Leil Rosh Chodesh Av 5780

A git choidesh! It is Rosh Chodesh Av now. Though now is the beginning of harsh times, it is still Rosh Chodesh. Many poskim, such as the Kaf HaChaim and the Ben Ish Chai, along with Admorim such as the B’Nei Yissoschor and the Ateres Tzvi, maintain that this Rosh Chodesh is to be treated like all Roshei Chodoshim, and mourning begins after Rosh Chodesh is over.

The destruction of the Beis HaMikdash is a central part of this month, as the absolute worst day in history. However we also have the best day for the Jewish people in every year, Tu B’Av, the day on which the most shidduchim were made, when the single girls would wear white dresses and encourage the bochurim to take their pick of who they wanted to get married to. That’s just a distinct aspect to the day that is well known.

So we have a day of absolute horribleness, and a day of absolute joy, at least in the olden days. What’s the ultimate source of these? אבינו שבשמים, our Father in Heaven. Av is spelled אב, which is the root for the word “father.” The complete formal name of the month is מנחם אב, “Comforting of the Father,” referring to the concept that Moshiach will be born this month. אב can also be read as עב, through a darshening (exegetical) technique that uses changing letters for other letters in the same phonological group. עב means “thick.” Though the worst occurrence in Jewish history happened now, this month is still “Thick” with the comforting mercy of our Father, Hashem. There is an idea that Moshiach will be born on Tisha B’Av, even as everything is destroyed, salvation will be born from the ashes. Even though one week we have the destruction of the chosen place of Hashem’s presence, the next week we have the most joyful day of the year, though commonly ignored or downgraded to “Jewish Valentine’s Day.”

The B’Nei Yissoschor in the first perek of the Maamar on the months of Tammuz and Av says that the permutations of Hashem’s holy four lettered name teach us something very interesting. For Tammuz, the name is completely not in order, alluding to the troubles and destruction that started on 17 Tammuz; whereas for Av, we have the name written out with the the first two letters as Heh and Vuv, and then followed by Yud and the letter Heh, pronounced Havayah. The B’Nei Yissoschor brings that this is the proper custom for Jews to refer to the holy name as Havayah, rather than Hashem, because Havayah specifically shows that Hashem’s Holy name will eventually be complete in the proper way, as it is in Nissan, and we shall be redeemed from the oppression of this world as we were saved from Mitzrayim. One shitta in the gemoro in Sanhedrin says the Geulah doesn’t come except through t’shuva. We should all merit to true t’shuva and d’veikus with the Aibishter, and Hashem should bentsh us with the Geulah Sh’leimah.

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