Dear GNS Families,

The three-week period beginning with the 17th of Tammuz (Thursday, July 9th) and ending with the fast of the 9th of Av (Thursday, July 30) is a period of mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem and the two Batei Mikdash. The mourning intensifies as we move closer to Tisha B’Av.

The fast begins tomorrow, early in the morning at 4:20 am and concludes at 9:09 pm tomorrow evening. Shacharit with Slichot begins at 7:45 am. Mincha begins at 8:00 pm.

Restrictions of “The Three Weeks”

1. Weddings/Engagements. Weddings are prohibited. 
Engagements are permitted, but engagement parties should be postponed until after the Three Weeks.

2. Music. It is prohibited to play or listen to music. Even a student should not practice during the Three Weeks unless his/her skills will be set back considerably by the lack of practice. According to most, this prohibition includes recorded music. Although it may be permissible to listen to recordings with singing alone (“acappella”), it is preferable to refrain from the joy associated with music altogether. Singing is permitted on Shabbat. This year, however, due to the pandemic, Rav Schachter has issued a psak permitting listening to music if it assuages feelings of anxiety or depression.

3. Haircutting is prohibited for both men and women. In cases of need, children’s hair may be cut.

4. Shaving is prohibited according to most authorities, if not needed for business purposes. Many follow Rav Soloveitchik’s view that shaving until the Nine Days follows the same ruling as during the year of mourning, and is therefore permitted after a few days growth. A woman may shave her legs even during the Nine Days.

5. Home beautification may continue until Rosh Chodesh (Tuesday night, July 21st). However, it is best not to begin painting or beautification of the home during the Three Weeks. If there are no other dates available, one may begin during this time.

6. Important purchases that require the bracha of “shehechiyanu” should be avoided - a new car, major 
appliances and furniture, expensive clothes and the like. If there is a major sale, or one is left without a car or important appliance, these objects may be purchased even during the Nine Days.

In the merit of our sincere observance of this time of mourning, may we merit the fulfillment of our hopes and prayers for the rebuilding of Yerushalayim.

Rabbis Polakoff & Lichter
Great Neck Synagogue | www.gns.org