Today is the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tevet, and as such is a minor fast day. You can read all about the history of Asara B’Tevet here, but in short, it was the beginning of the end for the First Temple in Jerusalem. On this day Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem, which was, you know, pretty bad news for the Jews on the inside. Eventually he conquered the city and laid waste to the Temple.
In later years some people have taken Asara B’Tevet as a day to commemorate victims of the Holocaust, though most people do that in the spring.
Most people don’t observe Asara B’Tevet at all, but those who do fast from sunrise to sunset. No food or water, but bathing, wearing leather shoes and sexy time are all okay.
Especially in the winter, when the days are short, the fast is pretty simple. I wonder if it’s too easy. Should we vamp up the fast days so people take them more seriously? Or is fasting one of those things no one is going to get excited about?