It’s today! For lack of a better reference, Tu B’Av is Jewish Valentine’s Day. The name is simply the date (tet vav = ט’ו = 15, pronounced too; Av is the Hebrew month). It’s actually much older than Valentine’s Day and is shrouded in mystery, apparently. In the olden days – the Second Temple Period – unmarried women in borrowed white dresses would go out to the fields and dance under the full moon of the 15th of Av. Unmarried men would go out and choose a bride. The borrowed white dresses ensured a level playing field for the women and men chose their brides based on personality rather than status.
Today, Israel has borrowed the romantic ideas of Valentine’s Day in the US, so chocolates are flying off the shelves and flowers are sold by the ton. It’s considered a great day to get married, so venues are booked far in advance.
In a previous post, I wrote about Jerusalem’s Love Map . Checking it again today, there are many more hearts and stories.
And since no one else in the world can see our special Google Doodle, here are some images (though they are actually tiny romantic animations).
I’m compelled to share one hilarious element of the Google Doodle. They spelled the holiday wrong. When you click on it to get more information, the first site is the Google Doodle site, everything else is related to the show Ab Fab or it has to do with abdominal exercises. So if you want to find out more about Jewish Valentine’s Day, don’t be Google and spell it To Be’Ab, spell it Tu B’Av and get the right search results.
And finally, I leave you with the song that inspired the title, from one of the best movies ever, Strictly Ballroom. Remember, a life lived in fear is a life half-lived!