Traditionally, there is a period of 3 weeks during the summer that begins with the fast day of Shiva Asar B'Tammuz and culminates with the darkest day in the Jewish calendar, that of Tisha B'Av. That time period is known as "The Three Weeks." It is a time period of greater and greater "restrictions" and greater and greater levels of "mourning." It is a sad time...a time for reflection...a time to think about the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash/Temple.
For us, today begins a different time of "The Three Weeks." For three weeks from today, our family boards a plane to NY to await a flight the next day to our Home in Israel. These weeks will not be marked by mourning (B"H) nor by greater and greater levels of sadness. They will be marked by greater and greater levels of anticipation, excitement, trepidation and anxiety. It will be a time of introspection and one that looks not only at the FUTURE but also at our PAST. It is a time that we have been looking forward to for a long time, and we can not believe is now so close.
This year, the "real" Three Weeks begin two days after our arrival in Israel.
However, unlike the Three Week period of the last 2000 years, this one will be marked by joy and happiness and end with the jubilant re-building of the Bet HaMikdash. This year will be marked not by sadness and mourning, but by joy and elation as we all gather together in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh to greet the Mashiach. If I did not truly believe that with every fiber of my being then I would not believe in the 13 Ikarim of the Rambam and of the coming of the Mashiach.
May we ALL be zoche (merit) to be together for this momentous moment in Jewish History, and may we all do our part in both Torah and Miztvot to see to it that this moment arrives speedily!