בֵּין הַמְּצָרִים – Within the straits
We just began a period of three weeks from the 17th of Tamuz (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”
We read the whole book of Lamentation on the 9th of Av as part of the mourning process on the destruction of the Holy Temples. The people were in separation from each other and from respecting the Holy Temple and the Light that was available to them. This created an opening for the negativity to come to Jerusalem and disconnect the people and the whole world from the true source of Light. The 22 days that lead to the final destruction on the 9th of Av created a significant spiritual effect that we experience every year at the same time. The only remedy to overcome the situation of “all her pursuers overtook her within the straits” is a stronger connection to the sources of light that are available to us. These are the Zohar and unconditional love. 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.
We have special meditations in our prayers to transform negativity to a vessel of light but the important thing to remember is that Love and Peace are first priority.
At the end of the 22 days, we read Lamentation which is written in special orders of the 22 Hebrew letters. This is the correction to the past 22 days and the revelation of light that comes 7 days after, on the 15th of Av.