Young Israel of Hewlett
WELCOME TO THE YOUNG ISRAEL OF HEWLETT
CONGREGATION AHAVAT YISRAEL
PLEASE CONTINUE TO DAVEN AND SAY TEHILLIM
Chapters 20, 46, 83, 121, 130, 142 and 100
HASHEM SHOULD PROTECT THE IDF & KLAL YISROEL
NEW AMUD YOMI SHIUR WITH RABBI BLUMSTEIN
WEEKDAY MORNINGS 6:00AM
DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS, PLEASE MAKE A SPECIAL EFFORT TO ATTEND OUR MORNING AND EVENING MINYANIM.
HALACHOT OF THE 3 WEEKS
The three weeks beginning with Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz (the seventeenth of Tammuz) and ending end Tish’ah B’Av are called “ bein hametzarim” (between the distresses). During these three weeks, the Romans broke through the walls of Yerushalayim and destroyed the Beis Hamikdash. Although Chazal instituted laws of aveilus(mourning) beginning only on the week of Tish’ah B’Av or on Rosh Chodesh Av (the beginning of the Nine Days), the Poskim (halachic authorities) extended the aveilus and instituted many prohibitions beginning from Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz. Accordingly, the Ashkenazictradition is that three weeks of communal aveilus begin from Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz. According to most Poskim, the prohibitions of the Three Weeks begin on the evening of Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz, even though the fast first begins in the morning.
This year, since the seventeenth of Tammuz falls on Shabbos, the fast day is observed on Sunday, the eighteenth of Tammuz. According to all Poskim, when Shabbos is over, all the prohibitions of the Three Weeks begin.
Note: The halachos contained herein pertain only to the portion of the Three Weeks prior to Rosh Chodesh Av. Beginning from Rosh Chodesh Av, the more stringent prohibitions of the Nine Days apply. Those halachos will follow soon IY”H.
The Gemara says: כל המתאבל על ירושלים זוכה ורואה בשמחתה – One who mourns for Yerushalayim will merit witnessing her joy. Clearly, we do not mourn the destruction of Yerushalayim properly as was common in previous generations. Many of us go about our lives giving little thought to the churban habayis. The churban is relevant to us only through the halachos of aveilus that we observe. Indeed, through keeping these halachos properly we will merit to witness the geulah.
One may not play or listen to a musical instrument during the Three Weeks. This prohibition includes listening to recorded music in any form. There is no halachic basis to differentiate between “live” music and recorded music. Moreover, although singing and listening to singing is permitted, most contemporary Poskim rule that listening to recorded “a capella” music is not permitted.
Nevertheless, one need not refrain from sitting in a waiting room or from shopping in a store in which recorded music is played.Furthermore, one may listen to music while exercising if the intent is merely to provide rhythm for the exercise (see note). Similarly, one who is fatigued while driving may listen to music to keep oneself alert.
One who gives music lessons for a livelihood may do so during the Three Weeks until Rosh Chodesh Av. Similarly, one who plays in a band may perform for non-Jews during that time.
It is questionable whether one may take music lessons during the Three Weeks. It would seem that if one does not experience enjoyment from the practicing it should be permitted. Also, if skipping lessons will cause one a monetary loss or cause one to lose previously acquired skills, perhaps taking lessons is permitted. Some Poskim (halachic authorities) qualify that one may take music lessons only if the ultimate purpose is to learn a marketable trade, but not if the ultimate purpose is just for pleasure. Moreover, they hold that this allowance is applicable only until Rosh Chodesh Av.
Children younger than six years of age may listen to music, and all children may listen to recorded stories with background music. However, when the story has a musical interlude, they should fast forward to the end of the song.
Dancing, even without music, is prohibited (e.g., at a vort – engagement party), but singing is permitted.
During the Three Weeks, the custom is to refrain from reciting the b’rachah of shehecheyanu on new clothing (see below) or on a “new” fruit., The prevalent custom in the Diaspora is to allow reciting the b’rachah of shehecheyanu on Shabbos of the Three Weeks.
As mentioned above, one should not recite the b’rachah of shehecheyanu during the Three Weeks. Thus, although one is technically allowed to purchase new clothing during the Three Weeks, one should not purchase special clothing—such as a nice suit or coat, upon which one usually recites shehecheyanu—if one plans to wear them during the Three Weeks. One may, however, purchase such items to wear after Tish’ah B’Av, at which time one will recite shehecheyanu. Also, one may (before Rosh Chodesh Av) purchase a suit and don it for the first time on Shabbos and recite the b’rachah of shehecheyanu on Shabbos. Moreover, one may don the suit on Erev Shabbos and wait until Friday night to recite the b’rachah. All types of clothing upon which one does not recite shehecheyanu may be purchased until Rosh Chodesh Av. One may also wear such clothing during the Three Weeks (see note).
Similarly, one should not purchase special items that give one particular pleasure, upon which one usually recites shehecheyanu at the time of acquisition or delivery—such as a special watch or a nice desk—even for use after the Three Weeks. One may, however, purchase (before Rosh Chodesh Av) a special item that will be used by more than one person—such as a new couch or a new car, since the b’rachah one recites for such items is not shehecheyanu, but hatov v’hameitiv,which may be recited during the Three Weeks. See note.
Building and Decorating:
One may do decorative work on one’s house during the Three Weeks (until Rosh Chodesh Av), such as painting or installing carpets. One may also search for a new residence and even move during this time. Some refrain from such activity and avoid going to contract or closing on a house during this time, since it is not considered a time of good mazel. However, if there would be a financial loss involved in waiting, one need not refrain from going to contract or closing on a house.
The minhag (custom) is that both men and women do not take a haircut and men do not shave during the entire Three Weeks, even l’chvod Shabbos (for the honor of Shabbos). A woman may cut some hair when necessary for reasons of tevilah or tzni’us even during the week of Tish’ah B’Av. Married women and women of marriageable age may shave their legs and tweeze their eyebrows – when necessary – until the week of Tish’ah B’Av. A man may trim his mustache until the week of Tish’ah B’Av if it interferes with his eating. Even young children should not receive haircuts. Nevertheless, a child who is suffering from excessive hair may have his/her hair cut. One who feels that one must cut one’s hair or shave for business purposes should consult one’s Rav.
A sheitel (wig) is considered a garment, not hair. Thus, it may be cut, washed and set during the Three Weeks, but not during the Nine Days.
Cutting nails is permitted during the Three Weeks.