Tu B’Av (טו באב) is a minor holiday(חג) in the Jewish Calendar. It is the holiday of Love(חג האהבה), which is becoming similar to Valentine’s Day in other countries. In the Mishneh(משנה), it is mentioned as the day that single women would borrow white dresses(שמלות לבנות) and dance in the vineyards and orchards (פרדסים וכרמים) around Jerusalem. Single men would then come and choose their brides(כלות).
As there are many tragedies (טרגדיות) that happened on Tisha B’Av, there are many good events that happened on Tu B’Av.
“Said Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel: There were no greater festivals for
Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur” (Mishneh Ta’anit Chapter 4 Mishneh 8)
A few more of these events are:
The generation (דור) of the Exodus passed away.
Tu B’Av was the date that the last man died who left Egypt. God had said to Moshe, that the generation of the Exodus would not enter the Promised Land. (הארץ המובטחת) So on this date the last person passed away, and the people were ready (מוכנים) to go up to Israel.
The tribes of Israel were permitted to marry each other.
This is important because after the entrance of the people to Israel, each tribe had to marry only within each other. But now, on this date, they were permitted to be one people and not separate tribes.(שבטים)
The roadblocks were opened to Jerusalem.
After the reign of King Solomon, The kingdom of Israel split into two different kingdoms, King Jeroboam, who had the Northern Kingdom, set up roadblocks (מחסומי כביש) to prevent pilgrims wanting to visit Jerusalem during the three Festivals (ימים טובים), from going there. On this date, Tu B’Av the
roadblocks were taken down about 200 years later.
How do we celebrate Tu B’Av now?
There are many singing and dancing events (אירועים) all over Israel that are held on this date. (תאריך) Since weddings (חתונות) are allowed right after Tisha B’Av, many weddings are held on Tu B’Av six days later.
What will you be doing on Tu B’Av? I will be dancing, listening to music, and playing music!
Sources: www.chabad.org ; wikipedia
Vocabulary of Tu B’Av