The Three Weeks

The Three Weeks or Bein ha-Metzarim (Hebrew: בין המצרים) is a period of mourning commemorating the destruction of the first and second Temples. The Three Weeks start on the seventeenth day of the Jewish month of Tammuz and end on the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av.

The Three Weeks or Bein ha-Metzarim (Hebrew: בין המצרים) is a period of mourning commemorating the destruction of the first and second Temples. The Three Weeks start on the seventeenth day of the Jewish month of Tammuz and end on the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av.

These days are referred to as the period “within the straits” (bein hametzarim), in accordance with the verse that is written in Lamentations 1:3-

גָּלְתָה יְהוּדָה מֵעֹנִי, וּמֵרֹב עֲבֹדָה–הִיא יָשְׁבָה בַגּוֹיִם, לֹא מָצְאָה מָנוֹחַ; כָּל-רֹדְפֶיהָ הִשִּׂיגוּהָ, בֵּין הַמְּצָרִים”

“Judah is gone into exile because of affliction, and because of great servitude; she dwelleth among the nations, she findeth no rest; all her pursuers overtook her within the straits”

 There are some aspects of mourning during the three weeks

There are No weddings held. There is no listening to music. There are neither public celebrations nor pleasure trips. The man does not shave at this period.  The Jewish people are not saying the blessing She-hechianu on new food or clothes, except on Shabbat.

The Three Weeks are historically a time of misfortune, since many tragedies and calamities befell the Jewish people at this time. These tragedies include:

1. The breaking of the Tablets of the Law by Moses

2. The burning of a Sefer Torah by Apostomus during the Second Temple era.

3. The destruction of both Temples on Tisha B’Av;

4. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain on Tisha B’Av 1492;

5. The outbreak of World War I on Tisha B’Av 1914.

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