Shiva Asar b'Tammuz

General Notes

Shiva Assar b'Tammuz commemorates the breach of Jerusalem's walls by the Romans in 70 CE; the Second Temple was destroyed three weeks later, on the ninth of Av.

Many liberal Jews do not fast on the three minor fast days connected to the Temple, Shiva Asar b'Tammuz, Asara b'Tevet, and Tzom Gedaliah. Rabbi David Golinkin has written a responsum on this matter; he concludes that these three fast days should be considered optional, in recognition of the redemptive possibilities of the rebirth of the State of Israel. We should, however, fast on Tish'a b'Av, in order to acknowledge that we are still far from peace. See Golinkin, David. "Should We Continue to Fast on Tisha B'Av and the Other Three Fasts Which Commemorate the Destruction of the Temple?" Responsa in a Moment 4, no.7 (2010). For the full text of this responsum, see:

This day begins the three week mourning period ending in Tisha b'Av. The traditional practice is to avoid live music and public celebrations during these three weeks. For a Reform perspective on this period, see JL 129-130.

 This is a minor fast day. For those who choose to fast, the fast begins at sunrise and ends at sunset.


We add a Torah service to Shacharit (MT 104). We chant the Torah reading for public fast days.

Shacharit Torah Reading - Traditional

Exodus 32:11-14 (P 647, RP 588, WTC 503), 34:1-10 (P 658, RP 593, WTC 509)

3 Aliyot

Shacharit Torah Reading Notes

There is a special custom regarding the chanting of the following:

o 32:12 ("Shuv mei'charon . . . l'amecha")

o 34:6-7 ("Adonai Adonai . . . v'nakei")

o 34:9 ("v'salachta . . . u'n'chaltanu")

When the reader reaches these verses, the congregation recites the verses first. The reader then repeats them in High Holy Day cantillation. The rest of the portion is read in regular Torah cantillation.


We add a Torah service (MT 104) after the Chatzi Kaddish (MT 57).  The afternoon reading is the same as the morning reading.

After the Torah reading, we read the Haftarah for public fast days. When we recite the Amidah on fast days, we replace Shalom Rav with Sim Shalom (MT 98).

Mincha Torah Reading

Exodus 32:11-14 (P 647, RP 588, WTC 503), 34:1-10 (P 658, RP 593, WTC 509)

Mincha Haftarah Reading

Isaiah 55:6-56:8 (P 1681, RP 1489)