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The Jewish Months of Summer: Sivan and Tamuz

Updated on July 24, 2013

The Giving of the Tora and the Destruction of the Temple

B"H

The months of Sivan and Tamuz begin with good news -- the giving of the Tora -- and end with bad news -- the beginning of the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Sivan, which is represented by Twins (Gemini) usually coincides, for the most part, with June and Tamuz, which is the Crab (Cancer) usually coincides with July. Sivan begins with the holiday of Shavuot, the feast of weeks, which comes 7 weeks after Passover. Tamuz, on the other hand, is known for a fast day that comes in the middle of the month that leads into the saddest part of the Jewish calendar, the three weeks that lead up to the commemoration of the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem twice.

Sivan -- the month of twins

Each Jewish month has a "mazal" -- which corresponds to the zodiac constellations. Sivan is the month of Teumim -- twins or Gemini.

The twins represent the two stone tablets that Moshe (Moses) brought done from Mount Sinai with the 10 "Commandments" (Eseret HaDibrot in Hebrew -- This literally means "the 10 sayings")

The reason I say the 10 sayings is that the first one isn't really a commandment, it's G-d introducing Him/Herself and telling us why we need to pay attention to the Tora. The word for "Commandments" is Mitzvot and, in the Tora there are 613 Mitzvot, not 10. There are 7 Mitzvot that were given to Gentiles, these are mostly laws pertaining to being a decent human being (like not killing or stealing and setting up a court system). The Mitzvot in the Tora are designed to give people the best life they can have by helping them live within the world as good people.

Tammuz -- the beginning of the "end"

The 17th of Tammuz is a fast day that begins the mourning period colloquially called the three weeks. It commemorates the day that the siege was put on Jerusalem three weeks before the Temple was destroyed. Like most fast days on the Jewish calendar, Shiva Asar B'Tammuz (The 17th of Tammuz) is a "minor fast", meaning a sunrise to sunset fast (a major fast is a 24+ hour fast from sundown to sundown).

The siege around Jerusalem lasted from Shiva Asar B'Tammuz until Tisha B'Av (the 9th of Av).

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Compugraph Designs' Printfection Store (Jewish Holidays)

In addition to our Cafe Press and Zazzle sites (see modules above), we also have a store on "Printfection" which includes cutting boards (good wedding or housewarming gifts), mugs and cups, tees, etc.

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(Click on the picture to go directly to this product's page)

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