17th of Tammuz and the 21 days until the 9th of Av
On Sunday, we begin a period of three weeks from the 17th of Tammuz (Cancer) until the 9th of Av (Leo). The name came from the verse in Lamentation 1:3, it says “גָּלְתָה יְהוּדָה מֵעֹנִי, וּמֵרֹב עֲבֹדָה–הִיא יָשְׁבָה בַגּוֹיִם, לֹא מָצְאָה מָנוֹחַ; כָּל-רֹדְפֶיהָ הִשִּׂיגוּהָ, בֵּין הַמְּצָרִים”
“Judah is gone into exile because of affliction and because of great servitude; she dwelleth among the nations, she findeth no rest; all her pursuers overtook her within the straits.”
During this time, the elements of judgment (Left) are stronger than Chessed (Right). Besides the destruction of the two Holy Temples, history is full of negative events that happened to the Israelites. The month of Tammuz (Cancer) is full of confusion and doubts in the ways of God. The sin of the Golden calf was in the month of Tammuz. It created a cosmic event repeated every year and corrupted the connection between the Light of the Creator and us. During this time, the forces of the negative side, with the help of the Erev Rav, have a greater ability to cause chaos on us and the world.
On the 9th of Av, at the end of the three weeks (21 days), we read the entire book of Lamentation. It is mostly written in the order of the 22 Hebrew letters to correct and draw the higher Light to sweeten the judgment of this time period. A week later, we celebrate the 15th of Av, which is when the highest level of unification between the light and the vessel occurs.
To overcome the situation of “all her pursuers overtook her within the straits” (Lamentation 1:3), we connect to the sources of light available to us. We start with the Zohar to help us get charged with the energy of love to each other. Especially during this period, we should avoid conflicts because negativity can easily set a burning fire in every situation.
Until the 9th of Av, we should be careful with every action that we do and avoid judgment as much as we can. Starting a new endeavor or buying new things may draw judgments because negativity always present at the beginning of everything. We better avoid purchasing anything unless it is vital to our daily routines, personal or business.