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Amid Israel’s war in Gaza, there is talk of drafting yeshivah students into the army to bolster its ranks. On Shavuot, we celebrate the anniversary of receiving the Torah, so I want to write about the role of Torah in war. The Torah is not just a dusty old book …

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Home » Ninth of Av, Seventeenth of Tamuz

The Three Weeks: An Overview

Submitted by on November 6, 2005 – 3:22 amNo Comment | 2,636 views

10 Tevet

There are a
series of fast days that commemorate the destruction of the holy
Temple. The first one falls on the tenth day of the Hebrew month of
Tevet. This fast begins at sunrise and ends at nightfall.

On this day the
Babylonian army laid siege to the holy city of Jerusalem. The siege
lasted for two and a half years and ended with the ultimate destruction
of the temple.

17 Tamuz

The second fast
falls on the Seventeenth day of the Hebrew month of Tamuz. This fast
also begins at sunrise and ends at nightfall. On this day the
Babylonian army breached the walls around Jerusalem.

Three Weeks

For three weeks
they plundered and destroyed the Jewish nation.The Prophet Jeremiah
describes the streets in the city of Jerusalem that ran red with Jewish
blood. During the last nine days of these three weeks the atrocities
intensified and these days are considered a mourning period for the
entire Jewish nation.

During these
three weeks, we mourn in the manner described above for the seven-week
period. We refrain from playing musical instruments, holding parties or
any form of excessive entertainment. We also refrain from scheduling
weddings during these three weeks.

Nine Days

During the last
nine days of this three-week period the mourning intensifies. During
these nine days we refrain from eating meat, drinking wine and bathing
for pleasure (with the exception of Shabbos).

9 Av

The last day of
this Period is the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av. This is the day
on which the Temple was actually destroyed. On this day we fast for the
full twenty-four hours, we refrain from bathing, wearing leather shoes,
wearing perfume and engaging in family relations.