The Biblical Significance of the Month of Tammuz
Tammuz is the fourth month of the Hebrew calendar. It ushers in the long hot summer, a period which continues in the following months of Av and Elul. The next major holiday comes in the fall in the month of Tishri.
One theme resonates throughout the summer months: mourning the tragedies in Jewish history, in particular the destruction of the Temple. It starts in Tammuz with the fast of the fourth month, the 17th of Tammuz—in Jewish tradition, it commemorates the day when the walls of Jerusalem were breached. Jeremiah describes that “in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month … the city wall was broken through” (Jeremiah 52:6-7). Six hundred years later, approximately at the same time, the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans (in 69 C.E.). In both cases, destruction of the Temple followed.