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The Biblical Significance of the Month of Tevet

Tevet is the tenth month in the Hebrew calendar, the word shares the root with the word tov, good. There are two notable historical commemorations: at the beginning of the month, the Chanukah festival continues from the previous month; the 10th of Tevet is a fasting day, commemorating the siege of Jerusalem by King Nebuchadnezzar which started in 425 BC (2 Kings 25:1-3).


The siege started on that day and it continued until two years later when the walls were breached (on the 17th of Tammuz) and finally the Temple was destroyed on the 9th of Av. The Jews commemorate all three calamities with a day of fasting and prayer, Tisha be Av being the most well-known one. Why they do so? Why remember a calamity, a defeat? I don’t know of a corresponding Christian practice: Christians do fast on Good Friday or on Christmas Eve, but it is always done with the positive outcome in mind, actually commemorating the ultimate victory of our Lord. Likewise, most nations celebrate their victories, the positive moments in their history: Independence Day, V Day, Reunification Day.

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