Monday, July 22, 2013

Tu B'Av Sameach!

“Apparently Miss Kahn wasn’t quite as phlegmatic on the idea of
arranged marriage as I was. When her parents told her what they
planned, she immediately dashed off a vitriolic letter, informing me
that it is a new century, and she lives not in the ghetto in Europe, but in
a country founded on principles of freedom. She added she had no
intention of marrying, how did she put it? ‘A swarthy Spanish pirate of
low ways and poor prospects.'"
--Captain Sinister's Lady

To translate the post title into English, "Happy 15th Day of the Month of Av!" Why is this day different from all other days? It's the day specifically marking romance and love in the Jewish calendar.

Tu B'Av (15th of Av) is a minor festival that's grown in prominence in recent decades, largely because enterprising folks in Israel found a way to monetize it. It's now celebrated much the way Valentine's Day is celebrated in other societies, but the festival dates back--waaaaaay back--to Temple times in Judea, around the beginning of the Common Era.  There are a number of customs associated with Tu B'Av, but one of the sweetest is having all the unmarried women don white dresses and dance as a group in front of the young men. The sweet part is the girls exchanged dresses first, so the poor ones would wear the fine dresses of the rich girls and vice versa so no one would be embarrassed.

You can read more about Tu B'Av's origins and customs here. No matter what your background, it's always nice to have a special day for love, so take a moment tonight to kiss your sweetie, gaze up at the full moon, and remember romance.

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