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Why We Once Fasted On the Fourth of July©

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Why We Once Fasted On the Fourth of July© Rabbi David Baum, Congregation Shaarei Kodesh 17th of Tammuz 5778 (2018)
Does anyone know what happened on the 17th of Tammuz 5336?It was a day of joy, but most Jews were actually fasting.It was on that day, 242 years ago, that the Declaration of Independence was signed, July 4 1776. This past week Jewish Americans observed two holidays:the 17th of Tammuz and July 4th.
Most of us know what happened on July 4, 1776, but not so many of us know what happened on theJuly 12, 70 (17th of Tammuz 3830).These days seem to have nothing to do with each other – one day is a feast, the other a fast; one day signifies the beginning of independence, the other day is the anniversary of the end of independence.But these two holidays actually belong together as a message to us.I want to share a couple of stories – the little-known story as to why the Temple was destroyed, and a famous American document that we as Jews should be celebrating on July 4th...and I'm…