Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

No Food Allowed

Chaya Baila Gavant and Shira Yehudit Djalilmand

We all need it to live. But what happens when it’s not available or not allowed, like on a fast day? Our bodies can manage for a short time without eating, though not forever. What’s the story behind fasting, and would anyone ever try it voluntarily?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

food chainAlthough the only fast day that appears in the Torah is Yom Kippur, four other fast days were established by the neviim, including “Tzom HaAsiri” — the fast of the tenth month, known as Asarah B’Teves.

We actually commemorate three separate sad events on Asarah B’Teves:

1) Targum Shiv’im, the first translation of Torah into Greek, at the command of the Greek emperor Talmei, on the 8th of Teves.

2) The deaths of Ezra and Nechemiah, leaders of the Jewish People at the beginning of the Second Beis HaMikdash, on the 9th of Teves.

3) The siege around Yerushalayim by Nebuchadnezzar, on the 10th of Teves, before the destruction of the First Beis HaMikdash.

What was the big tragedy in the translation of the Torah? Don’t we all translate the psukim when we learn them in school?

The translation ordered by Emperor Talmei was different from our translation, since it amounted to a kidnapping of the Torah for Greek purposes. No longer was the Torah the exclusive possession of the Jews; now it was accessible to non-Jews as well, and open to misinterpretation, as indeed happened.

Interestingly, at the end of the Second Beis HaMikdash, a sefer called Megillas Taanis was compiled, listing 35 dates on which minor fast days and holidays were declared in memory of various tragedies and salvations. After the destruction of the Second Beis HaMikdash, they were all abolished, except for Chanukah and Purim.


 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Top-Down Theory
Shoshana Friedman Our true currency, the accomplishments we value most
Strive for What Binds Us
Yonoson Rosenblum The chareidi community represents something of an oasis
Embracing Victimhood
Eytan Kobre Combating the allure of victimhood
The Kids Are Going to Camp, the Parents Are Going Broke
Miriam Klein Adelman Mindy has to feel good; it doesn’t matter that I feel ba...
Work/Life Solutions with Carlos Wigle
Moe Mernick “Rejection is Hashem’s protection” 
How to Create a Simple 900-Page Novel
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman All of us can reset the titles of our own lives
Stand There or Do Something
Baruch S. Fertel, MD, MPA, FACEP It’s called collaborative care, and it works miracles
I'm Here — Are You Ready?
Riki Goldstein Upbeat and catchy, but still makes listeners think
Back in Time
Riki Goldstein "I wish I could recapture that excitement"
Mixed Messages
Riki Goldstein The unsung craftsmen who give albums their special touch
Go in Peace
Faigy Peritzman Inner peace makes us vessels for blessing
All Work and No Play
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A life only about doing your duties loses all its color
Dying to Believe
With Rav Moshe Wolfson, written by Baila Vorhand Emunah peshutah is the force behind Jewish continuity