By Rabbi Shlomo Zargari
From when the month of Av begins one must decrease in acts of rejoicing (Taanit 26B)
We have entered the month of אב. Harav Yosef Hayim זצוק״ל writes that the month is called אב because in the near future it will be the “Father” of all months. Being that so many horrible things happened during this time, there will surely be an abundance of miracles and good things, more than any other month, as is written:
שַׂ֭מְּחֵנוּ כִּימ֣וֹת עִנִּיתָ֑נוּ שְׁ֝נ֗וֹת רָאִ֥ינוּ רָעָֽה׃
Give us joy for as long as You have afflicted us, for the years we have suffered misfortune.(Tehilim, 90,15)
Harav Yosef Hayim continues, “It seems to me that the month is called אב because it will be rectified through Torah study. Our sages say: ( אל״ף בי״ת אלף בינה (שבת קה .The sages are teaching us the deeper meaning of the letters of our holy language and the relationship between them. The first is Alef Bet, alluding to “Alef Bina” meaning (we must) study the wisdom of Torah. Our sages teach us in the Talmud (Shabbat 119 B), Yerushalayim was not destroyed until the students of Torah were disrespected, and it will be rebuilt when the honor of those who study the Torah will be uplifted…
This is the week that we need to accept upon ourselves to be strengthened in the study of Torah, whether it be our own learning, our children’s, or the community’s. Through this effort, the merit will all be ours. But on the other hand, the Satan made the summer vacation during this time… when the study of Torah is so much needed. Now it’s only up to us to take the initiative and utilize this time for studying, reviewing, or learning new gems from our beautiful Torah.
We should be redeemed very soon in this merit Amen.