` Dept. of curious coincidences — imaginary family values

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I was browsing through some data that my company had acquired from our good friends at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and came across a reference to some place in Iraq called “Ḩayy Sab`at `Ashar (17) Tammūz”. What’s that? I wondered. A name left over from the days when the Jewish people, exiled in Babylon, had fresh memories of the destruction of Jerusalem?

I asked an Iraqi co-worker to translate the name, and it turned out to be more prosaic: “Tammūz” is modern Arabic for “July”, and July 17th is the day that the Ba`ath party came to power in Iraq.

If Aish ha-Torah wants to use this in their next round of Discovery seminars, I want royalties.

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