Three weeks of mourning

The 17th of Tammuz and the Coming Three Week Annual Mourning Period…

There are Three Weeks that are an annual mourning period that falls out in the summer. The Three Weeks or Bein ha-Metzarim (Hebrew: בין המצרים, “Between the Straits”) (cf “dire straits”) is a period of mourning commemorating the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples.  This is when we mourn the destruction of the Holy Temple and our launch into a still-ongoing exile.

The period begins on the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz, a fast day that marks the day when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans in 69 CE.

It reaches its climax and concludes with the fast of the 9th of Av, the date when both Holy Temples were set aflame. This is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar, and it is also the date that many other tragedies befell our people.


There are various mourning-related customs and observances that are followed for the entire three-week period (until midday of the 10th of the Hebrew month of Av, or—if that date falls on Friday—the morning of that day). We do not cut our hair, purchase new clothes, or listen to music. No weddings are held.

17 Tammuz is a fast day, on which we refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to nightfall, exceptwhen it falls on a weekly Shabbat in which case we start the fast after Shabbat havdalah.

Those who mourn the destruction of Jerusalem will merit seeing it rebuilt with the coming of Moshiach.  The final Nine Days of the Three Weeks are a time of intensified mourning. Starting on the first of Av, we refrain from eating meat or drinking wine, and from wearing freshly laundered clothes.

9 Av is a more stringent fast than 17 Tammuz. It begins at sunset of the previous evening, when we gather in the synagogue to read the Book of Lamentations. Besides fasting, we abstain from additional pleasures: washing, applying lotions or creams, wearing leather shoes, and marital relations. Until midday, we sit on the floor or on low stools.

Those who mourn the destruction of Jerusalem will merit seeing it rebuilt with the coming of Moshiach

There is more to the Three Weeks than fasting and lamentation. Our sages tell us that those who mourn the destruction of Jerusalem will merit seeing it rebuilt with the coming of Moshiach. May that day come soon, and then all the mournful dates on the calendar will be transformed into days of tremendous joy and happiness.

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Torah Parashah teachings and articles by Rabbi Isaac.
© 2022 Assembly of Called-Out Believers. Use by Permission.


One Comment

  1. Rob & Sandy Campbell

    Hello and thank you for your love and dedication to our Messiah!! Just found your teachings and am so thankful. I do have a question about the time of mourning you speak of above. I can’t help but think of Ezekiel 8:14. What are the verses that go with this part of your statements. I noticed there are many verses up above with the other beliefs but none here. How do we know this is not adding to Torah? Please explain so I can understand. I find myself rejecting some of the traditions because I don’t want to fall into the trap of “thinking” I am observing Torah and ultimately not. As I thought I was observing The Father thru other Christian traditions only to find out I was not.
    We are in Cincinnati, Ohio and have a local fellowship we attend in Dayton KY. It’s One Word Assembly. We feel at home with the small group of believers there. I just can’t get over how much like sisters and brothers we are becoming. Thank you again for teaching the Word with such love and devotion to our amazing and loving Father! You have blessed my soul Pastor Isaac!

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