Monday, July 26, 2010

TU BEAV: The happy side of the month of Av...

Today is the 15thof Av

The Talmud in Masekhet Taanit says that today, Tu BeAv, the 15thof the month of Av is one of the happiest days of the year. No special customs or celebrations are performed, except for the omission of Tachanun (the confessional prayer).

Why is the 15thof Av such a happy day?

Many positive things happened to the Jewish people on this day.

1. As we know from the story of the 9thof Av, when Am Israel complained about their every person older than 20 who had left Egypt was condemned to die in the dessert. Well, on the 15thof Av, 40 years after they left Egypt they stop dying.

2. In order to ensure the orderly division of the Holy Land between the twelve tribes of Israel, restrictions had been placed on marriages between members of two different tribes. (Bamidbar chapter 36). This restriction was lifted, on the 15th of Av.

3. Av 15 was also the day on which the tribe of Benjamin, which had been excommunicated for its behavior in the incident of the "Concubine at Givah," was readmitted into the community of Israel, as related in Judges 19-21.

For these two last reasons, the 15thof Av was known as a day of ‘dancing and dating’. The girls would go to the fields and dance among themselves and the guys would come and ask them out.

To read the whole story of the 15 of Av please see: