A weekly feature of Torah Tidbits to help clarify practical and conceptual aspects of the Jewish Calendar, thereby better fulfilling the mitzva of HaChodesh HaZeh Lachem...
As Av enters, we diminish our joy. Mournful practices of the 3 Weeks increase, and even more so in the week in which 9Av occurs. Then there is Erev Tish'a b'Av, Leil Tish'a b'Av, and Tish'a b'Av day. Heavy, serious, mournful. With almost all the 9Av rule continuing until dark, and some continuing beyond. Yet after Kinot in the morning, after noon, there is a perceptible change in the flavor of the day. Aron and Shulchan decorative covers are back. So is the lighting. We're sitting on regular chairs, wearing Talit & T'filin, being blessed by the Kohanim. And we ask for and begin to feel the comfort of the promised Geula. Haftarot of Calamity transit to those of Nechama. TU b'Av symbolizes the joy of the month of Av. And that's the challenge. Av has the potential of being totally joyous. Let it be.