Skip to comments.Today is Tu B´Av: Record Number of Marriages
Posted on 08/13/2003 4:32:17 AM PDT by yonif
Today, the 15th of Av in the Jewish calendar, is "destined for engagements and marriages," according to Jewish tradition (Bnei Yissaschar). A record number of wedding were registered in the Jerusalem Rabbinate last night - 33 - and another 24 will be married today and tonight. Although the day has been secularized to a degree - some even call it Jewish Valentine's Day - it has been rooted in Jewish tradition for 3,300 years.
The Mishna explains that on this day, which it calls one of Judaism's most festive, Jewish maidens used to go out to the fields wearing borrowed white clothing (so as not to embarrass those who did not have fine garments of their own), and would say, "Young man, lift up your eyes and appreciate whom you are selecting (to marry). Don't look at our beauty. Instead, look at the family..."
In addition, tradition teaches that on this day the Israelites who had entered the Land of Israel were permitted to marry outside their own tribes. Many years later, the ban on marrying with the tribe of Benjamin was rescinded on the 15th of Av. Both of these marriage-related rulings were cause for great joy among the People of Israel, and so the day has remained throughout the ages for both the nation and its individuals.
The WUJS (World Union of Jewish Students) website writes, "Tu B'Av is a holiday devoted to singles" - although in would be more correct to say that it is devoted to ending their "singlehood." The site continues, "Tu B'Av is about hope and continuity even after the worst of things [the destruction of the Temples is commemorated the week before]. It is about getting on with life, and with love."