ABCs of Tisha B’Av & the Three Weeks
by Rabbi Shraga Simmons
The Jewish national period of mourning.

View overview video: Crash Course on Tisha B’Av

The “Three Weeks” between the 17th of Tammuz and the Tisha B’Av have historically been days of misfortune and calamity for the Jewish people. During this time, both the First and Second Temples were destroyed, amongst other tragedies.

These days are referred to as the period “within the straits” (bein hametzarim), in accordance with the verse: “All her oppressors have overtaken her within the straits” (Lamentations 1:3).

During this time, various aspects of mourning are observed by the entire nation. We minimize joy and celebration – no weddings are held, we do not listen to music, nor are there haircuts or shaving. The expressions of mourning take on greater intensity as we approach the…

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