Halachically Speaking: The 3 Weeks (Part1)


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The time of the three weeks is a time when we avoid many activities. Why do we refrain from such activities? What are included in these activities? Below we will discuss the halachos of the three weeks.

We live in a world today where it is very hard to realize what we are missing by not having the Bais Hamikdosh. We have gotten too comfortable with our houses etc and are not really waiting for the day that Moshiach will come. The Gemorah1 tells us one who mourns over the Bais Hamikdosh will merit seeing it rebuilt. The Shulchan Aruch2 tells us that a G-D fearing person should worry about the churban Bais Hamikdosh every day of his life.

Five tragic occurrences happened on Shiva Asar B’tamuz: 1. Moshe Rabbeinu broke the luchos when he came down from Har Sinai and saw the eigel3 2. The karbon tamid was no longer brought in the first Bais Hamikdosh. 3. The destruction of the second Bais Hamikdosh started. 4. Apostumos burnt the Torah 5. A tzelem was placed in the heichel.4 On Tisha B’av the following tragedies happened: 1. Klal Yisroel were told they were not going into Eretz Yisroel because they wept in vain after hearing the evil report of the meraglim. 2. The first and second Bais Hamikdosh were destroyed. 3. Beitar, which was home to thousands of Jews, was captured by the Romans. 4. Turnisrupos surrounded the heichel.5

Because of the above tragedies, the custom is to refrain from many activities during the days between Shiva Asar B’tamuz and Tisha B’av, which are commonly known as “Ben Hametzarim.”6 

Compiled by Rabbi Moishe Dovid Lebovits who can be reached at [email protected]

Reviewed by Rabbi Ben-zion Schiffenbauer Shlita

All Piskei Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita are Reviewed by Harav Yisrael Belsky Shlita