Did you know there’s a Jewish Valentine’s Day? There was never a Jewish “St. Valentine” but there’s an ancient holiday of 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 2016, Tu B’Av falls on August 18-19 (begins at sundown, runs until sundown.) For future years, check the Hebrew calendar at http://hebcal.com.