The Three Weeks

July 18, 2014

Every week, Jody Hirsh, the JCC's Judaic Education Director, provides a Judaic message that is featured at the top of the JCC's weekly email newsletter. Below is the Shabbat message for Friday, July 18, 2014.

The Three Weeks

Last week we looked at the process started on the 17th of the Hebrew month of Tammuz which was on Tuesday – a fast day that commemorates the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem in the year 70 by the occupying Romans. The time between that day of mourning until the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av, which is when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, is called “The Three Weeks.” It is a time of mourning. Traditional men do not shave or cut their hair. Many do not wear freshly laundered clothing. Among the most traditional, listening to music is forbidden, and for the last nine days of this period, traditional people refrain from eating meat. In Aramaic (a Semitic language spoken by the Jews of the time, similar to Hebrew) this period is known as Telata De’Puranuta... “The Three of Calamity.” This period is considered to be a part of the year in which Jews suffered many misfortunes: The golden calf, and Moses breaking the tablets of the Law, The destruction of the Temple first by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and then by the Romans in 70 CE, the expulsion from Spain in 1492,  the beginning of the First World War. For that reason, many Jews avoid doing anything dangerous during this period.

And danger certainly comes to mind as we watch the events in the Middle East unfold. The danger for all residents of the region is hard for us, sitting comfortably in Milwaukee, to imagine. We hope for calm, and for lasting peace.

Picasso - The Dove of Peace

Shabbat Shalom