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The prophet Zecharia spoke about a fast in the 4th and 5th months which I could not find from my understanding of both the civil and the religious Jewish calendars.

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace. — Zechariah 8:19, KJV

I was wondering whether these fasts were perhaps instituted during the exile to Babylon.

  • Xeoncross, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for bringing your question here! I am confident that you'll get a good answer. I hope you'll also look around for other material of interest, perhaps starting with our small (but growing, thanks to you!) collection of Zecharia questions. – Isaac Moses Apr 6 '16 at 14:59
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    What did you try searching? I'm finding lists of Jewish fasts posted all over the place online with simple search words like "jewish fast days zecharia". -1 for not showing any research effort. – Double AA Apr 6 '16 at 15:01
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These fasts are counting from Nisan as the first month (the Jewish religious calendar).

  • The fast of the 4th month is 17 Tammuz.

  • The fast of the 5th month is 9 Av.

  • Here, the fast of the 7th month is Tzom Gedalia (usually observed on 3 Tishrei) although Yom Kippur also falls in the 7th month.

  • The fast of the 10th month is 10 Tevet.

These fasts commemorate events leading up to the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The prophet is saying that when the Temple is rebuilt, these days of mourning will become days of celebration.

  • 9 Av is also only usually observed on 9 Av... – Double AA Apr 6 '16 at 15:07
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    @DoubleAA Good point on both accounts. I edited to address your first comment, but I left 9 Av the same because even when it is observed on 10 Av, it is still called 9 Av colloquially. – Daniel Apr 6 '16 at 15:08
  • @DoubleAA Likewise for 17 Tammuz – Daniel Apr 6 '16 at 15:09

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