The Molad for Tammuz is Wednesday, June 17 at 2:55 am and 6 chalakim.
Rosh Hodesh Tammuz is Tuesday evening, June 16th, Wednesday June 17th, and Thursday June 18th.
The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz (Shiva Asar B’Tammuz) is actually on the 18th of Tammuz this year. The 17th of Tammuz falls out on Shabbat, and therefore the fast is pushed off until Sunday. The “Three Weeks” leading up to Tisha B’Av begin on the 17th of Tammuz.
The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and it occurs on June 21st (in the northern hemisphere). This is the day with the most amount of daylight. This means that the amount of time between sunrise and sunset is longer than any other day of the year. If you check the Sunrise and Sunset for New York, in Penticon’s Luach App, you’ll see that for June 21st, the length of daylight is 15 hours, 5 minutes and 56 seconds. This is 12 seconds longer than it is on June 20th and June 22nd.
Most people assume that since the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, it will also be the day with the earliest sunrise and the latest sunset. However, this is not true. The earliest sunrise this year (in New York) is on June 14th and June 15th, and the latest sunset is on June 27th and June 28th. This all has to do with the varying time of Solar Noon, or what we call in the Jewish Calendar, chatzot hayom. Solar noon is when the sun is at its highest point during the day. This is also the halfway point between sunrise and sunset.
The explanation of how and why Solar Noon varies during the year is beyond the scope of this blog, but if you’d like to learn more about it, read this article:
The Summer Solstice and Shabbat
Since the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, we would expect that the latest candle lighting time of the year would be on the Shabbat that is closest to the Summer Solstice. This year, that would be on Friday June 19th. However, due to the variation of Solar Noon, the candle lighting on June 19th is not the latest candle lighting of the year. If you are in New York, London or Moscow, the latest candle lighting time is on June 26th. In Israel, Miami or Mexico City, the latest candle lighting time is on July 3rd.
In New York, candle lighting is later by one minute and seven seconds on June 26th (8:13:23), than it is on June 19th (8:12:16). This is due to the the variation of Solar Noon time. Solar Noon on June 19th is 12:57:26, and on June 26th it’s one minute and 27 seconds later, at 12:58:53. So, even though June 19th is a longer day (15 hours, 5 minutes and 39 seconds) than June 26 (15 hours and 5 minutes), the candle lighting on June 26th is later.
Wishing you a pleasant (and not too hot) summer!