Thursday, August 3, 2017

Happy Tu b'Av 2017!

Not The Day Before Three b'Av:  Tu b'Av is the fifteenth day of the month of Av.  In old time Biblical Israel (Abq Jew recalls), Tu b'Av was one of the happiest holidays of the year.

The 2017 celebration of Tu b'Av will begin at sundown on Sunday August 6

It was, in fact, Biblical Israel's Sadie Horowitz Day.  (We call it Sadie Hawkins Day here in suburban America, but in Borough Park ....)  As Wikipedia points out:
An American folk event, Sadie Hawkins Day is a pseudo-holiday that originated in Al Capp's classic hillbilly comic strip, Li'l Abner (1934–1978). This inspired real-world Sadie Hawkins dances, where girls ask boys out.
But in Biblical Israel, Tu b'Av was the real deal.  The Talmud (Ta’anit 4:8) states:
There are no days as festive to Israel as those of Yom Kippur and the fifteenth of Av. The daughters of Israel used to dress in white and go out to the fields to dance and young men would follow after them.
Wait a minute! Yom Kippur - festive?  Yes, in that the afternoon of Yom Kippur is a time set aside for forgiveness.  And what is the topic of the Torah reading for Yom Kippur afternoon?  Forbidden sexual relationships!  Hmmmmm ....

OK, then.  Back to Tu b'Av.  Why is it spelled (בעברית) with a tet and vav, when other teen numbers are spelled with a yud?

Because the number 15 (and, for that matter, 16) would get a little too close to the Tetragrammaton (the four-letter name of G-d) for the Rabbis' comfort.  In fact, the 15 combination of yud and hey would spell out one of the common abbreviations for G-d's name, as in the word Hallelujah (literally, Praise G-d).

And now, in the festive spirit of Tu b'Av, Abq Jew proudly presents Linda Ronstadt's rendition of It's So Easy (To Fall in Love) from her 1977 album Simple Dreams.

Did you notice that Abq Jew said nothing about Tetragrammaton being one of the Transformers?
You're welcome!

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