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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Three Weeks

The three weeks between the 17th of Tammuz and Tisha B’Av (commonly known as “The Three Weeks”) are a time of mourning for the Bnei Yisrael. We therefore refrain from various joyous practices during this period. They are split into three levels with their intensity increasing as we approach the ninth of Av. This article deals with the first of these levels from the 17th of Tammuz up until Rosh Chodesh Av.

We don’t take haircuts or shave. This is similar to Sefirah and more details can be found in this post.

We don’t listen to music. One who is professional musician as well as one who is learning how to play an instrument may continue to do so. (After Rosh Chodesh Av it is best to do so in a secluded place). For more music related laws please see the Sefirah post

We don’t get married during this time.

We do not recite Shecheyanu. Therefore one shouldn’t purchase an item that requires a Shehechyanu, such as new clothing, a new car (for personal use, not business or family use), or a new Tallis. New clothing that does not require Shecheyanu or that was bought before the 17th of Tammuz and Shecheyanu was already recited may be worn for the first time up until Rosh Chodesh Av.

Clothing that requires Shecheyanu may not be bought but may be worn on Shabbos until Rosh Chodesh.

Rav Soloveitchik had a fascinating Halachic observation: All laws of Aveilus throughout the year must be modeled after the Aveilus one has for a relative that passes away. Therefore we will treat Tisha B’Av as Shiva, the Nine Days as Shloshim, and the three weeks are analogous to the 12 months following the death of a parent. (Nefesh Harav).

Posted on 07/08 at 03:12 AM • Permalink
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Meet Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber

Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch HaberRabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber is sought after by all who know him for his Halachic and practical advice. His keen ability to put complicated matters into a digestible perspective coupled with his ability to get the facts, make him the perfect blogger to help us all “Do It Right”.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Haber spent his childhood globetrotting with his family. His pioneering spirit first surfaced in Melbourne, Australia, where he was excited to be a member of the opening class of Mesivta Bnei Torah. From Australia the Haber family settled down in Monsey, NY. Ever the maverick, Tzvi promptly left home to study in Yeshiva Ohr Hameir in Peekskill, where he became a mainstay of the Yeshiva, and inspired his younger brothers as well as several friends from the Mesivta in Melbourne to follow him. He then joined his chaburah in Jerusalem, first at the Mir Yeshiva and then at the Bais Medrash of Rav Dovid Soloveitchik, a senior scion of the famed Brisk dynasty. As his globetrotting family returned to Jerusalem, Tzvi returned to the US, to freeze in the famed, yet comparatively chilled Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood.

 In 2004 he met his wife, Suzanne Schor, a native of the warmer Los Angeles climate, and the couple settled in Lakewood, where he focused his pioneering and independent strengths on the study of Halacha, or Jewish law. His innovative spirit and innate ability to help others seeking to clarify the finer points of Judaism and integrate them into their daily lives inspired his decision to commute daily from Lakewood to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in order to bask in the day to day exposure to the world renowned Posek, HaRav David Feinstein. The daily commute was more than compensated for when he received Semicha from Rav Feinstien and the Kollel L’Torah U’lhorah (a division of Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem) in Tamuz 5768, June 2008.

In August 2009, the Habers moved west, heading toward Los Angeles where Rabbi Haber joined the LINK-LA Kollel. After being an active member of the Kollel for several years, he joined the business world, however he is still actively involved in teaching and learning in LA.

Actively involved in all aspects of TorahLab, Tzvi has taken upon himself a quasi-role as administrator of quality control and has effectively improved and upgraded many of the smaller yet vital details involved in our site. His advice is eagerly sought and gracefully given.

Rabbi Haber is now living in the La Brea section of Los Angeles with his wonderful family. He can be contacted at tzvi@torahlab.org