What tragic historic events occurred during the 3 weeks between 17 Tamuz and 9 Av that warrants a mourning period? Also, why is there a more "severe" mourning period (i.e. - greater restrictions such as not eating meat) during the 9 days beginning from Rosh Hodesh Av until 9 Av?

  • Why do you mourn Shiva for seven days after the death of a relative instead of just on the day they die?
    – Double AA
    Jun 10 '15 at 17:01
  • @DoubleAA Interesting comparison. But, there is a specific precedent for 7 days which IIRC comes from the behavior of Ya'akov's children.
    – DanF
    Jun 10 '15 at 17:18
  • @DoubleAA Does one keep Shiva after the third Yahrtzeit also? Jun 10 '15 at 20:25
  • @ShmuelBrin Tisha Bav isn't a Yahrtzeit. It's Aninut.
    – Double AA
    Jun 10 '15 at 20:53
  • @ShmuelBrin I don't understand your question. Please explain what you mean by 3rd yahrtzeit.
    – DanF
    Jun 11 '15 at 15:08

The Three Weeks are those days between 17 Tamuz, when the walls around Yerushalaim were breached by Titus's army, and 9 Av, when the Bais Hamikdash was actually destroyed. It would have been a period of heavy fighting, more than just a siege.

As to your second question: The Gemara (Tanis) doesn't mention a mourning period starting from 17 Tamuz. It's an Ashkenazi minhag, and I believe is not held among the Sefardim. The Mishna in Tanis states Mishenichnas Av m'ma'atin b'simcha, which is the source of the 9 Days. In addition, there are additional restrictions (in the Gemara) for Shavua shechal bo, the week in which 9 Av falls.

I understand that the fighting may have intensified in the later period. There is mention of the Roman army entering Jerusalem on 7 Av, which begins a period of increased mourning (no siyum, etc.).

  • Menachem, Nevuchadnetzar breached on 17 Tammuz (Melachim ב, forget perek). I don't know about Titus, but in any case, please insert sources. Jun 10 '15 at 21:30
  • @Noach thats not true he breached on 9 Tammuz
    – Double AA
    Jun 11 '15 at 1:32
  • @DoubleAA, I must misremember, I haven't gone through Melachim in some time Jun 11 '15 at 2:14
  • @NoachmiFrankfurt I like your new English word, "misremember". I "mis"remember to use this term next time I forget something ;-)
    – DanF
    Jun 11 '15 at 15:11
  • @DanF, I believe that that is actually in the lexicon already (Source: built in Apple dictionary) Jun 11 '15 at 16:10

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