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The Second Temple in flames
Francesco Hayez, The Second Temple in flames, 1867. The 9th of Av, Tisha B'Av, is a fast commemorating what has been called the saddest day in Jewish history,[1] which is when the Holy Temple was set aflame.
Native nameאָב (Hebrew)
CalendarHebrew calendar
Month number5
Number of days30
SeasonSummer (Northern Hemisphere)
Gregorian equivalentJuly–August
Significant days
← Tammuz
Elul →

Av (also Menachem Av,[2] Hebrew: אָב, Modern: ʾAv, Tiberian: ʾĀḇ) is the eleventh month of the civil year and the fifth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar.[3] It is a month of 30 days, and usually occurs in July–August on the Gregorian calendar.

The Babylonian Talmud states that "when we enter [the month of] Av, our joy is diminished".[4] This is because the darkest events in Jewish history occurred during the first week and a half of this month, particularly the Nine Days which culminate in Tisha B'Av, the 9th day of Av. However, the month also contains a holiday called Tu B'Av which was, in ancient times, considered one of the happiest days of the year.


Originally Abu on the Babylonian calendar, the name is derived from Akkadian ʾAbū, which might mean "reed" or be connected to the name of the Mesopotamian god Abu.[5] Others derive the name of the month from the Hebrew word "Av" - "father".[6][7] The name Ab (Arabic: آﺏ) also appears in the Arabic language for the month of August in the Levant (see Arabic names of calendar months).

The name Ab appears in Aramaic ostraca from the Persian period,[8] in Aramaic documents from Ancient Egypt and Palmyra, in Masada and Qarnayim ostraca, in the best manuscripts of Targum Jonathan to Ez. 20:1,[9] and in Rabbinic literature starting with Megillat Taanit.[10] It is one of several months which are not named in the Hebrew Bible.


In Jewish history

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (August 2008)

See also


  1. ^ Telushkin, Joseph (1991). Jewish Literacy: Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History. William Morrow & Co, 656. ISBN 0-688-08506-7.
  2. ^ "The Month of Av - Jewish Holidays". Jewish Holidays. 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
  3. ^ "חדש אב - The month of Av". Hebrew for Christians. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  4. ^ Taanit 29a
  5. ^ Muss-Arnolt, W. (1892). "The Names of the Assyro-Babylonian Months and Their Regents". Journal of Biblical Literature. 11 (1): 72–94. doi:10.2307/3259081. hdl:2027/mdp.39015030576584. ISSN 0021-9231. JSTOR 3259081.
  6. ^ "The Hebrew Month of Av".
  7. ^ "The Month of Av". June 26, 2006. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  8. ^ Yardeni, Ada; Porten, Bezalel (2014). Textbook of Aramaic Ostraca from Idumea, Volume 1: 401 Commodity Chits. University Park: Penn State University Press. ISBN 978-1-57506-898-5.
  9. ^ כהן, מנחם. מקראות גדולות הכתר. Universiṭat Bar Ilan. ISBN 978-965-226-453-4. OCLC 865555402.
  10. ^ "Megillat Taanit". Sefaria. Warsaw, 1874. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  11. ^ Numbers 33:38.
  12. ^ II Kings 25:8.
  13. ^ "Taanit 31a". Sefaria. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  14. ^ "Av". Megillat Taanit.