The Three Weeks or Bein ha-Metzarim, meaning “Between the Straights,” is a solemn commemoration of the destructions of the First and Second Temples.
It is a time of mourning during which many refrain from music, parties, and any joyous activities. Remembering the past, whether joyous or tragic, is a key part of Messianic Judaism. The memorialization of these pieces of history serves as much more than a simple reminder. Through these memories and traditions we can realign our souls with the path of righteousness.
The reverence and spiritual intensity of a time such as the Three Weeks is an opportunity for all of us to do a sort of spiritual check up. It’s a time to seek solitude and focus on where you are in your faith and where you need to improve. Solitude is a crucial aspect of focusing on your faith. The Master made a habit of finding places of solitude in which to pray. Luke 5:16: “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”
For many, media is the most prominent distraction in their lives and so the most effective form of solitude can simply be uninstalling apps and logging out of Netflix. Some may even choose to disconnect from all forms of media during the Three Weeks. This means no social media or entertainment of any kind. It’s a heavy undertaking, but I am willing to argue that it’s worth it. By removing so many distractions from your life, you give yourself the silence and space necessary to concentrate.
Throughout the weeks, the heaviness of examining your own weaknesses is broken by a desire and motivation to make positive changes within your life. In this way, the Three Weeks is a time of both heartbreak and hope. Whether you choose complete solitude over these next few weeks, or just cut out a few small things, spend some time focusing your spiritual health.