During the last Nine Days of the Three Weeks - from the first of Av until the ninth of Av - mourning is intensified. We avoid:
Meat and poultry (but not fish)
Wine and grape juice (but not other alcoholic beverages)
Laundering, and wearing freshly laundered clothing
Pleasurable bathing and showering
Nonessential construction work, home improvements and significant purchases
Exceptions are made in honor of the Sabbath: for example, we are allowed to wear freshly-cleaned Sabbath finery and eat festive Sabbath meals of meat wine.
As many of these rules are nuanced (e.g. the restrictions on bathing and laundering), please consult a rabbi for practical applications.
During this time of year, it is recommended to avoid any activities involving an element of risk, since this is an inauspicious time for the Jewish People.
Jewish Tradition teaches that, “Whoever mourns for Jerusalem merits to witness its consolation.” This can mean that one who mourns for Jerusalem earns the reward of the Messianic Redemption. But some see another message: in mourning for Jerusalem, we taste the Redemption today. Connecting with our suffering also connects us with our destiny. We understand that we have a mission, that our suffering has a purpose, and that our actions matter. We know there is hope for our future, and that fills us with a deep well of joy, hope and fulfillment.