The month actually starts during Chanukah, concluding the 8 day festival, a festival in which the Jews were still very much spiritually alive despite the Greek’s doing their utmost in trying to destroy Jewish culture.
In this calendar year, we celebrated two days Rosh Chodesh for the month of Tevet.
The month of Tevet is very much known as a month of Anguish throughout Jewish history.
The 1st of Tevet, is well known as an unhappy day as Yechoniah, King of Yehudah, was exiled together with the Sages and the nobility, members of the family of royalty, of Jerusalem. The day was not however designated as a public fast day, unlike the 10th of Tevet.
On the 8th of Tevet, at the commencing of the "Greek exile Era," the Torah was translated into Greek by the decree of King Ptolemy, where he made 70 different sages translate the Torah into Greek, in about the year 313 Before Common Era, That day was regarded as equally calamitous for Israel as it was also the day on which the Golden Calf was made (Which we learn about in the book of Shemot in Parshah Ki Tisa (Shemot 32:4)). During the atrocious event of the Golden Calf - the three cardinal sins took place - adultery, murder and Immorality. The Jews had just received the Torah at Mount Sinai only forty days before instituting the Golden Calf!
Moving backwards in time, the 9th of Tevet commemorates the death of two leading figures during the era of the inauguration of the second temple, both Ezra the Scribe and Nechemia, two of our greatest leaders, who faithfully led Israel during the return from Babylonian captivity, they even have separate sections in the Tanach describing their tenures as leaders for the Jews.
This occurred in approximately the year 353 Before Common Era. It is said that Israel was absolutely distraught after their death, for the loss of these great natural leaders was a massive blow, and Ezra's stature, in particular, was so phenomenal that it is said of him that had the Torah not been given to Israel via Moshe, it would have been given to Israel via Ezra.
The 10th of Tevet is well known as a sad day. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylonia, laid siege to Jerusalem. This unhappy event took place in the approximate year 426 B.C.E. It was a time period where many Jew’s were killed in most Brutal fashion, Nebuchadnezzar’s side kick, Nebudarzzan was reported to have assassinated more than a million Jews.
The destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash (temple) was caused due to the Jews not keeping in line with the Man to G-d laws, and the destruction of the first temple was foreseen by Jeremiah, Zechariah and other prophets.
The 10th of Tevet was instituted as a fast day, in commemoration for the tragic events on this day. This Dvar Torah is dedicated to the hatzlacha (good luck) of Ariel Yechezkel Ben Miriam who is getting married this week, may he have great luck and a great future and a great wedding week.
I Will be sending out a Dvar Torah in due coarse on Vayigash, hope you all have a great week, Shavua tov and Chag Sameach!