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Not marrying in the Three Weeks

    The upcoming fast of the 17th of Tammuz marks the beginning of three weeks of mourning culminating in the fast of the 9th of Av, in memory of the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem by the Babylonians and Romans.

    Among the mourning practices that we follow are not getting married during that period. It’s ok to get engaged during the three weeks, although not to have an engagement party; but it’s forbidden to marry, even without a party, as the marriage itself is a cause of great joy (Mishnah Berurah, Orach Chaim 551:15), even in the absence of band, caterer and photographer. 

    It can no doubt be a pain for three weeks of the summer to be off-limits for Jewish weddings but the point of the rule is not to simply impose restrictions but to create space for reflection and self-improvement, so long as the world is in its current flawed state. When Jerusalem is fully rebuilt and the world redeemed, the restrictions will be lifted and these days will become times of joy.
    Rabbi Julian Sinclair

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