The Real Laws of the Three Weeks and Nine Days
July 22, 2008 Jewish Law / Halakha
Last Sunday was the Jewish fast day of Shiva Assar B’Tammuz – the 17th day of the month of Tammuz. In addition to being a fast day, the 17th of Tammuz also marks the beginning of The Three Weeks of mourning leading up to the fast of Tish’a B’av. For these three weeks and the final nine days Jews generally accept some practices of mourning. However, there is much confusion as to what actions are prohibited when.1 Every year around this time I get a slew of questions as to what is permitted and prohibited during the three weeks and nine days and for some reason I never got around to posting my responses. To correct this oversight, here is my understanding of the laws and customs of the three weeks and nine days.