Dancing Maidens, Matchmaking, and Marriage

Today is the day to find and/or connect with our B’sherit, the Yiddish word for soulmate.  In fact people from all over the world are traveling to Israel to do just that.

The importance of Tu b’Av (or the 15th of Av) is even referenced by Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel: “There were no greater festivals for Israel than the 15th of Av and Yom Kippur .”  (Talmud, Taanit 26b)

From a modern approach, many compare Tu b’Av with Valentine’s Day.  Yes, it is great to break out the chocolate and roses, but it is also important to look deeper at the beauty of relationships and the tradition of Tu b’Av.

The Talmud says that on Tu b’Av maidens would dress up and dance in the vineyards.  The Jewish men who were not yet married would go to the vineyards to find a wife.  To the best of my knowledge, DC will not have any vineyard dancing events.  If there are such events, please make sure that they are posted on the calendar.

For those of you who have not yet found your match in DC or who plan to move to another city, GTJ will be launching our national website very soon.  As we Gather and continue to build the young professional Jewish communities around the world, know that if you have not yet found your “matchless match,” he/she is out there.

Aaron Wolff is co-founder and director of Gather the Jews.  This piece does not represent a GTJ institutional stance.

3 replies
  1. Stephen
    Stephen says:

    “look deeper.” ok. So we’re supposed to quickly go find our wives at vineyards based on physical appearances and the fact that they’re Jewish? And the intoxicating aroma of wine I guess?

    • Scott
      Scott says:

      Not at all.

      “And the daughters of Jerusalem would go out and dance in the vineyards located on the outskirts of the city. And everyone who didn’t have a wife would go there.”

      “And what would they say?”

      “Young man, lift up your eyes and choose wisely. Don’t look only at physical beauty – look rather at the family – ‘For charm is false, and beauty is vanity. A G-d – fearing woman is the one to be praised…’ (“Mishlei”/Proverbs 31:30)”

      Source: http://www.ou.org/chagim/roshchodesh/av/tubav.htm

      Obviously, Tu b’ Av requires further explanation from someone more well-versed than I. We can’t draw too many conclusions based solely on this 2,000 year old excerpt translated into English.


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