The Month of Elul
Elul is a month of mercy and forgiveness.
In preparation for the High Holy Days the days of judgment that culminate in Yom Kippur, during Elul we pay special attention
to blessings, greetings, prayer, forgiveness and confession, charity, acts of repentence, and our relationships with our fellow-man.
The name Elul is Babylonian, and is mentioned in the book of Nehemia: So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth day of Elul (Nehemia 6:15).
(With thanks to Brother Norman Silbert)
17th of Tamuz - Day of Fasting
The 17th day of the month of Tammuz, marks the beginning of a three-week mourning period for the destruction
of the Holy Temples. On this day 1,934 years ago, the conquering Romans breached the
walls of Jerusalem, leading to the
burning of the Second Temple on the ninth day of Av, three weeks later. (The first Holy Temple was also destroyed on the ninth
of Av, some 500 years earlier.) Jews around the world are fasting today in commemoration of the Jerusalem wall-breach, the
breaking of the Tablets of the Law at Sinai 3,314 years ago, and other tragedies that occurred on this date.