Dec 31, 2006

10 Teves full circle

Today is the Fast Day of 10 Teves, well known as "Asara B'Teves".

Today's fast remembers the beginning of the destruction of the first Beis Hamikdash, the Temple in Jerusalem. On the 10th of Teves, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon laid siege to jerusalem. The siege lasted for 3 years, but the siege which began on 10 Teves 3336 (from creation, or 425 BCE) was the beginning of the end.

My shul last night held its annual siyum hashas. This shul, for the past 4 years, divides the Talmud into sections of, give or take, 40 pages and each member selects a section he will learn over the course of the year. As a community we work on finishing shas together.

The guest speaker last night at the melave malka siyum was Rav Yoel Schwartz. Rav Schwartz is a famous Rav in Israel. He is connected to the Bnei Noah movements, he is the Rav of the Nahal Hariedi unit of the army, he has written over 200 seforim and I do him no justice by any of this introduction, just trying to give you an idea of his stature.

Rav Schwartz mentioned some amazing information. It was very timely that Saddam was hanged yesterday, right before the fast of 10 Teves. 10 Teves was the date Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon began the destruction of Jerusalem. Saddam, famously, declared himself as Nebuchadnezzar II many times and erected a statue of himself and of Nebuchadnezzar in his palace. He saw in himself the continuation of Nebuchadnezzar. Fitting that the circle of Nebuchadnezzar was closed. On 10 Teves Nebuchadnezzar I laid siege to jerusalem, on 9 Teves, Nebuchadnezzar II was killed by hanging after many attempts to beign destruction on Jewish Israel.


  1. Were all those "allah...muhammed"s praying for him - or praising his death? I wonder who the spectators were? it seemed like they were sneaking in a dirty basement or something - you would think it would have been in a public square or something.. (just my impressions - I did not follow the news about this event..)

  2. I was wondernig about the room as well. The only thing I could find that might answer the question is that supposedly this was the chamber he used to use to execute people. So they executed him in the same room.

  3. Thanks Rafi, I didn't know this.


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