Av

Destruction And Consolation

Solemnity and joyfulness are two emotional states that are normally exclusive to one another. However, in the month of Av we experience both as a part of the calendar. On the subject of the aspect and enormity of the month's solemn nature, Av begins in the middle of the three weeks, a period of mourning from the 17th day of Tammuz until the 9th day of Av. This period of time is also called "Bein haMetzarim" ("between the straits"). The significance of this time is that it, as we discussed last month, was the return of the scouts or spies...

TOPICSAv, consolation, destruction of Temples, fasting, return, seven weeks, solemnity


The Affliction of Av

Av is the fifth month of biblical calendar year. The name "Av" is the Babylonian name of the month. In the Bible, it is simply referred to as "the fifth month" as in Numbers 33:38, "And Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor at the command of the LORD and died there...on the first day of the fifth month." Aaron the high priest died on the 1st of Av. The Torah says that after that, "all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days" (Numbers 20:29). Unfortunately, this was a foreboding sign of things to come. Since those days,...

TOPICSAv, destruction of Temples, fasting, lamentation, persecution, three weeks, Tisha B'Av, tragedies


The Consolation of Av

The distress that began with the fast of the 17th of Tammuz intensifies as Rosh Chodesh Av appears in the sky. Last month, we remembered the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem. But during Av, the enemy struck the center of Jerusalem...

TOPICSAv, consolation, fasting, judgment, mercy, Tisha B'Av