The Prehistoric Origins of 'The Jewish Valentine's Day' and 7 Other Stories

From Tu B'Av's ancient origin to tales of love and loss in Tel Aviv. Here are some of our best holiday stories

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Haaretz
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Haaretz

On the 15th of the summer month of Av, under a full moon, young Jewish men and women dressed in white would go out and dance in the vineyards of ancient Judea.

We know of this most ancient of holidays from a single passage in the Mishnah, quoting Simeon ben Gamliel: "No days were as good for Israel as the 15th of Av and the Day of Atonement, on which the sons of Jerusalem would go out in borrowed white clothes...and the girls of Jerusalem would go out and dance in the vineyards” (Ta’anit 10).

Tu B’Av, the most romantic day on the Jewish calendar, starts this year at sunset on Thursday and ends at sunset on Friday.

Here are some love stories and wedding tales to get you into the spirit of the day.

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