Each summer, usually in July, there’s a period called “The Three Weeks” observed as a time of semi-mourning between the fast-days of the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B’Av, which becomes a little more intense and focused in the “Nine Days” leading up to Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av). For those observant of these traditions, there are no weddings, concerts and haircuts during this time period. Aside for the Halachic restrictions, the Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged that this be a time for personal reflection and spiritual growth, increasing in our love for our fellow (the opposite of which is said to be a cause of the Temple’s destruction) and of study and yearning for Jerusalem and the Temple.
Here’s a collection of online resources to explore, ranging from law & custom, to historical significance and personal relevance, from past Temples to the future redemption, and much in between.
Chabad.org’s mini-site on The Three Weeks There’s lots of info, and there are many further linked articles to explore.
Rebbe on the Lost Ark, a commentary on Maimonides. This is one of my favorite talks of the Rebbe about the Temple. It doesn’t say it there in the text, but this dual-perspective is also a way how the Rebbe encouraged us to view every Jew.
“Celebrating Destruction” see this “Mendel’s Messages” post on our site, fitting for these Three Weeks remembering the Beit HaMikdash.
“My Favorite Eicha Verses” also on “Mendel’s Messages”. Eicha is Jeremiah’s Lamentations, usually not a favorite text. This sad Megillah is read on Tisha B’Av. But there are some positive sparks in between all that sadness, see which verses I (Mendel) like best!
Tidbits from the Kinot lamentation poems – some of the beauty and background of these classic liturgical poems recited on Tisha B’Av morning, obviously lots of sadness but loaded with interesting history and rich language and depth of multiple meanings.
Tidbits about the Temple – this is a short starter list of a very major topic. But a few nice thing to think about.
Our FB Live series about the Temple – check here soon for a short series of FB Live videos about the Jerusalem Temple using ordinary spots around our house.
See this “Celebration Magazine” Special Edition (made by Chabad of Wisconsin) It’s a downloadable PDF, link may be temporary. I didn’t read the whole thing, but there are some nice stories and pieces there.
Rebbe on Rabbi Akiva’s Laughter.See Section 8 on that page. The Rebbe’s lengthy talk on this in 1964 was a pivotal transformation point in my father’s (Rabbi Israel Rubin) unique approach to Torah study. It is also something Raizy and I studied together for several weekends on our trips up to the Catskills in the first summer of our marriage. I can’t find the rich and lengthy talk online in English (yet) but there is a snippet of it in this “Giving of the Torah” commentary – see Section 8. See Rabbi Israel Rubin’s “Tisha B’Av has Two Sides to It” based on Rabbi Akiva’s laughter which the Rebbe very much enjoyed. And also related, our commentary on the Dot in “Hello Red Fox”.
The “I” in Comfort – a look at the opening verses of the first 4 Haftorahs of Comfort after Tisha B’Av, and a telling message.
Sefira/3 Weeks Music – Jewish law says no concerts during these 3 Weeks, but many families include recorded music in that as well. One way to deal with that is with Sefirah (another period of semi-mourning after Passover) Music, i.e. acapella music, vocals only with no instruments. This link has a 100+ Jewish acapella music videos.
The Cloud over Students – this is more of an educational message than a Tisha B’Av one, but has relevance to the dark cloudy days of our lives.
Hope to add to this list soon. May you have a meaningful Three Weeks, and “may these days be transformed into days of joys and happiness!”
May you have a meaningful Three Weeks and Nine-Days and “may these days be transformed into days of joys and happiness!”