday. The first is that Moses broke the Tablets because the Jewish Nation had built the Golden Calf, an idol. The second is that while under siege prior to the destruction of the First Temple, the Jews ran out of animals and were forced to suspend the daily offerings given in the Temple. Also during the first Temple Era, an idol was placed inside on this day. The Romans were responsible for the remaining events: the breaching of the walls and Apostamos (a Roman general) burned a Torah Scroll from Ezra's time.


Today, begins a three week period of mourning leading up to the 9th of Av. During this period, many Jews refrain from having weddings, eating festive meals, getting their haircuts, or listening to music.



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