Reading a Special Haftara & Business Dealings & The Custom of Women to Visit and Fix Up Cemeteries During the 3 WeeksPrint This Post •
18 Tamuz 5770 – June 30, 2010. – Perashat Pinéhas
Magen Abot – e”H Ribi Mordekhai Lebhar s”t
The Three Weeks
4. Reading of the Three Haftarot of Rebuke (Telata dePur’anuta) The minhag is to read the haftarot on the three Shabatot directly prior to Tish’a beAb (known as the Telata dePur’anuta) with a special, mournful melody different from that used during the rest of the year. This is an old minhag, already mentioned in the responsa of the Rivash, who lived in the Middle Ages. Many Jewish communities have similar customs- Tunisia (see Zé haShulhan, p.145) and Egypt (see Nahar Misrayim), as well as by the Ashkenazim who read these Haftarot with the melody used for Megilat Ekha. Some contemporary halakhic authorities have spoken against this minhag, saying that it constitutes a public display of mourning on Shabat. However, the Rivash, mentioned above, and other early authorities did not seem to find any fault with the custom. Rather, it seems they reasoned that the Sages had instituted the reading of these three Haftarot in order to arouse the people to repentance, and to further facilitate this it became customary to read the Haftarot in a special tune.
We do not listen to music throughout the Three Weeks, even if it is recorded.
Netibot haMa’arab – e”H Ribi Eliyahou Bitton s”t
The Three Weeks
10) It is customary of women during these three weeks to go to the cemeteries to renovate and paint the broken and worn-down burial plots and tombstones. This is done to “wakeup” the dead on these hard days, that they should pray to Hashem on our behalf and on the behalf of all Yisrael, that we should pass these days in peace and bring back the exiled Shekhina. [The Zohar explains that this "Shekhinata Me'afra" is literally rolling in the dirt" [ie. at a very low level]. See Osrot haMaghreb (Tish’a beAb).