Skip to main content

Tammuz, Fast of


TAMMUZ, FAST OF , communal fast occurring on the 17th of Tammuz, commemorating the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (586 b.c.e.) and Titus (70 c.e.). The Jerusalem Talmud (Ta'an. 4:8, 68c) maintains that both catastrophes occurred on this date, and that Jeremiah's sorrow caused him to err when writing that "the city was broken up" by Nebuchadnezzar on the 9th of Tammuz (Jer. 52:6–7). This, however, is not the view of the Babylonian Talmud (Ta'an. 28b), which accepts Jeremiah's dating as correct, and simply considers the destruction of the Second Temple more important (Sh. Ar., oḤ 549:2). According to the Mishnah (Ta'an. 4:6), four other calamities happened on the 17th of Tammuz: the tablets of the law were broken by Moses; the daily offering ceased in the First Temple; the heathen *Apostomos burned the Torah in the sanctuary, and erected an idol there (but some texts read "an idol was set up," Rashi, Ta'an. ad. loc.).

The Fast of Tammuz is closely linked with that of the 9th of Av. The Midrash commenting on the verse "all her persecutors overtook her between the straits" (Lam. 1:3) says, "these are the days of distress from the 17th of Tammuz to the 9th of Av." These 21 days are known as bein ha-meẓarim ("between the straits") or as the three weeks of mourning. However, the Fast of Tammuz is also traditionally associated with "the fast of the fourth month" mentioned by Zechariah (8:19; tj, Ta'an. 4:8, 68c) which in the messianic era "shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness and cheerful feasts" (see Maim. Yad., Ta'anit, 5:4 and 19). The liturgy for the day is similar to that of the other fast days, i.e., *seliḥot are recited, the Torah is read, and a special insertion is made in the *Amidah.

See *Fasting and Fast Days; *Av, the Ninth of; *Three Weeks.


Ḥ. Pearl, Guide to Minor Festivals and Fasts (1963), 57–60; Eisenstein, Dinim, 394; Y.T. Lewinski, Sefer ha-Mo'adim, 7 (19572), 157–65.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Tammuz, Fast of." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 22 Oct. 2018 <>.

"Tammuz, Fast of." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (October 22, 2018).

"Tammuz, Fast of." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved October 22, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.