Monday, July 9, 2012

From the 17th of Tamuz to the 9th of Ab

From the 17 of Tamuz (July 8th) until the 9 of Ab (July 29th) we observe some mourning customs and restrictions in remembrance of ben hametzarim, i.e., the three weeks period since the Babylonian army breached the walls of Yerushalaim, until they burned and destroyed the Bet haMikdash in 586 BCE. During those three weeks, besides the massive destruction and pillaging of the Holy city and Temple, hundreds of thousands of Jews were tortured, killed or taken into exile.

These restrictions are not the same in every community.

In the next lines you will find some of the customs followed in the Mashadi community, and in most Sephardic communities as well.

SHEHECHEYANU for NEW FRUITS: Eating a new fruit that will require us to say the blessing Shehecheyanu during the three weeks should be done only on Shabbat.

WEDDINGS: No weddings take place during the three weeks.

ENGAGEMENTS with no music are allowed until Rosh Chodesh Ab (July 20th).

CLOTHING: It is not customary to buy new clothing, except: 1. For a bride or groom that will get married after Tisha BeAb. 2. If the article will be substantially more expensive after Tisha BeAb. The Mashadi custom is to refrain from buying gold or any jewelry from Rosh Chodesh Ab.

HAIRCUT: It is permitted to get a haircut and shave until Rosh Chodesh Ab. The Ashkenazi tradition is stricter in this sense and their tradition is not to allow haircuts or shaving from the 17 of Tamuz. (Haircut restrictions do not apply to women).

NEW HOUSE: It is permitted to buy, rent or move into a new house until Rosh Chodesh Ab. 

Click here to read 
Bullying Grandma on the Bus "Karen Huff Klein teaches us a valuable lesson for The Three Weeks",  by Slovie Jungreis-Wolff from