Tu B’Av

Tu B’av: The Jewish Valentine’s Day

In the times of the mishnah, unmarried Jewish girls would go out into the vineyards hoping to meet a suitable marriage partner. All the girls exchanged clothes and jewelry with their friends in order that nobody wouldn't be embarrassed to appear in old or worn-out garments.

Then the girls danced and sang. What song would they sing? “Young man, raise your eyes and select (a bride) for yourself…” (Talmud, Taanit 26b) and in response to their special song, “whoever did not have a wife would go there” to find himself a bride. (Talmud, Taanit 31a)
While Jewish matchmaking customs have evolved over time, and Jewish couples no longer have their first date in the vineyards, the unique nature of Tu B'av has persisted. The special day has retained its status as a holiday, and has become a common date for young couples to become engaged and married.

The Talmud states, “There were no greater festivals for Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur.”  This shows us that Tu B'av is considered a day of happiness akin to the happiness the Jewish people experience on Yom Kippur.

Whereas Yom Kippur honors the unique and intimate relationship between G-d and the Jewish People, Tu B'av honors the intimate and holy connection it is possible for husbands and wives to obtain within the context of a Jewish marriage. Tu B'av maintains its special status until today as a day of happiness, love, and intimate connection.
For those who are not yet married, Tu B’av is a day of hope that they will soon meet someone special. For those who are already married, Tu B’av is a day to appreciate the miracle of having found each other, and merited the blessing of sharing their lives together.


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