Thursday, February 18, 2010

An old calendar.

From a calendar published by John Selden:

Detail for the Fast of 17 Tammuz:

This refers to the story extensively recorded in Avoda Zara 17b-18, an excerpt below:

It was said that within but few days R. Jose b. Kisma died and all the great men of Rome went to his burial and made great lamentation for him. On their return, they found R. Hanina b. Teradion sitting and occupying himself with the Torah, publicly gathering assemblies, and keeping a scroll of the Law in his bosom. Straightaway they took hold of him, wrapt him in the Scroll of the Law, placed bundles of branches round him and set them on fire. They then brought tufts of wool, which they had soaked in water, and placed them over his heart, so that he should not expire quickly. His daughter exclaimed, 'Father, that I should see you in this state!' He replied, 'If it were I alone being burnt it would have been a thing hard to bear; but now that I am burning together with the Scroll of the Law, He who will have regard for the plight of the Torah will also have regard for my plight.' His disciples called out, 'Rabbi, what seest thou?' He answered them, 'The parchments are being burnt but the letters are soaring on high.' 'Open then thy mouth' [said they] 'so that the fire enter into thee.' He replied, 'Let Him who gave me [my soul] take it away, but no one should injure oneself.' The Executioner then said to him, 'Rabbi, if I raise the flame and take away the tufts of wool from over thy heart, will thou cause me to enter into the life to come?' 'Yes,' he replied. 'Then swear unto me' [he urged]. He swore unto him. He thereupon raised the flame and removed the tufts of wool from over his heart, and his soul departed speedily. The Executioner then jumped and threw himself into the fire. And a bathkol exclaimed: R. Hanina b. Teradion and the Executioner have been assigned to the world to come. When Rabbi heard it he wept and said: One may acquire eternal life in a single hour, another after many years.

Combustus est R. Hanina Ben Tardion una cum libro legis.


  1. Um...twenty-nine days in Sivan and thirty in Tamuz?

  2. That's a detail for 27 Sivan, not 17 Tammuz.



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