Bein HaMetzarim The Three Weeks

Bein HaMetzarim The Three Weeks,

We call the three weeks that fall between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av (Saturday, July 16, 2022, to Saturday, August 6, 2022) the days of narrowness.

Bein Hametzarim 2022 – Three Weeks from Tammuz 17 to Av 9

From the sunset of Saturday, July 16, 2022, to Saturday, August 6, 2022, begins three weeks in which the Shechinah withdraws and the Light reaches us in its maximum intensity.

The three weeks known as Bein HaMetrarim, are three weeks where the energy available in the cosmos can be overwhelming and even destructive if we do not know how to handle it.

Could you take advantage of it or protect yourself?

According to the level of evolution in which each one of us is, we will be able to take advantage of it or we will have to protect ourselves. Or both in the right proportion. These days, we remember the unpleasant events that happened to the Jewish people thousands of years ago.

One of the most serious events that occurred on this date was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Beit Hamikdash (the Great Temple), which caused the exile of the Jews from their land and the loss of their rights and autonomy as a people.

Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem for the second time

Even more serious is that Jerusalem was destroyed for the second time on the same date. That is to say, with a difference of almost 500 years Jerusalem, as well as the Beit Hamikdash, was destroyed twice.

In 586 B.C.E., on the 9th of Tammuz, the Babylonian army succeeded in demolishing the wall surrounding the city and penetrating it. The battle inside Jerusalem lasted a month.

These are the days that we call “Yemei Bein Hametzarim”. Irmiahu Hanavi – the prophet Jeremiah – wrote a very sad Megillah describing the terrible days Jerusalem suffered at that time.

Such is the meaning of the Hebrew term “metzarim”, which shares the root with “matzor”: distress, encirclement, siege.

One month after the Babylonians entered Jerusalem, on the 10th of Av, the Beit Hamikdash (Temple of Jerusalem) was burned and the first great exile of the Jews began. After a few years, they were able to return to their land and build the Second Temple in Jerusalem, but…

Second Temple Period

About 2000 years ago, the Romans ruled large parts of Europe and the Middle East (Israel is located in the Middle East). For many years the Roman Empire ruled the Land of Israel and despite that, Jewish life went on almost without major inconvenience.

The Temple in Jerusalem had remained standing, the priests performed their ritual duties there and Jews made pilgrimages to Jerusalem on Hebrew festivals. However, the presence of the Romans disturbed the Jewish population.

The Roman procurators who had established themselves in each of the citadels of the Empire charged increasingly expensive taxes and many of them did not agree that the Jews should continue with their religious life, thus threatening it. In addition, relations among the Jews themselves were not entirely good.

Differences of opinion and conflicts

In the heart of the Jewish people, there were differences of opinion and conflicts between different sectors of the population.

For some, they thought that they should continue as they were; others said that the Romans affected too much the Jewish life of the people and they were opposed to continuing living under the dominion of a foreign empire in the Holy Land – Israel.

Hamered Hagadol – The Great Revolt

The climax of the opposition of the Jews against the Romans was Hamered Hagadol, (the “Great Revolt”). The struggle was initiated by the Jews of the Galilee area and was later joined by those of Judea and Jerusalem.

In reaction, the Romans immediately brought in an army of thousands upon thousands of soldiers. After four months of fighting, the Romans laid siege to Jerusalem).

For several months the Romans maintained the siege around the city, so the Jews could not enter or leave and hunger and thirst soon followed.

Tammuz 17, year 70

All this terrible situation lasted until the 17th of Tammuz in the year 70. It was then that the Romans succeeded in demolishing the wall of Jerusalem and conquering the city.

This was one of the bloodiest battles in the history of the people. Hundreds of houses were burned and thousands of lives were lost. In the days called Bein Hametzarim, precisely in the months of Tammuz and Av, Jerusalem was destroyed, this time by the Roman Empire.

Within three weeks the Second Temple in Jerusalem was burned and the Jewish people were exiled for more than 2000 years.

Mourning Customs Yemei Bein Hametzarim

The sages stipulated certain rules for carrying out the mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple of Jerusalem:

  • No marriages
  • No wearing new clothes for the first time
  • No haircuts
  • No listening to music

In the last days of this period, a few more rigorous rules were added, such as:

  • No eating meat
  • No drinking wine
  • No washing clothes
  • No bathing in the sea or swimming pools.

Keren Etinguer via

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