I have always loved Tu B’Av, a holiday that honors the ancient tradition in which maidens, dressed in white, gather and dance in the fields and vineyards, intent on meeting their beshert, their soul mate. Per tradition, the unmarried men of the village came out in droves and watched the women dance. There is a discrepancy regarding who “chose” whom during those ancient times. Perhaps it was mutual: eyes and hearts locking in, the couple leaving together to embark on their life of male-female partnership.
Presently, many have turned Tu B’Av into a kind of Jewish Valentines Day—hosting temple mixers, outdoor parties, blind dates, and dinners. There are some who take umbrage with the holiday, focusing on the rigid gender roles and rituals. I choose to focus on its romantic beauty and the much needed hope the holiday offers us only six days after Tisha B’Av, the saddest day in the Jewish year.
This past weekend I attended an epic, women’s blogger conference in NYC. 4,000 women took over three floors of the Hilton Hotel. Over a thousand poured into the grand ballroom to participate in a professional form of “speed dating.” Picture two circles, an inner one and an outer one. With business cards in hand, amidst the din, we talked to, or rather yelled at, perfect strangers for two minutes.
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