July 22, 2013
Israeli Dancing (Photo credit: bethisrael1)
Tu B’Av is a minor but fun Jewish holiday. After the mourning of Tisha B’Av, this is a lovely little day to be happy and to celebrate love.
- Tu B’Av = Fifteenth of the Month of Av. In Hebrew, the letters that form the number 15 can also be pronounced “Tu.”
- Today in Israel, it’s called Chag HaAhavah, the Holiday of Love, and it’s a favored day for weddings. Think of it as Jewish Valentine’s Day.
- In Temple times, in Jerusalem, the grape harvest began on the fifteenth of Av and ended on the tenth of Tishrei, Yom Kippur. On both those days, single girls dressed in white and went to dance in the vineyards in the afternoon. It was a traditional time for courtship.
- There are no big religious observances for the day. However, it’s a good day to get married, a good day to fall in love, and a great day to tell your loved ones “I love you.”
In 2013, Tu B’Av falls on July 21-22. For future years, check the Hebrew calendar at http://hebcal.com.
February 14, 2013
Hey, it’s not our holiday. It’s SAINT Valentine’s Day, and the way it became the Hallmark-and-florist fest it is today is a long and involved story.
That said, I am all in favor of a day that reminds us to tell our loved ones “I love you.” Truth is, we should be doing that every day.
But I see the pain Feb 14 gives some of my single friends, and the widows, and those whose marriages are suffering. I wonder about the kindness of a day devoted to expressions of romantic love, a day that winds up excluding all but the already happy.
I celebrated the day by telling my honey I love her (like I do every day) and sending a donation to Shalom Bayit, an organization working against domestic violence in my home town. I’m going to send one to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, one of the great organizations that are part of the fight for marriage equality.
Down with pain, up with love! I think that’s an idea we can all support.
- Valentine’s Day-What’s a Jew to do? (womensrabbinicnetwork.wordpress.com)