Tu B’Av

Festival of Love
  • Minor Holidays
Tu B’Av

Tu B’Av

ט”ו באב

Too Be-Av

“The Fifteenth of [The Month of] Av”

What is Tu B’Av

Tu B’Av, the 15th day of Av, is considered one of the happiest days on the Jewish calendar, for on this day, many happy events contributing to the unity of the Jewish people took place. In ancient times, this day was celebrated in a unique way. The unmarried women of Jerusalem would dress in white and dance in the vineyards, where they would meet unmarried men and seek their soulmates. In modern times, the 15 Av is considered an auspicious day for weddings.

6 significant events are associated with Tu B’Av

  1. Before entering the Land of Israel, a group of spies went to assess the land. They returned with a very negative report, and outraged at their evil report, God decreed that none of those that had left Egypt would enter the land and that they would all die in the desert. Every year of their 40-year sojourn in the desert, numerous Jews would die. In the 40th year, these annual deaths ceased happening on the 15th of Av, marking the day as one of great celebration.
  2. During the desert sojourn and the initial conquest and settlement of Israel, the 12 tribes were not permitted to intermarry. This was enacted to maintain the initial land distribution for each tribe. On the 15th of Av, when the land was eventually divided and settled, the tribes were once again permitted to intermarry.
  3. Following the incident of Pilegesh B’Givah (Judges 19-21), the tribe of Binymain was proscribed from marrying any other tribe. On the 15th of Av this ban was rescinded.
  4. The Altar in the temple required large amounts of firewood to keep it running daily. Tu B’Av was the day when the wood was finally gathered for the upcoming.
  5. Following the split in the Unified Kingdom of Israel, Jeroboam, the first king of the Northern Kingdom, posted guards on the highways to prevent people from visiting the Temple during the Festivals. This continued for over 2 centuries until the last king of the Northern Kingdom, Hoshea, removed the guards and allowed travel to the Temple.
  6. During the Bar Kochba revolt, the ancient city of Beitar was massacred, but the Romans did not allow the burial of those killed. On the 15th of Av permission was granted to enter Beitar and perform burial rites. A miracle had occurred and the bodies had not decomposed.

When is Tu B’Av

Av 15



Alternate Names for Tu B’Av

  • Yom Ha’Ahavah – (Modern) “Day of Love”

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