A reason not to fast - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • 20.07.10 | 15:52 (IDT)

    According to Zechariah's prophecy (8:18), the four fasts which were established after the First Destruction of Jerusalem will become joyous days and holidays. The Talmud (Rosh Hashana 18b) discusses when this will happen. The opinion which carries (according to Maimonides) is that when the Jews are under oppression, the fasts are held; when the Jews are under foreign rule but without oppression, the fasts are optional; but when there is "peace" (Rashi: no foreign rule), the days become joyous days. According to Maimonides, during the Second Temple all 4 fasts were optional, and the people decided to keep the fast of Av but not the other 3 fasts. Maimonides was not a historian and as I described before, even the precise day of the fast of Av was lost during the Second Temple, so clearly it was not observed. So nowadays it should not be observed either. One wonders if it should be turned into a joyous day, but at least don't observe it, according to what the historical precedent had established.

    from the article: Dreaming of the Third Temple in a conflicted Land of Israel
    First published 01:54 20.07.10 | Last updated 01:54 20.07.10
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