Av

Alternative Spellings

ahv, ov

Definitions

  • "The fifth month in the Jewish calendar, it usually corresponds to July or August" (JPS).

Example Sentences

  • "Av was once a joyous month." (https://forward.com/my-heretical-year/347534/why-we-must-transform-ourselves-in-the-month-of-av/)
  • "When Av comes round, one cuts down on merriment." (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew

Etymology

אב av 'fifth month of the Jewish calendar'

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
Camp: Jews who attend or work at a Jewish overnight summer camp
Israel: Diaspora Jews who feel connected to Israel and have spent time there

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001)

Notes

"It starts on a sour note, with the 'Nine Days' of semi-mourning leading up to the dark fast day of Tisha be-Av, but it soon brightens up and everyone can then enjoy their vacation" (Glinert). Steinmetz refers to it as the eleventh month, following where one counts the first month as Tishrei in the fall. However, "In the Bible, where the year begins in the month of Nisan [in the spring], Av is the fifth month" (Steinmetz).

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