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(Assyro-Babylonian, Abu) (30 Days)
July/August (Grapes, figs and olives are ripe).
5th month of the religious calendar.
11th month of the civil calendar.
Av 1 – New Moon
Av 9 – Jews mourn for the destruction of the Temple
During this month the intense summer heat is cooled by the westerly breezes and the commoners are busy on their threshing floors.
Av 1 - Commemorates the death of Aaron, brother of Moses.
Av 9 – Fasting and mourning commemorating the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. and by the Romans in 70 A.D.
Av 15 – This was a popular festival day during the time of the Second Temple, the women of Jerusalem dressed in white and went out to dance in the vineyards with the young men, asking them to choose one of them for marriage. It is also recorded that during the first century A.D. this day was a great day of wood-offering when both the priests and the people brought kindling-wood to the altar in large quantities, so that there would be enough wood for the burning of the sacrifices upon the altar for the entire year. Because this was such a hot month they would not cut the trees again for several months until the "New Year's Day of the Trees" (Shebat 15) which would allow the new sap of spring to enter the vegetation. This day also remembers that the tribes were allowed to intermarry, prohibition upon the tribe of Benjamin was removed, and the death penalty that followed the bad report of the spies.
Av 18 - Fast day commemorating the time when the western light in the Temple Menorah went out in the days of king Ahaz.
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