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Friday, Menachem Av 1, 5782 / July 29, 2022


Today (Friday) is Rosh Chodesh Av – the first day of the month of Av, also called Menachem Av. Many of the great tragedies which befell our people over the years took place in the month of Av. As a result, our sages say, “When the month of Av enters, we minimizein happiness.”


Today, Rosh Chodesh Av is the day of passing (Yartzeit) of Aaron the High Priest, as we will read in this week’s Parsha, Masei. In Pirkei Avot, Hillel the elder says, “Be of the disciples of Aaron; loving peace and pursuing peace, loving people and drawing them close to the Torah.


Q.   The month of Av is at times also known as, “Menachem Av.”  Why is the word Menachem added?


A.   “Menachem” means “comfort.”  The destruction of the two Holy Temples took place on the 9th day in the month of Av. We add the word “Menachem” (comfort) as a prayer that G-d should comfortus and bring about the ultimate redemptionthrough Moshiach who will rebuild the Holy Temple.


Q.  The Torah tells us that the Temple is G-d’s resting place. Did the spiritual status of the Temple Mount change after the Temple was destroyed?


A.   Our sages say that although the physical Temple was destroyed, G-d’s presence never moved away from its place.  Thus, the Temple Mount is as holy today as before. This is why according to Halacha (Torah law) it is forbidden even today to walk in certain areas of the Temple Mount.


Q.  What is the significance of that particular site that G-d chose it as the place to build the Holy Temple?


A.  The significance of the Temple Mount began at the time of creation. The “Even Shesiah” (Foundation stone), from which the creation of the world began, was situated in the Holy Temple, in the Holy of Holies.   


The first man, Adam, was created from the earth of where the Courtyard Altar was to stand in the Holy Temple many years later.   


It was at this site that Abraham was ready to offer his beloved son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to G-d.  It was there that he passed the tenth and final test, by which G-d tested his faith in Him.


It was at this site that Jacob slept and had his famous dream of the ladder which extended from earth to heaven and upon which the angels went up and down. Upon waking up he exclaimed, “This is the House of G-d and this is the Gate to Heaven!”  We pray three times a day facing Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, for there is the Gate of Heaven through which all our prayers ascend to heaven.  


May we merit the coming of Moshiach and witness G-d’s glory in the Third Temple, which will be everlasting, speedily in our days.  Amen.




Montreal candle lighting time: 8:08 / Shabbat ends: 9:17