As the Talmud tells us, when (the Jewish month of) Adar arrives, joy is increased, and when the month of Av arrives, joy is diminished, (Tractate Tanit 26). Adar, highlighted by the stunning reversal of fortunes in the times of Queen Esther, has been a time in which good things have happened. The month of Av, decidedly less so. We are now entering this latter period. In the short articles that follow will tell a little bit about the history of this time period, how it is observed, and what is means to us today.