Rosh Chodesh Av 5775

Av (ahv) is the eleventh month of the Hebrew year. It began at sundown last night, July 16, 2015.

Av is often mentioned as the “unluckiest” or “saddest” month of the year, based on a mention in the Talmud in Taanit 19a: “When we enter Av, our joy is diminished.”

Av has a number of sad anniversaries in it. Foremost of those is the 9th of Av, Tisha B’Av, on which we remember the destruction of both the first and second Temples, as well as the Expulsion from Spain in 1492. These were the greatest disasters in Jewish history before the 20th century.

Av is also a hot, dry time in the Land of Israel, when water is even more precious than usual and when the sun beats down even in the relatively cooler places like Jerusalem and Sefat.

What are your associations for this season? How might they fit into the Jewish understanding of this time of year?

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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

2 thoughts on “Rosh Chodesh Av 5775”

  1. Living in the Sonoran Desert of AZ associating the hot, dry Summer when water is especially precious reminds me of this time of year and association with the sadness of the Holiday of Tisha B’Av and the likeness to the similar climate in the land of Israel. Water is becoming a precious commodity all over the wold and it also makes me realize that as a steward of Hashem’s Creation I must be even more diligent in doing my best part to conserve water even as I need to use it.

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