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The Three Weeks

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

The Daily Halacha Moment - The Three Weeks 🕍

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


What are the three weeks?


The days between Shiva Asar B'tamuz and Tisha B’av are called Bein Hametzarim. As Chazal

say, these are the days that our enemies entered Jerusalem and caused destruction to Israel, until the day of Tisha B’av, where they ultimately destroyed our Holy Beit Hamikdash. As a result of this terrible tragedy, there are many customs of mourning that we practice during this sad time. We have prepared a guide to address some relevant Halachot and customs of these days of mourning.

B'ezrat Hashem, we should be Zoche for Mashiach to come before that, as Chazal say, ‘these days will become days of happiness and rejoice!’ Amen!

Words of Chizuk (inspiration) for this Sad Time Period:

Chazal tell us (Taanit 30b), ‘anyone who mourns on Jerusalem will merit to see in its happiness’ (i.e. Henceforth, teaching us we need to mourn about the destruction of Beit Hamikdash, because that will ultimately bring to its rebuilding.)

The Duvna Magid shares a beautiful Mashal (parable) that enlightens us on how to feel during this conflicting time. He compares this matter of the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, to a couple who had everything they needed, parnassa, health, shalom bayit, etc., but they were lacking one thing; they had yet to have a child. Finally, one day after 22 years of being married, the wife was expecting and the couple was overjoyed! When the day came and she was due to give birth, unexpected complications arose. The doctor came to the husband and said, “Your wife and your baby are in a critical state. Only one will survive.” (this is only a Mashal because the Halacha dictates that the woman lives in such a situation). The husband didn't know what to do, so he told the doctor he needed to speak to his wife. So, he went to her and explained to her the sad situation they were in, and she said, “Even though we lived together happily for so long and with our incredible shalom bayit, I'm willing to give up my life in order that our son that we waited for so long can live.” Sure enough, that's what happened. The doctor came out and said “Mazal Tov on your newborn son and Baruch Dayan HaEmet on your wifes Petira”. Fast forward 13 years, it came time for this boys Bar Mitzvah, his father put so much effort to put together a beautiful party. This day commemorates the boys mothers 13th Yahrzeit and the first time her son will say kaddish for her, as a Bar Chiyuva (a person who's obligated). So at this bittersweet moment, the father told him it's time for you to pay back a little to your mother for letting you live, please say kaddish for her neshama to have an aliyah. When the boy heard this, he did as his father commanded to say the kaddish and finished saying the kaddish within a matter of seconds. His father was astounded. The son then turns to him and says “Abba I finished the kadish we can go home now”, the father was astounded and was practically paralyzed in shock. Once he calmed down he told his son, “You're not embarrassed, how can you not show any emotion for this event?!” His son calmly replied, “My father, I don't know what you're referring to, I don't understand why there's all this Tumult.” (noise and ruckus).

Afterwards, one of the guests came to speak to the boy and told him “I don't understand you, your mother gave up her life for you, She had a good life and she gave it all up so you can succeed, and now you have no emotion while you're saying kaddish for her". The boy answered him, “I never met my mother, when I was born she passed away, I never spoke to her, nor got to know her, you who knew her can feel emotional for everything that took place”. After the boy's response everyone bursted in tears.

Comes the Duvna Magid and says, we never met this boy, but each one of us say to ourselves, that if we would have met him, we would say “How could you be so cruel!”

This boy, says the Maggid, is inside each one of us. The Beit Hamikdash was the Holy of Holies, Hashem’s home, and the Goyim came and destroyed it mercilessly, as the Chazal say, by putting idols in the Temple, burning Sifrei Torah etc. and who is to blame for it?

WE are to blame for it, as we say in Tefilla “Because of our sins we have exiled from our land

and the Beit Hamikdash has been destroyed”. Really, we should have been destroyed, but

because of Hashem's mercy He gave up on his home in order to save us. So, Hashem is asking of us, says the Maggid, ‘one time a year, say Kaddish for me, observe Tisha B'av in order to remember all I have done for you.’ Therefore, we must mourn at least once a year the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash and feel the sadness of the Shechina, which does not have a place to dwell. This is what we need to feel and miss in all of our hearts.

The key to merit to Mashiach is to feel the destruction and yearn for the final salvation. With this in mind, we can motivate ourselves to work on the things we are lacking in order to help bring the Geulah (redemption). The Gemara (Yoma 9b) states that the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed because of baseless hatred, the Chafetz Chaim writes in his introduction to Halachot Lashon Hara, that the Gemara was referring to Lashon Harah as well, which is a by product of hatred between one and other. So it is incumbent upon us to work on this terrible sin toward one another during these times, because until we fix the sins that caused the destruction we won't merit the rebuilding.

We pray to Hashem that with the actions we do to strive to become better and remember what we have lost. B”ezrat Hashem we should merit to see moshiach speedily in our days!

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Netanel Aminov

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