Tu B’Av Festival of Love
In 2015 Tu B’Av is celebrated on 31st of July.
The Day of the fifteenth of Av is not a universally accepted Jewish holiday; it’s often called the Jewish Valentine’s Day, or a Day of Love. There are no special Torah regulations and commandments for this date; it is a routine working day for the people in Israel. But from the old times on this day it is accustomed to congratulate loved ones, give each other gifts and ask for the hand and heart.
In the Bible times the Tu B’Av Festival was definitely one of the most beautiful holidays.
On this day young Jewish women went to the ancient Biblical city of Shiloh, They wore the most elegant dresses and sought to look their best. Traditionally, poor girls had lent the festive outfits from their richer girlfriends. Men looking for a bride went there and could choose a girl not by her expensive outfit (which showed her social status), but by the behest of their hearts. That was a wise tradition indeed…
Young people danced in joyful reels, sung and played tambourines.
This holiday has existed in the time when the Jewish nation was divided to 12 Tribes and each Tribe of Israel was living in their territory. The law at the time didn’t allow people from different tribes to marry each other. That was because they were afraid that their land might be possessed by another tribe.
The venue was the Temple at Shiloh, where all the tribes summoned for celebrating holidays established in the Torah.
On 15th of Av, people enjoyed the harvest of their vineyards. And this fun festival has given the Jewish people the opportunity to come together and be one nation. On this day, young men and women could find a mate even from a different tribe; therefore the elders of Israel decided to cancel the restriction on marriages between the tribes. Inter-community marriages were the only way to unite and consolidate people of Israel. Eventually, the Temple in Shiloh had brought together all 12 Tribes of Israel.
The story of Tu B’Av Festival teaches us that only love can bring people together.
Remember this on Tu B’Av and every day. Celebrate love. Express your love to your close ones.