The energy of Tammuz and Av are fierce. When we take a moment to pause and reflect, we see just how much intensity has been occurring over the past couple of weeks. According to Kabbalah, no month is ever the same. Each month has its own unique energy, special days, some even have holidays, and extraordinary windows of spiritual opportunity. Av is no different from having its own unique energy, Hebrew letters that are connected to it, sense, tribe, astrological sign, and controlling planet.
In this article, you will learn about the month of Av, its energy, and how you can navigate it so that you can optimize the month.
If you learn better by listening, click here to check out this podcast episode on the energy of the month by Elisheva!
Av is best known for the 9 days, leading to Tisha B’Av. During these 9 days, it is important to be careful about what you say, hear, and do. These 9 days are recognized as tough days for people - not just the Jews. It was during these days the Jewish nation faced terrible and tragic events in history, such as the start of WWI on the 6th of Av and the destruction of both holy Temples on the 9th of Av. It is on the 9th of Av we fast to mourn the significant loss of our ability to connect to God through the Temples.
Av is the month where we reach our lowest point of the Jewish calendar (the 9th of Av) as well as the month of our highest point of the Jewish calendar, the 15th of Av. In Mishnah Ta’anit 26 "there are no happier days for Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom HaKippurim". The15 of Av (Tu B’Av) is the day of finding one's predestined soul-mate. The Talmud writes that on the 15th of Av, “daughters of Jerusalem would go dance in the vineyards” on the 15th of Av, and “whoever did not have a wife would go there” to find himself a bride. And the Talmud considers this the greatest festival of the year, with Yom Kippur.
There are two parts of Av, just like two sides to the same coin.
The name of the month Av is spelled Aleph Bet אב. In backward changes to Bet Aleph בא - this is the shoresh of the Bet Vav Aleph בוא.
A small three-letter means to happen, to enter, or to come. When we zoom out, after the Ninth of Av we are 7 Shabbatot from Rosh Hashana, the Day of Judgment.
During these 7 weeks, we enter a process called Teshuva or returning. The first Nine days of Av are the most difficult times of the year, but afterward from the 15th (Tu’bAv) there is a different energy, the energy of comfort.
This comfort explains why the month has been given the nickname “Menachem Av מנחם אב”. Translating into English as either comforting the father or Father's comfort.
The difference between them is the difference in the energy between the first 10 days of Av (representing the hardest part of the negative three weeks) and the last 20 days, a shift in energy in bringing us to the comfort of our Father and His promises of the Redemption, the return from exile, and the coming of Mashiach.
Teshuvah means "To Return to HaShem." One of the purposes behind the energy of Av is to notice where you stand with Hashem. Did you notice that may you grew further way? How much are you trusting? Working together? The energy of Av helps us notice our separation from Hashem and can help bring us back.
Energy of the month: As mentioned above, the first 9 days of Av are days of judgment (Dinim) as the feminine aspect of God, the Shechina, that dwells on Earth and is the source of our abundance and prosperity is lifted. Just like women, the Shechina hides herself to protect herself from danger. As a result of the dinim during the first 9 days of Av, the presence of the Shechina is hidden. One may feel this surface as scarcity, self-doubt, lack of trust in God, or even feelings of abandonment.
However, it is important to know that anyone can access the Light of Hashem. Considering the feelings of absence by the Shechina, one must learn how to reveal the Light and see beyond the illusion, and know that the Light is always there.
Av is an emotional rollercoaster. There are ups and downs that we need to learn how to navigate. It is not an easy time and during this month, it is in our spiritual cycle to recognize our faults. To go inwards and feel those tough feelings.
It is a particular time to learn how to travel between the shadow parts of yourself and learn how to bring yourself from those places into the light. The Hebrew calendar is very special in that it gives time for us to feel the sadness, the hurt, the struggle, and the pain. The summer has been labeled as a fun and great time, but really, the summer is intense and can be extremely harmful.
The emotional intensity of Av, the saddest day of the whole Jewish calendar (9th of Av), and the inner experience of loss and grief, transition into rebirth - the 15th of Av, Tu B’Av.
The energy of Av resembles the energy of Elul, a time of reflection. It is also no coincidence that Av and Tishrei, the time of the high holidays and the energy of introspection. The name Av literally means "father." It derives from the root which means "to will" or "to desire" לֶאֱבוֹת. Av אב are the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet and רשת are the last - backward they create תשר which is extremely close to תשרי / Tishrei. It is fascinating to see on a spiritual level how Av and Tishrei are closely related and use the Hebrew alphabet to reveal that secret to us. By learning this, we can see what work needs to be done for the coming year and start preparations. In the name “Av אב” it reminds us that through every struggle and challenge we face, we have our father in Shemayim. That what we endeavor is for our soul’s purpose of healing and benefit, even if we don’t understand that at the moment. If you find yourself going through a challenge this month, remember, to connect with your own personal Av in Shemayim and ask for protection, guidance, and support.
Astrological sign: Leo is the astrological sign that corresponds to the month of Av. Leos are dominant people and have a unique ability to awaken certain energies and feelings in people, these feelings are exclusive to the month Av.
The Lion symbolizes the glorious power of Divine will (the meaning of the name Av, as mentioned above). Leos are known as people with a presence. When they walk into a room, all eyes go on them. They are playful when in the right mood but also can show very tough love. They can be generous people, natural leaders, charismatic, possess physical strength, and know their worth. On the flip side, if they are not balanced, they can focus too much on their pride, gaining respect, and the need to be the center of attention.
Whether you are born in the month of Leo or not, the energy is felt by everyone. Those born under this month may be affected by it more but nonetheless, everyone is affected.
The Hebrew letters “Leo” (אריה) are also the same letters as “seeing” (ראיה) – this reveals Leo’s unique ability to see the Light, to see what others can’t. Thanks to Leo’s ability to handle stress and responsibility, they can see opportunities in ways others can’t. Their realistic views provide them with the knowledge on what to do next and help gather other people into following their lead.
In Kabbalah there is a famous myth known as “The Merkava” (God’s Chariot in Ezekiel Ch. 1). In it, there are four sacred beasts: The Lion, The Ox, The Eagle, and Man. The lion represents the Sefira of Chesed, which is the Light – the power of sharing, giving, and unconditional love. Leo in Gematria (The numeric value of the Hebrew letters) is 216 which is also the same numeric value of “Gevura” – the power of judgment (din), of receiving, better known as left column energy. Meaning, Leos have dominion over Chesed (Light), and Gevura (Judgment/Victory) together.
The power of Chesed (Light) is also connected to the element of water which dominates the astrological signs of the summer and is characterized by the energy of giving. Every sign of the Zodiac has its own defining characteristic. Leos have the ability to give advice because they can see, “Reiya”, things others don’t. In learning about the nature of Leos, we see they are very giving and have strong leadership abilities. When these two attributes are combined, Leo becomes a very powerful sign.
It is important to know that once Av begins it will be possible to feel the power of Leo arise within ourselves and around us. Since Leo is a fire sign; it is essential to be aware of the heated nature of this month. It is also not an accident that on the 9th of Av, the second Temple was destroyed and burned by fire. According to the Chazal, one of the reasons for the destruction of the Temple was, “Hatred for No Reason”.
Hebrew letters of the month
Sefer Yetzira (Book of Formation) teaches us that the 22 Hebrew letters are also the building blocks of the universe and represent the 22 frequencies. Through the letters, we can use them as tools to cultivate and manifest spiritual abundance and healing.
According to Kabbalah each month has two Hebrew letters that control it. One Hebrew letter controls the astrological sign and the other controls the planet that influences the month.
The letters of Av are Kaf כ and Tet ט. The letter כ controls the sun, which is the star that influences Leo, and the letter ט controls the astrological sign of Leo.
By learning about the form of the letter, we can reveal more about its meaning. The letter ט is almost in the complete form of a circle with an extension hiding inside. The Zohar calls this extension “the hidden good - הטוב הנסתר”.
This is in reference to the enormous power and Light hidden for The World to Come, also referred to as, “Or Ha’Ganuz” (the hidden light). This is the Light that was created on the first day of Creation (“And God said let there be light, and there was light” – Genesis 1:3). This is the enormous power that exists in the Universe during the month of Leo (Av), the energy of Creation.
The letter כ controls the sun which controls the month of Av. As we know, all the planets orbit the sun. Through this, we can learn about a Leo’s nature. Leos love to be the center of attention. In Hebrew, the sun is called in two ways, – שמש (Shemesh) and חמה (Hama = Hot). The inner, more spiritual, side of Leo is represented by the Shemesh and the external side by Hama.
The external side is what others see. It is known that Leos are natural-born leaders and they think of themselves as someone who knows best, they also love the show and drama. If their leadership is challenged, they will immediately put those in their place. Their leadership can be expressed with fierceness and manifest in a dictatorship style. An easy way to calm their fire if it goes ablaze is with flattery and compliments since their pride is their sensitive spot. The Hebrew word Shemesh (Sun) represents the inner self, the part that is more hidden. It could also be read in Hebrew as Shamash, meaning helper or giving service, to which is the main role of every leader – to serve his people. Again, we see the positive power of Leo reflected in their innate ability to lead and be in service.
According to our sages, the Third Temple will come down from the sky in fire. The fire that destroyed the previous Temples will now be rebuilt and expose within every one of us the letter ט (Tet), which is the hidden good, the hidden Light. Tribe:
The tribe that corresponds to Av is the tribe of Shimon.
The name Shimon comes from the word to hear - לִשְׁמוֹעַ. The sin of the spies, which took place on the 9th of Av involved them speaking badly of the land of Israel and the people accepted–"hearing"–the evil tongue לשון הרע. Therefore a general rectification of the month of Av is the rectification of hearing.
Shimon is the only tribe that Moshe did not clearly bless at the end of the Torah. This was due to his frustration with the tribe of Shimon’s involvement (more than all the other tribes) in the sin of Pe'or (prostitution with foreign women, which resulted in idolatry). The name Shimon divides into two words which spell sham avon שמ-עון, "there is iniquity."
In a certain way, Moshe (from the tribe of Levi) was more closely related (in spirit) to the tribe of Shimon than to any other tribe. Genesis 49:5 states that Shimon and Levi are brothers.
In Kabbalah, we are taught that the primary reincarnation of Moshe is in Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who more than any other of the sages revealed the inner dimension of the Torah of Moshe (the Zohar).
The rectification of Shimon and the sins of Israel which brought the destruction of the Temple in the month of Av is by connecting to the most essential attribute of Moshe–humility. The word avon ("sin עָווֹן") permutes to spell anav ("humble עָנָיו"). This is a special term by which the Torah praises Moses (Numbers 12:3): "And the man Moshe was very humble [anav], more than any other man on the face of the earth." The name Shimon transforms (in the month of Av) from "there is iniquity" (sham avon) to "there is the humble one" (sham anav).
The ability of Shimon of shifting depends upon his inner sense of hearing. We too can access this shift by our speech (the sense of Nissan) and what hear, especially during Av. Sense: Listening
Listening שמיעה - Shemeah: Listening is a more intense way of hearing. The listener becomes truly focused on what is being heard.
To really “hear” someone means to understand them. Even if you may not agree with their opinion, thoughts, or words, you are still actively listening to the conversation. If you find yourself thinking of other things or focusing on something else, it could be a sign you are distracted by something internally or pulled out from the conversation. To hear calls for your attention. To ask questions when you don’t understand and be present with the other person. To hear also means to listen to your own needs, to hear the call of your intuition too. The aim is to not only integrate what you hear intellectually but also into your heart.
Hearing is a form of receiving – Kabbalah (first revealed by Rabbi Shimeon Bar Yochai).
What you hear, matters. It can affect your mood, your intentions, and your soul. Being mindful of what you hear can look like paying attention if you are listening to Lashon Hara and stop it. Our brain absorbs many things so guard what comes into your consciousness.
The sense of hearing relates to our sense of inner balance. The organ of balance (the vestibular system) is found inside the inner ear. When we become off-balanced, that becomes the source of our fall (both physically and spiritually).
A well-balanced ear, has a healthy sense of hearing and possesses the ability to identify what it hears as truth and false. As written in Job 12:11 הֲלֹא־אֹ֭זֶן מִלִּ֣ין תִּבְחָ֑ן וְ֝חֵ֗ךְ אֹ֣כֶל יִטְעַם־לֹֽו׃ - (Doesn’t the ear test words, as the palate tastes its food? Interestingly enough אֹ֭זֶן מִלִּ֣ין תִּבְחָ֑ן spell with each first letter - אמת truth.
Controlling Limb: Left Kidney
The left kidney gives advice on how to properly hear and integrate truth into one's consciousness.
The two kidneys represent "male" and "female" advisors of the soul. The right kidney (corresponds to the month Iyar) advises how to rectify one's character traits through the process of careful introspection (the sense of thought of the month of Iyar). The left kidney advises how to absorb truth into one's consciousness (the sense of hearing of the month of Av)
Tools for Av Another form of listening is hearing the "gentle small voice" within. This is a voice of HaShem within each person. Most people lost their connection with the inner voice and forgot how to reconnect to it.
When at a crossroads and the tools of logic and intuition have failed to indicate a direction to take within the frame of your life. Sit down and wait. Having faith will only cause you to come to chaos. Let HaShem's voice direct you. When you sit down and wait you have the focus to "listen" to that "still small voice" within.
The Third Temple is up to use to bring down through our actions. This will happen as soon as we learn the Zohar and know the hidden parts of the Torah. From this, we will understand that we are here to serve each other and be in harmonious unity upon ourselves and the Universe, just as the sun serves and gives life and support to all the planets that orbit it.
If we want appreciation, if we want to lead and create and find success with others, we can use the awareness of Leo’s power. We all must understand that each one of us possesses a different vision and a different understanding of things, and it is because of our differences, we learn and contribute something unique.
Ask yourself, what kind of world do you want to see and how can you take part in your own unique way in bringing Meshiach? How will you be a leader in your life?
If we lead with blazing pride, will we burn like the sun, or we can take our power from the purest source of all; the hidden Light, and lead with compassion, love, and humility.
If we choose correctly, we will discover the hidden Light within and be lucky enough to see the coming of the Meshiach and we could truly celebrate Tu B’Av (The 15th of Av), the holiday of Love. Here we have the ability to be united with another human being without pride and be in a state of unity, peace, and oneness.
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Sources: Chabad (2022). The 15th of Av: Love and Rebirth. Retrieved from https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/53680/jewish/15th-of-Av.htm
Einai, G. (2022). The Month of Av According to the Book of Formation. Retrieved from https://www.inner.org/times/av/av.htm
Live Kabbalah (2022). Av - Leo. Retrieved from https://livekabbalah.org/av-leo/
Yeshshem (2002). The Month of Av According to Kabbalah. Retrieved from http://www.yeshshem.com/kabbalah-blog-Av-5775.htm