Rabbi BenZion ShafierThe author taught in the Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva branch in Monsey, New York, where he resides. He is the director of theshmuz.com, and his book, Stop Surviving Start Living, is available thru the website or at Jewish bookstores.
Rabbi Shafier explains the Three Week mourning period prior to the 9th of Av, a time known as "Ben Hametzarim", translated as "between the straits, the difficulties", which was historically and is until today a time of great calamity for the Jewish people and the world as a whole.
Volumes can be written on the tragic events that occurred at this time from the sin of the spies to the destruction of our holy Temples in 422 B.C.E. and 70 A.D. over 2000 years ago, which is the root cause for the mourning customs kept during the period.
However, the Spanish Inquisition and the start of World War I climaxing in the Holocaust, the start of the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, and more recently, the capture of Gilad Shalit and the expulsion of thousands of Jewish from their homes in Gush Katif all occurred during this time of the year.
He elucidates on "Why We Mourn for Mashiach"- the Redemption is the hope of Am Yisrael
And he asks, don't you want to know "What Life Will Be Like When Moshiach Comes" ?
Arutz Sheva adds: May we merit the Redemption speedily and in our times!