Av (Ab) Fifth month in the cultic calendar of the ancient Babylonians. Av corresponds to parts of July and August. The month is also sacred in Judaism, often being called Menahem (comforter). As comfort must arise from despair, according to Jewish tradition, so in the ninth month, during which the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 b.c.e. and the Second Temple under the Roman Titus in 70 c.e., the Messiah will be born. On that date a fast is held, ornaments are removed from synagogues, and the Book of Lamentations is read. The commemoration has been used in recent times in memory of the Jews killed by the Nazis.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

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