• August 28th, 2022
  • Elul 1st, 5782


Light from Darkness

Presented By
Torah Contributor

Rosh Chodesh Av - Leo

The month of Av is connected to the astrological sign of Leo and is the only month ruled by the Sun. Av means father and is symbolized by the lion, one of four holy entities along with the bull, eagle and mankind represented on the chariot in Ezekiel's mystical vision of G-d. Mystics explain that all energy from the upper world's come through these entities. As Leo falls under the influence of the Sun, the center of our solar system and source of infinite light, it is easy to see why Leos believe the world revolves around them and why they need to be the center of attention. Kabbalists further explain that Av or Leo is the fifth month in the Hebrew calendar and is one of three "negative" months, along with Tammuz (Cancer) and Tevet (Capricorn), where the energy of judgement is more intense. The negative energy of Av is evidenced in part by "The 9 Days", a window of time beginning on Rosh Chodesh Av and culminating on Tisha B'av - the 9th of Av. These 9 days fall within a larger Three-Week period of semi-mourning which commenced on the 17th of Tammuz. The 9th of Av, known as Tisha B'av, is considered to be the darkest day of the year for the Jewish people. The day is associated with several calamities throughout history including the sin of the spies, and the destruction of the 1st and 2nd Temples in Jerusalem.

The month of Av is then transformed into a constructive month showing us the opportunity to convert darkness into light. Following the 9th of Av, the most negative day of the year, we have Tu B'av on the 15th, considered to be one of the happiest days of the year. On Tu B'av, both the Sun and Moon are full, connecting Zeir Anpin, the masculine energy of the universe represented by the Sun, with Malchut, the female energy of the universe represented by the Moon. The joining of Zeir Anpin and Malchut on the 15th of Av with the full Sun and full Moon is one of the highest forms of connection. It is for this reason that Tu B'av is considered the "day of love" and a perfect time to find your soulmate. Further support for the duality of negative and positive aspects of the month can be found in the Hebrew word for Lion - Aryeh. Aryeh has a numerical value of 216 which has the same numerical value as Gevurah or judgement and is 3x Chesed or mercy which has the value of 72. In Kabbalah, the concept of gematria states that words with similar numerical values have an affinity and connection to each other. Accordingly, we can see both judgement and mercy together in Leo.

Letters of the Month - Kaf & Tet


According to the "Sepher Yetzirah", the Hebrew letters are spiritual frequencies that created the universe. A different Hebrew letter controls or influences the constellation and planet of the month. By connecting to these letters through meditation we can draw down specific energy to empower and enlighten us. The letters for the month of Av are Kaf and Tet. Kaf created the Sun and rules over the month of Av. The Sun represents Zeir Anpin, the masculine aspect of the universe and a link to the infinite light.

The letter Tet created the constellation of Leo and is shaped like a womb. It represents the nine months of pregnancy condensed into the 9-day period from Rosh Chodesh Av through the Tisha B'av. It is said that Moshiach, a human leader and positive spiritual energy that will rule humanity with kindness and justice during the Messianic period, will be born on the 9th of Av, another example of Light being born from darkness.

Days of Connection in Av

As discussed, Av is a month of duality, containing both the most negative day of the year (Tisha B'av) and the happiest day (Tu B'av). By sharing, maintaining certainty through hard times and trying to feel the pain of others, we are able to convert the energy of judgement found in the first half of Av into light and blessings. There are two distinct aspects of the Creator that can be characterized in several ways: (1) male and female; (2) Zeir Anpin and Malchut; (3) the Holy One and the Shekhinah; and (4) and the Sun and Moon. By joining the two energies on the 15th of the month, we connect to the full Sun and full Moon and move from the pain and negativity of the first 9 days and Tisha B'av to a day of happiness and love on the 15th of Av, Tu B'av.

Have a great month and Rosh Chodesh Av! Be proactive and share with others to help join the two aspects of the Creator to reveal Light in the world - our true purpose in life.