ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Jewish Months of Av and Elul

Updated on February 24, 2015

These two months lead into the High Holy Day season

The Jewish month of Av contains the saddest day on the Jewish calendar but then, right after that, comes another holiday that represents rebuilding. Elul is one of only two months with no holidays (one before Tishrei, the month of the High Holy Days, and one after) but the month is spent preparing for Rosh Hashana

Jewish Life Cycle
Jewish Life Cycle

Beliefs, Customs and traditions define every aspect of Jewish life. From the

day a Jew is born until after they die, every day marks a different stage of

life, each with its own personal and religious significance. The film describes three of the most crucial landmarks, Birth, Bar Mitzva and Death and describes each with a beautiful personal story:

The Eighth Day -Religious life for a Jewish man begins on the eights day after his birth, and marks his initiation into the ritual cycle of life. Set...

 

Av -- From Low to High

The Jewish month Av begins with the mourning period we call "The 9 days" during which many people don't eat meat, drink wine, go swimming, go to movies, or plan weddings or other joyous occasions (many Sephardic Jews, Jews whose ancestors come from the Iberian peninsula, keep these restrictions only from the Sunday before Tisha B'Av) . This period leads up to Tisha B'Av -- the 9th day of Av. Tisha B'Av is a fast day, the strictest fast day that the Rabbis decreed (the only stricter fast day is Yom Kippur, which is from the Tora).

Tisha B'Av commemorates the saddest day of the Jewish calendar -- it's the day that both Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed -- the first in 586 BCE and the second around the year 70 CE. It is also the day that Moshe (Moses) came down from Mount Sinai and found the people worshiping the Golden Calf. These are a few of the other events that took place on Tisha B'Av:

  • In 1312 BCE, the spies Moshe sent to Canaan to scope out the land return from 40 days with evil reports of the Land of Israel. Jewish people cry in despair, give up hope of entering the Land of Israel. G-d decides the people aren't ready to enter the land and leads them around the dessert for 40 years, one year for each day the spies were in Canaan. The men died in the dessert but the women weren't involved in the bad report, so they survived the 40 years to enter the land of Israel with Yehoshua (Joshua). Yehoshua and Calev (Caleb) (who were the only two spies who didn't bring back a bad report) and the tribe of Levi also survive to enter the land.

  • In 132 CE, the Bar Kochba rebellion against Rome is crushed. Betar destroyed - over 100,00 killed. The last opportunity for Jewish independence in Israel after the destruction of the 2nd Temple is destroyed with it.

  • In 133 CE the Romans build pagan city of Aelia Capitolina on the site of the destroyed Jerusalem.

  • In 1095, the First Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II. 10,000 Jews were murdered in the first month of the Crusade.

  • The Jews were expelled from England (and their property and books were confiscated) in 1290.

  • In 1492, the Jews of Spain were expelled (with massive losses of life and property).

  • The First World War begins in 1914.

  • In 1994, the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina was bombed killing 86 people and wounding some 300 others.

Av, though, turns around after that. The 15th of Av (called Tu B'Av is a day for celebration. In ancient times, the single women of Israel would dress in simple white dresses (so men couldn't tell if they were rich or poor) and go out and sing and dance (in an effort to find a husband). It is still seen as an auspicious day for a wedding.

Wilton Hanukkah Metal Set of 4
Wilton Hanukkah Metal Set of 4

Great for a variety of treats these cutters can be used for cookies, pastries, sandwiches, and more.

 

Elul

Shofar and Slihot

The month of Elul has no holidays of its own. Elul, though, is the month that leads into the High Holiday season. Ashkenazic Jews (Jewish from Northern European countries like Germany, Russia, Poland, etc.) remind people of the coming holidays with blast on the Shofar (Ram's horn) every weekday morning (Sunday through Friday). Later on in the month, Slihot (prayers for forgiveness) are said. Sephardic Jews say Slihot throughout the month of Elul.

Miracle Days: A Musical Journey Through the Jewish Holidays
Miracle Days: A Musical Journey Through the Jewish Holidays

A Musical Journey through the Jewish Holidays

Join a fun group of children in a musical adventure as they experience the Jewish Holidays.

Bake Real Matzah

Visit the Western Wall

Build a Sukkah

Dance with the Torah

Light the Menorah

Party on Purim

The music video for the whole family. Ten original new songs! A fantastic feast for your eyes, ears and soul!

 

Months of the Jewish Year

This is a list of the names of the Twelve months of the Jewish year: (For more on the Jewish Calendar, check out The Jewish Calendar Lens

  • Tishrei -- This is the month that Jews call the "Holiday Season" -- Tishrei contains the holidays:
  • Rosh Hashana
  • Yom Kippur
  • Sukkot
  • Shmini Atzeret
  • Simhat Tora

For more information, Go to Tishrei and Rosh Hashana

Heshvan -- One of only two Jewish months with no holidays or commemorations.For more information, Go to HeshvanKislev -- This month contains the beginning of Hanuka.For more information, Go to Kislev and HanukaTevet -- This month contains the end of Hanuka and a fast day (the 10th of Tevet) which commemorates a siege of Jerusalem.For more information, Go to Tevet and HanukaShevat -- This month contains the New Year for trees (the Jewish Arbor Day) on the 15th.For more information, Go to ShevatAdar -- The month that contains Purim, it is also the month that is doubled (there are two Adars) in Leap Years (which occur 7 times every 19 years)For more information, Go to Adar and PurimNissan -- The month that contains Pesah, PassoverFor more information, Go to Nissan and PassoverIyar -- The month that contains Yom HaAtzmaut, Israeli Independence Day and "Lag B'Omer (the 33rd day of the Omer)For more information, Go to IyarSivan -- The month that contains Shavuot, The Feast of Weeks, which commemorates the giving of the ToraFor more information, Go to SivanTamuz -- The month that contains the 17th of Tamuz, a fast day that commemorates when the city of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) was laid siege.For more information, Go to TamuzAv -- The month that contains Tisha B'Av, a fast day that marks the saddest day on the Jewish CalendarFor more information, see aboveElul -- This month contains no holidays but people use this month to prepare for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom KippurFor more information, see above and Rosh HashanaSee also: G-d and Forgiveness and A Jewish Perspective of G-d

Make your holiday shopping easy!

Get a jump on your Hanukka Gift buying. Check out the Strong Jewish Women and other designs at Strong Jewish Women and Wearable Art and Compugraphd's Zazzle store

Sheva Minim sweat hoodie
Sheva Minim sweat hoodie

Compugraphd's Printfection Store

In addition to our Cafe Press and Zazzle sites (see modules above), we also have a store on "Printfection" which includes cutting boards (good wedding or housewarming gifts), mugs and cups, tees, etc.

This hoodie is only one of several Judaica themed items at our store:

Compugraphd Printfection site

(Click on the picture to go directly to this product's page)

Western Wall Cutting Board
Western Wall Cutting Board

Compugraphd's Printfection Store

In addition to our Cafe Press and Zazzle sites (see modules above), we also have a store on "Printfection" which includes cutting boards (good wedding or housewarming gifts), mugs and cups, tees, etc.

This cutting board is only one of several Judaica themed items at our store:

Compugraphd Printfection site

(Click on the picture to go directly to this product's page)

Did you like this lens?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Welcome to Judaism, Jewish Holidays, and Jewish Culture.