When Do The Three Weeks & Nine Days Start?
Upcoming dates: Evening of July 6 to July 27th
Kamtza and Bar Kamtza: What Is Baseless Hatred, Anyway?
Rabbi David Fohrman - 3 min video - Part 1 of 5
When was the last time you hated someone for absolutely no reason? Sinat chinam, baseless hatred, is the reason the Talmud gives for the loss of the Second Temple. But most of us don’t hate for the fun of it. Could it be we’ve been misunderstanding the true meaning of baseless hatred this whole time?
How Israel Split and the Road to Tisha B’Av
Rabbi David Fohrman - 7 min video - Part 1 of 8
God gave King Solomon unprecedented wisdom, which Solomon used to build a glorious kingdom. But just a mere generation later, that kingdom splits and the road to Tisha B’Av begins. Why didn’t God give Solomon the wisdom he really needed… the wisdom to keep Israel united?
How the Sin of the Spies Led to Tisha B’Av
Rabbi David Fohrman - 10 min video - Part 1 of 6
The Talmudic Sages tell us that the first great tragedy to occur on Tisha B'Av was the sin of the spies in the desert. How can this seemingly unrelated event help us understand the deeper reasons for the Temples’ destruction?
Mourning: What Death Teaches Us About What It Means to Live
Rabbi David Fohrman - 1 hour, 53 min video
How are we supposed to make sense of loss? In this deep dive Premium course, Rabbi Fohrman shares how he has come to understand mourning and loss in the larger context of life, death and living a purposeful life.
Megillat Eicha and Its Secrets
Rabbi David Fohrman - 57 min video - Part 1 of 2
What does Eicha have to do with the garden of Eden? At first glance, not much. But if we look closer, it turns out that the Megillah is actually echoing language first used in the beginning of Genesis. Uncovering the deeper meaning of this connection can shift the way you think about Tisha B’Av.
The Mysterious Connection Between Mashiach and Tisha B’Av
Rabbi David Fohrman - 12 min video - Part 1 of 7
A few generations before the destruction of the Temple, there was a king who, the Talmud tells us, could have been the Messiah. How did the Jewish people get so close to redemption, only to end in exile? If we can answer this question, perhaps we can come to understand the power of our own potential and to reshape our destiny.
Yochanan Ben Zakkai and Yavneh: The Secret of Jewish Survival
Rabbi David Fohrman - 10 min video - Part 1 of 5
How can we feel connected to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple when these tragedies happened thousands of years ago? The answer may lie in understanding what still links us to these past events and how, against all odds, exile didn’t put an end to the Jewish people. This story starts in a place called Yavneh.
What Jacob and Joseph Teach Us About Returning Home
Rabbi David Fohrman - 8 min video - Part 1 of 6
Can mourning bring us closer to redemption? This series dives deep into a connection between Shir Hamaalot (Psalm 126) and the story of Jacob and Joseph to uncover the connection between the depths of grief and unassailable hope.
The 3 Weeks & 9 Days Halacha & Dvar Torah
What Is Tisha B’Av? 101 Guide
The Tisha B’Av fast is the most mournful day on the Jewish calendar, commemorating the destruction of the Holy Temple and other tragedies throughout Jewish history.
The Fast Of 17 Tammuz
What Are The Three Weeks & Nine Days?
The fast of Tammuz begins the three-week period of mourning known as Bein HaMetzarim (“between the straits”), a phrase taken from the book of Eicha, or simply “the three weeks.” The Three Weeks start on 17th of Tammuz (or 18th of Tammuz if the 17th is on Shabbat), also known as the fast day Shiva Asar B’Tammuz. This period begins and ends with fasting, and throughout the three weeks, Jewish practice serves to reduce the joy and comfort experienced during this time.
After the first of Av, on Rosh Chodesh, the nine days before Tisha B’Av are observed with particularly strict mourning and sadness. These days of intense mourning are often referred to as “The Nine Days”. The Mishnah says that “When the month of Av begins, we reduce our joy”, and therefore several additional restrictions and mourning practices are adopted during this time.
The three weeks and the nine days commemorate the loss of the First and Second Temples, and atone for the sins – like sinat chinam, baseless hatred – that led to the collapse of Jewish sovereignty in the land of Israel. Exile and diaspora followed the destruction of the Holy Temples, and began the exile ("galut") that will one day be brought to an end in the days of Moshiach. Rabbi Fohrman inspects several interesting connections in the Torah that hint at a messianic era that almost happened.
In 2020 (5780), the Three Weeks will start at dawn on Thursday, July 9, and end at sundown on Thursday, July 30. The Nine Days will start on Tuesday, July 21, at sundown.
Laws Of The Three Weeks & Nine Days
During the Three Weeks, many Jews adopt practices of mourning. These can include refraining from holding public celebrations, haircuts and shaving, and buying new clothes, similar to mourning practices observed during the Omer period.
The Three Weeks are considered a time of tragedy on the Jewish calendar. Therefore, many Jews refrain from potentially dangerous activities like swimming or adventure sports during this time.
Listening to music and attending performances such as theater or concerts is prohibited during Jewish times of mourning. Some Jews do listen to music that is performed a cappella, without instruments or percussion.
During the Three Weeks and Nine Days, it is traditional to recite “Al Naharot Bavel” (“By the Waters of Babylon”), a mournful song about the loss of the Temple and Jerusalem, before saying grace after meals.
It should be noted that many of these customs are held primarily by Jews of Ashkenazic descent. Sephardic Jews often observe these practices only during the week of Tisha B’Av itself.
There aren’t halachot during the three weeks like there are during the nine days or Tisha Ba’v itself.
Halachot of the Nine Days
The laws of the Nine Days, which begin on Rosh Chodesh Av, intensify the prohibitions of mourning.
During the Nine Days, many Jews do not eat meat or meat products (except on Shabbat) to deprive themselves of that pleasure. Laundry is not washed except in extreme need, and many Jews take short, cold showers to avoid the comfort of bathing.