Saturday, August 20, 2005

T"U B'Av

Today Jews celebrate the holiday of T"U B'Av. Well, that is not entirely true. Some Jews celebrate it. It is one of the more marginalized holidays.

T"U B'Av is a holiday that is mentioned in the Mishna (the early part of the Talmud) as one of the two most important days of the year, the other being Yom Kippur.

It is a holiday that commemorates a number of events, most notably it celebrates certain women's right to marry men outside their tribe. Jews were once made of 12 tribes, and there were some odd regulations about who can marry whom. There were some technical reasons in some cases, and the other was because of some nasty incident by some people of the Tribe of Benjamin, involving a concubine, a rape, a murder, dismemberment, violations of postal regulations, and gross inhospitality. After a while these events were forgotten about and the punishments were lifted, and everyone was able to marry anyone they wanted. Hence the celebration.

According to the Talmud, on this day, women would borrow clothing from other women who were in socioeconomic classes lower than them, unless they were on the bottom, then they would borrow up, and go out dancing with the express purpose of snagging a husband. They were supposed to be very tempting and seductive. Nowadays most Orthodox Jews do not consider the early Rabbis of the Talmud to have been sufficiently religious or pious, so they gasp in horror and embarrassment when confronted with such immodest practices.

Somehow we abandoned this practice.

Christians revived it for themselves and called it Valentine's Day and moved it to February 14. In Israel it is celebrated as "Yom Ahava" or "Chag Ahava". It is a secular Valentine's day. And, although it is not as popular as it is here, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Israel too.


Anonymous said...

Why the heck did we abandon those immodest practices?? It's a damn good idea to wiggle around in shoddy clothes with nappy hair!! Oh, wait, I've been doing that for years and I still have no husband...........
Chag Ahava, good looking.

bec said...

that's funny, shosh. i just did that and now i have four husbands, two wives, and three dogs of mixed heritage.
actually, it sounds like t'u' b'av was one of the early phish shows, before the tour rats started ruining the scene.