Hebrew Calendar

Hebrew Calendar: The Fifth Month (“Av”)

Shalom everyone! The Fifth Month of the Hebrew calendar became known as  “Av” and eleventh month of the civil year, after the Babylonian Exile. The word “Av” comes from the Akkadian word Abu which means “father.” In Hebrew, the word “Av” also means “father.” The Fifth Month has 30 days and typically occurs in Summer during the months of July to August on the Gregorian calendar.

In Judaism, the first nine days of the Fifth Month (The Nine Days) represent a very solemn time because some of the most terrible events in Jewish history occurred during this period. During “The Nine Days,” the Jewish community worldwide refrain from a number activities that bring joy. This solemn period culminates in the solemn fast of Tisha B’Av on 9 of Av.

The following are the holidays and special events that occur during the Fifth Month, also known as “Av”:

The following are some of the significant events in Israelite history which occurred during the Fifth Month, also known as “Av”:

Pre-Babylonian Exile

Post-Babylonian Exile

  • 1 of Av (513 BCE) – Ezra and his followers arrive in Israel
  • 7 of Av (67 CE) – Civil war breaks out in besieged Jerusalem; one group set fire to the city’s food stores, which is said to have quickened starvation.
  • 7 of Av (1492 CE) – Jews of Spain expelled by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
  • 9 of Av (70 CE) – Holy Temple destroyed by the Romans respectively.
  • 9 of Av (133 CE) – Fall of Betar to the Romans, ending Bar Kochba‘s rebellion.
  • 9 of Av (1290 CE) – Jews are expelled from England by King Edward I and not permitted to legally return for 350 years.
  • 10 of Av (70 CE) – The Holy Temple, set on fire the previous day, finishes burning.
  • 10 of Av (2005) – Gaza Disengagement begins
  • 12 of Av (1263) – Disputation of Barcelona between Nachmanides and Pablo Christiani.
  • 15 of Av (148 CE) – Betar dead buried, 15 years after the fall of the fortress.
  • 15 of Av – The Day of the Breaking of the Ax – when the Holy Temple existed, the cutting of firewood for the altar was completed on this date every year. The event was celebrated by feasting, rejoicing, and the ceremonial breaking of the axes.
  • 24 of Av (circa 100 BCE) – A Hasmonean holiday commemorates the reinstatement of Jewish civil law in place of Hellenist secular law on this day.



Categories: Hebrew Calendar

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