The Jewish Love-In



There were no holidays so joyous for the Jewish People as the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippor, for on those days, daughters of Yerushalayim would go out dressed in borrowed white clothing so as not to embarrass those who didn’t have and dance in the vineyards located on the outskirts of the city. And everyone who didn’t have a wife would go there.

Mishnah, Taanit 4:8

With Tisha B’Av behind us, it’s time to put a little joy in life. That’s probably why the rabbis of the second temple period before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. created Tu B’Av the 15th Day of Av. In that day the festival was the formal occasion for young unmarried women and men to met, mingle and marry.

Tu B’Av, like Passover, Sukkot, and Tu Bishvat begins on the night between the 14th and 15th day of the Hebrew month. Being a full moon on the lunar calendar makes it the perfect environment for romance and love.

Tu B’Av has been pretty much unnoticed in the Jewish calendar for many centuries. In my earlier feminist days, we tried to bring it back in a woman’s liberation context but it didn’t work much like putting a round peg in a square hole.

In its modern incarnation Tu B’Av has been rejuvenated in Israel as Two B’av Festival of Love. At this very moment in Jerusalem, there is a great happening with speed dating, dancing, sing-a-longs and university talks about the nature of love.

Good for us. More love. More Power.

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