We fast this Sunday in remembrance of the events that occurred on the 17th of Tammuz. The Talmud Taanit 26a states "All of her pursuers caught up to her between the walls". (Eichah 1:3)
Our sages teach us that the phrase “between the walls” is meant to refer to two walls in time. The first wall is the 17th of Tammuz and the second is the 9th of Av. It is between these two walls of time that all of the pursuers of the Jewish people have caught up to us and caused us tremendous harm. In this vein the Mishnah teaches the following:
Five tragedies befell the Jewish people on the 17th of Tammuz:
- The first tablets were broken when the Jews worshiped the golden calf,
- The daily offering in the temple ceased when the Romans prohibited it,
- The walls of First-Temple Jerusalem were breached by the Babylonians,
- Apostomus publicly burned the Sefer Torah, and
- An idol was erected in the Holy of Holies.