THE THREE WEEKS– SHABBAT MASEI
SHABBAT MASEI is the second Shabbat of the Three Sabbaths before Tisha B'av. Once again the Haftorah does not relate to the Parsha, but continues with the theme of allocation that runs through " TheThree Weeks." This Haftorah (prophetic portion) from Jeremiah continues where last week's Haftorah left off. The message of doom increases as we move into the second of the three Haftorahs leading up to Tisha B'Av.
The prophet Jeremiah scolds the people of Israel and points out their misdeeds. Jeremiah lived to see the destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E.
As was noted last week, The Three Weeks are considered 21 days of mourning by the Jewish people. It was during this time that the Temple walls were breached and the Temple finally burnt. Weddings and other joyous celebrations should not take place during this time.
Finally on this Shabbat, we bless the new month of Av, which begins on July 28. This ushers in the Nine Days which culminate on Tisha B'Av, the 9th of Av (August 5). During the nine days, the element of mourning is increased. Many do not eat meat or drink wine, except on Shabbat or at a Se'udat Mitzvah. Also haircuts are generally not had at this time. The somber mood increases as the days move toward Tisha B'Av.