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What Are the Three Weeks?

What Are the Three Weeks?


The Three Weeks is an annual mourning period that falls out in the summer. 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.

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

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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Discussion (44)
August 13, 2016
No more suffering
I am a Jew . My Dan is of Israeli ancestors from the beginning of time! My family nearly wiped off the face of the earth. It's disturbing to me that we keep having to suffer. We beat the odds. Hitler didn't win! The Pharos didn't win! The Romans did t win! We have stood up , grown strong , have our own state and defeated our enemies ! I'm tired of having to weep and suffer and feel sad because I'm a Jew! I want to celebrate the fact I'm Jewish ! I'm proud and strong and not going to go along with these man made days of misery ! G-D wouldn't ask us to do what man has made us do! Yom Kippur yes! Fast , but there are so many suffering days it's ridiculous! We have to start laughing and having wine with loved ones and stop suffering ! The past is the past and the future is tomorrow! Let's stop dwelling on the worst and concentrating on our future!
August 8, 2016
To Anonymous
In 2016 the Three Weeks end after nightfall on August 14. Staff
August 7, 2016
When are the three weeks over?
When do the three weeks end? Today's date is August 7, 2016
July 25, 2016
Re: Purchasing for work?
Yes, there is no problem with purchasing software for work during the Three Weeks.
Eliezer Zalmanov
July 24, 2016
To David
The Three Weeks officially start today, Sunday the 24th of July 2016. Staff
July 24, 2016
To David
Yes you put on Tefillin. Staff
July 24, 2016
To Samuel
When the 17 of Tammuz falls on Shabbat, as is the case this year, the fast is postponed to Sunday and we observe Shabbat regularly. The only fast day which does not get postponed is Yom Kippur, a day which is called Shabbat Shabbaton, the Sabbath of Sabbaths, in the Torah. Staff
July 24, 2016
When did the three weeks start leading to Tisha b Av this calendar year 2016
July 24, 2016
Purchasing for work?
Is buying a software for a job allowed during these three weeks?
July 24, 2016
Do I put on tefillin this day the 17
david adams
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