Subject: ✎ Rabbi Goodman's Weekly E-Blast - A Welcome Day of Love and Singing

Rabbi Goodman's Weekly E-Blast
Shabbat Eikev
Torah: Deuteronomy 7.12-11.25 Haftarah: Isaiah 49 14-51.3
FRIDAY, August 15, 2014
6:30 PM Kabbalat Shabbat 

 SATURDAY, August 16, 2014

10:30 AM - Shabbat Morning Service
Ceremony of Conversion: Dwan Daniels
Aufruf for Dwan Daniels and Michael Stark
Kiddush to Follow

Rabbi Goodman's Torah Thought
Today is Tu B’av. No, not Tish’ah B’av (9 Av), nor Tu Bishevat (15 Shevat), but Tu B’av – the 15th of the month of Av. Tu B’av is an ancient festival, on which the young men and women of Israel would dress all in white, go out into the fields under the full moon of Av, and dance and sing together. While there are a number of theories as to how this festival arose, perhaps one of the most plausible grows out of the fact that the full moon of Av is the Summer Equinox – the time when the days begin to grow incrementally shorter, and the grape harvest begins.

Interest in this festival waxed and waned throughout the generations. The early Zionists, however, latched onto Tu B’av as a portal into the rebirth of ancient Jewish traditions in the rebirthing of the Jewish State.

The first Hebrew novelist, Prussian-born Abraham Mapu, wrote in his novel “Ayit Tzavua” (which has been translated as "Hypocrite Eagle") about celebrating Tu B’Av on the coast of the Sea of Galilee. The poet Y. L. Gordon wrote a poem describing the celebration of Tu B’Av in the vineyards of Ein Gedi.

On Tu B’Av 1925, an annual celebration of the youth in the Jezreel Valley kibbutzim was established, in the spirit of ancient times. During the 1920’s and ‘30’s, parties took place on Tu B’Av in Tel Aviv, with the celebrants wearing white.

More recently, Tu B’av has captured the imagination of Israeli retailers, party promoters, restaurateurs, flower growers and chocolate manufacturers, who took to promoting the celebration as the “Jewish Valentine's Day.” In actuality, efforts have been only mildly successful. Nevertheless, it would seem that this year in particular, at this troubled time for Israel, a day to celebrate love and singing, and the hope in the human spirit that motivates them both, is a day that is badly needed. So in the spirit of love, and of music and dancing, I wish you all a Happy Tu B’av.
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The Golden Calf (watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot)
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