Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Ben Hametzarim

The three weeks between the fasts of Tammuz 17 and Av 9 next week are called the period of bein hametzarim, between the straits or narrow places.

    The three weeks between the fasts of Tammuz 17 and Av 9 next week are called the period of bein hametzarim, between the straits or narrow places. The phrases comes from the Book of Lamentations: its author Jeremiah writes of the Jewish people’s persecution in exile: “All her pursuers overtook her bein hametzarim.” Rashi explains the phrase as “between field and vineyard”, in narrow places where was no hope of fleeing. He then quotes the Midrash that reads bein hametzarim as between the two fasts, “during which bitter destruction is found”.

    The Lithuanian commentator Rabbi Baruch Halevi Epstein explains bein hametzarim as the Jewish people’s inability to flee to safety from persecutors because they would always get caught on the border (the narrow place).

    The Lebanon War of 2006, which began on 16 Tammuz and lasted 34 days, was referred to by many people as the War of Bein Hametzarim.

Jewish words

Darchei Shalom

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Darchei Shalom
Jewish words

Chizuk

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Chizuk
Jewish words

Harat Olam

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Harat Olam
Jewish words

Ga'agua

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Ga'agua
Jewish words

Nafka Mina

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Nafka Mina
Jewish words

Machzor

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Machzor
Jewish words

Geshmack

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Geshmack
Jewish words

Neilah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Neilah
Jewish words

Taharah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Taharah