The “Three Weeks” between the 17th of Tammuz and the Tisha B’Av have historically been days of misfortune and calamity for the Jewish people. These days are referred to as the period “within the straits” (bein hametzarim), in accordance with the verse: “all her oppressors have overtaken her within the straits” (Lamentations 1:3).
Proverbs 30:25-28 (ESV)
The ants are a people not strong,
yet they provide their food in the summer;
We bless the citizens of Israel, Lord, and pray that they preserve the agricultural bounty of this season for future needs. We pray that the citizens of Mississippi will be good stewards and do likewise.
the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
There are many small routine tasks of maintenance and reinforcement for the defense of private homes and public facilities. We pray that the citizens of Israel will be disciplined in these responsibilities and vigilant in the defense of their nation. We also ask that the citizens and law enforcement officials of Mississippi do likewise.
the locusts have no king,
yet all of them march in rank;
We pray that the citizens of Israel and Mississippi will walk in right paths.
the lizard you can take in your hands,
yet it is in kings’ palaces.
Deliver citizens of Israel and Mississippi from the evil one. Amen.