Time and Space: 10 th of Tevet

For many of us who grew up in Jewish camp we thought that camp was the Shabbat of our year. That is to say that Shabbat has a certain sanctity and quality in the week that our time in camp had compared to the rest of the year. So why am I writing about this today?

Today is also the Tenth of Tevet, an ancient minor fast day on the Jewish calendar, recalling the first breach in the walls of Jerusalem, under siege by the Assyrians, over 2,500 years ago. The breach brought about the fall of the city and the exile of the ten tribes. While this is a fairly rare occurrence, today this fast occurs on a Friday resulting in the unusual event of a Torah and Haftarah reading at the Mincha service right before Shabbat. Although this fast is considered a minor fast, it has an additional theoretical stringency not shared by any other fast except Yom Kippur, namely that it is observed on Shabbat. This is because of the phrase עצם היום הזה (“the very day”) that appears in Ezekiel 24:2, similar to the phrase בעצם היום הזה describing Yom Kippur in Leviticus 23:28. However under the current calendrical scheme, the Tenth of Tevet cannot fall on Shabbat. However, if it falls out on Friday, one must fast until nightfall, even though the Shabbat begins before sunset, and thus one does fast during Shabbat.

This causes an interesting confluence where we commemorate the siege on Jerusalem as we experience Shabbat itself being besieged. As is said earlier we camp people have a special understanding of this unique confluence of time in space.

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1 Response to “Time and Space: 10 th of Tevet”


  1. 1 Joel Bennett (@joelatbebercamp) December 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Interesting post. I was initially very confused by the Newcastle Cabbie video that appeared at the end of the blog entry — trying to figure out what the two have to do with one another. As it turns out, nothing. Your blog entry was being besieged by hipster beer.


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