Sunday December 27 is the 10th of Tevet. This is a fast day (sunrise to sunset) throughout the generations. What is this about?
On the physical level it “commemorates the day the Nebuchanezzer was allowed to surround Jerusalem and begin the destruction of the Temple. So what!
It was 19 months later on the 9th of Av that the Temple was destroyed. So Why fast in Tevet. In Kabbala we do not “commemorate” physical actions because they are not the cause of anything – only the effect. To change something eternally we must go to the cause.
So what is the cause for this effect – The Physical Destruction of the Temple?
For centuries before this destruction we have prophecies telling us that the Temple will be destroyed. The Prophets did tell us that to continue on your path will cause you to loose the benefit of the Temple and its ability through personal Sacrifice and Avodah to balance the negative actions of all 70 Nations, especially the Children of Israel. We did not change! We continued on this same path. The path that we continue to pursue. The Path caused by the desire to receive for one self alone.
The sages instituted this fast on the 10th of Tevet to give US PAUSE – to think about what we are doing that does not allow the Temple to be rebuilt. Our sages teach every generation that does not rebuild the Temple is like the generation that caused its “destruction.
Please take the time to reflect (even for 5 minutes or longer). How can i be a person who loves more and hates less? This is the purpose of the fast. How can i look at the beauty and pleasures given to us in this physical world and take them for granted. How do i learn to appreciate the plea sures of life as well as appreciate the problems in life that cause me to grow closer to the Creator!
Here is some further Spiritual / Physical information. There is also a Morning to Evening fast on the 8th and 9th of Tevet. Today only a few know of these fasts and do them. All of them relate to similar ideas.
The 8th of Tevet fast was proclaimed when the Torah was translated into Greek. The Midrash teaches that Ptolemy the King of Egypt after Alexander the Great died and one of 4 Kings of “Provinces” of Alexanders World conquest brought 70 Jewish Sages together. Seperated them by putting them into different locations and rooms. Made it impossible for them to meet each other and discuss the translation and told them to Ttanslate the Torah under threat of Torture and Death.
When the 70 Translations were completed. They were compared and were found to be identical. Amazing if true. Tradition teaches there are 15 locations where if the Torah had been translated with Truth – it would be misunderstood by people who read it with an agenda of their own and would have caused even more destruction of the Jewish people over the centuries than occured. In these 15 locations the translations were in fact identical. Demonstrating the Hand of God within the action of the Sages. It also answers the question as to why these Sages did not choose death rather than follow the Halacha of the Day which was to never translate the Torah.
The fast of the 9th of Tevet was set as the Hilula or Yahrzeit of Ezra and Nechemniah. It came also to be used as a reaction to the Birth of the Man from Nazeret. This is similar to many people using the Fast of the 10th today to commemorate the our brothers and sisters who died in the Showa (Holocaust).
There was also a Fast Day on the First of Tevet (Prior to the establishment of the Holiday of Chanuka). This commemorates the deportation of King Yehoyachinn and the other “officials” to Babylon 9 years before the seige mentioned above.
What do all of these relate to? Why do we have this pattern of fast days in the month of Tevet? What is this all about?
There are 2 verses in the books of Prophets that need to be read to understand this spiritual issue. They are: Zachariah Chapter 8 Verse 19; and Kings 2 Chapter 25 Verse 1;. Here are the translations into English but i strongly suggest you use the Yeshshem website Bible Inquiry Page. Just use the drop down box to pick these 3 verses, one at a time.
Kings 2 Chapter 25:1
And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and encamped against it; and they built forts against it round about.
‘Thus saith the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, andr the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful seasons; therefore love ye truth and peace.
the physical issue is expressed in Kings 2 Chapter 25:1 while the spiritual law is expressed in Zachariah Chapter 8:19.
Rabbi Ginsburgh teaches that in the time of Mashiach there will be a Holiday that will start on the 25th of Kislev and run through the 10th of Tevet.
The purpose of all of these fasts, during this time before the Mashiach, is for us to do Tshuvah. To return to a righteous path. For 2500 years our Rabbi’s and teachers in all religions have taught us to conceal the teachings of the Kabbalah. For 2500 years, we have not rebuilt the Temple properly. When will that happen? When i change myself and become who i am meant to be! Please remember that i can not do this until you do it with me because we are always in unity.
Please start today by pausing and reflecting on how one can do Tshuvah for the destruction of the Temple. After all you are the cause of everything that happens in your life. We know this is a hard pill to swallow. You can say i caused all the good things! Are you willing to take responsibility for all of the painful things as well?
That is the beginning of Tshuvah!