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Tu B'Av

An obscure minor holiday for many many years which has gained popularity. Tu B'Av (The 15th of Av) is a full moon holiday whose history seems to pre-date Judaism itself. This is a holiday of love and dance, romance and marriage, and the start of the grape harvest. It is said in the Mishnah, "No days were as good for Israel as the 15th of Av and the Day of Atonement..."

 

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What's Happening This Year? | Our plans for Tu B'Av 2022

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A Little History | So what is Tu B'Av and why do we celebrate it?

Tu B'Av is first talked about in writing in the Mishnah, “No days were as good for Israel as the 15th of Av and the Day of Atonement, on which the sons of Jerusalem would go out in borrowed white clothes...and the girls of Jerusalem would go out and dance in the vineyards” (Ta’anit 10).

Now, the reason for this holiday seems to be a topic of debate, as the Talmud has 6 different reasons presented. Some of the reasons presented are: The long-awaited burial of Jews killed by the Romans, Ability for Jews to intermarry between tribes, the grape harvest and summer solstice, and God forgiving us for the Golden Calf.

What is know is that Men and Women who were not married would go out to the grape fields and dance together wearing white. Women would borrow dresses from other women so that no one was in their own dress, allowing the division of rich and poor to be less clear.  This holiday is the only day during the Month of Av when weddings are allowed, and even encouraged!

The Mystical Meanings | Some Psycho-Spiritual Meanings and Themes

Tu B'Av, like all other Jewish Holidays, has a myriad of themes to connect to on a psycho-spiritual level. Each holiday has the ability for interpretation and reflection. Each year the holiday can mean something else because, as the years pass we change, and how we see the holiday changes with us. Here are some themes that you may want to work with this year or in years to come.

  • This is just a week after Tisha B'Av, the most grief-filled holiday of our calendar. Why have such a joyful holiday right after so much grief?
  • What would it mean to remove our classism? How would seeing the person rather than the class change you?
  • How are our traditions and even holidays based on things from before we were official "Jews"? How are you influenced by your past and by your ancestors?
  • What does it mean that this holiday and Yom Kippur are the times that were best for us as a people? What are the similarities between the day of atonement and Tu B'Av?
Fri, October 15 2021 9 Cheshvan 5782