The 3 weeks gets a lot of halachos from the laws of mourning, eg buying new clothes, music. What's the difference between 'regular' mourning for a deceased and the morning of the 3 weeks? The visible difference is that mouning for the dead is most intense at the start (during the week of shivah the mourner cannot leave the house), and then the halachos become less constricting (the first month, the first year, etc.). However, the three weeks is the opposite - we start off more 'relaxed,' only to take on more stringent halachos in the 9 days (bathing, washing , etc) and then get the most strict on 9av istelf. We go up in intensity of mourning. Why this difference? One answer is that mourning the dead is a process of 'accompanying' the deceased's soul through things they go through when they leave this world, and these things become less intense as time goes on. In contrast, in the three weeks we are not accopanying any person's soul. We are mourning over our beis hamikdash and HaShem's Presence being in galus, so to speak. To instil these feelings within us we gradually build UP the intensity and feelings of mourning. [Small bits heard from Rabbi Roberts and Rabbi Tatz]

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