Three Weeks


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Three Weeks

Begins between June 17 and July 24 and ends between July 17 and August 14; from Tammuz 17 until Av 9
The 17th of Tammuz, also known as Shivah Asar be-Tammuz, marks the day on which the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar ( see also Asarah be-Tevet). The three-week period between this day and the ninth of Av ( see Tisha be-Av) is known in Hebrew as the period BÉn ha-Metsarim, in reference to Lamentations 1:3, which describes the city of Jerusalem as having been overtaken by her persecutors "between the straits."
Because this period is associated with the destruction of the Temple, it is a time of mourning for the Jewish people. As the days draw closer to the ninth of Av, the signs of mourning increase in severity. Although there are differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardic customs, the restrictions include not shaving or cutting one's hair, not wearing new clothes, nor eating fruit for the first time in season. Beginning with the first day of Av, the Ashkenazi custom is not to eat any meat nor drink any wine until after Tisha be-Av, while Sephardim refrain from meat and wine beginning with the Sunday preceding the ninth of Av. On Tisha be-Av itself, it is not permitted to eat or drink, to wear leather shoes, to anoint with oil, to wash (except where required), or to engage in sexual relations. On each of the three Sabbaths during the Three Weeks, a special prophetic passage of the Old Testament, known as a haftarah, is read.
CONTACTS:
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
11 Broadway
New York, NY 10004
212-563-4000; fax: 212-564-9058
www.ou.org
SOURCES:
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 159
DictWrldRel-1989, p. 155
RelHolCal-2004, p. 52
References in classic literature ?
In three weeks I shall bring you the five thousand.
It was three weeks after the marriage that Clare found himself descending the hill which led to the well-known parsonage of his father.
The steamer City of Prague, bound from Liverpool to New York, three weeks out with a broken shaft.
She was most economical, and when she ate she would gather up crumbs with the tip of her finger, so that nothing should be wasted of the loaf of bread weighing twelve pounds which was baked especially for her and lasted three weeks.
Yes, and for three weeks he stopped with them, and looked after the children like a nurse.
I mentioned that he had been discovered (by the housekeeper and his old servant) walking in his sleep, about three weeks before his death, and that the part of the house in which he had been seen, and the basket of keys which he was carrying in his hand, suggested the inference that he had come from one of the rooms in the east wing, and that he might have opened some of the pieces of furniture in one of them.
Darcy's having both spent three weeks at Rosings, and asked him, if he was acquainted with the former.
Frederica returned to Churchhill with her uncle and aunt; and three weeks afterwards, Lady Susan announced her being married to Sir James Martin.
Norbury and her brother Francis had then already started on their journey to Italy--at least three weeks before the date at which the new hotel was to open for the reception of travellers.
In two or three weeks this began to tell upon my strength and spirits.
Only a very few days more - appallingly few to the hearts which had set themselves bravely to hope against hope - three weeks, a month later, perhaps, the name of ships under the blight of the "Overdue" heading shall appear again in the column of "Shipping Intelligence," but under the final declaration of "Missing.
Once or twice indeed, since James's engagement had taught her what could be done, she had got so far as to indulge in a secret "perhaps," but in general the felicity of being with him for the present bounded her views: the present was now comprised in another three weeks, and her happiness being certain for that period, the rest of her life was at such a distance as to excite but little interest.