15th of Av one of the two most auspicious days on the Jewish calendar

Our sages regarded the 15th of Av to be one of the two most auspicious days on the Jewish calendar (the other being Yom Kippur — Talmud, Taanit 26b).

So many things happened on 15 Av to give us reasons to have a day of rejoicing today.

  1. After 38 years of wandering through the wilderness, the dying ended in the desert (1274 BCE).
  2. In order to ensure the orderly division of the Holy Land between the twelve tribes of Israel, restrictions had been placed on marriages between members of two different tribes. This ordinance was binding only on the generation that conquered and settled the Holy Land during the 14-year period 2488-2503 from creation (1273-1258 BCE); when the restriction was lifted, on the 15th of Av, the event was considered a cause for celebration and festivity.
  3. On this day we also remember that the tribe of Benjamin, which had been excommunicated for its behaviour in the incident of the “Concubine at Givah,” was readmitted into the community of Israel (as related in Judges 19-21)
  4. The roadblocks to prevent citizens from the Northern Kingdom of Israe making the thrice-yearly pilgrimage to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, capital of the Southern Kingdom of Judea, were finally removed more than 200 years after they were constructed by its ruler Jeroboam ben Neba. Hosea ben Eilah, the last king of the Northern Kingdom, took care of the removal on Av 15, 3187 (574 BCE).
  5. For 15 years the remains of Bar Kochba and many thousands of Jews were left scattered on the battlefield, but on 15 Av of the year 3908 from creation (148 CE), the dead of Betar were finally brought to burial.
  6. In ancient Israel, it was the custom that on the 15th of Av “the daughters of Jerusalem would go out in borrowed linen garments (so as not to embarrass those without beautiful clothes of their own)… and dance in the vineyards” and “whoever did not have a wife would go there” to find himself a bride (Talmud, Taanit 31a). = Matchmaking Day

Because of the joyous events which occurred on this day, our sages regarded the 15th of Av to be one of the two most auspicious days on the Jewish calendar (the other being Yom Kippur–Talmud, Taanit 26b). Nevertheless, no special Av 15 observances or celebrations are ordained by Halachah (Torah law) or custom, other than the omission of the tachnun (confession of sins) and similar portions from the daily prayers, as is the case with all festive dates. This is understandable because it was not ordained days by the Elohim, but just events that happened throughout history, like there shall still going to happen other events to remember on this day.

Though every year we are reminded that our days are not ‘unending’ and that we all are limited by the ‘hours of light’.
Beginning on the 15th of Av one should increase one’s study of Torah since at this time of the year the nights begin to grow longer and

“the night was created for study” (Talmud and Codes).

The children in this holiday period love to play in the garden, but also they should learn that there comes an end to the day that we have to take a special time for our Bo’re. As a parent we should remember our duties and teach our children:

Torah tzivah lanu Moshe, morashah kehilat Yaakov (“The Torah that Moses commanded us is the heritage of the congregation of Jacob“).

Jewish law states that we are obligated to pursue the study of Torah every spare moment of our day and night. As such from early in the morning until late at night we let the D’var Torah be as a growing seed in our soul. By Devar Hashem we let ourselves be guided to become good guides to others.

The Torah is our mandate as a people. By it we are given a contract by the Highest God. It provides us with a ‘marriage contract’ of our special covenant relationship with God as His chosen “kingdom of priests and holy nation.”

As such this day is also special for us to remember that Brit. It is by accepting that Torah, that we will exist. When looking at the mess or chaos people have created in this world, we can see that it is because they did not accept the Torah and as such, they reverted to chaos and nothingness. But we also know that every created thing has a limit and even when the days shorten and darkness becomes longer, the Hashem “put” a limit on the darkness.

A day as 15 Av may bring us shorter days, but we do know that the time given to us to study the Torah shall enrich us and shall show us the way to come to a better and “A healthy world to come“.

The Matchmaking day can now also be used to match the people around us with that incredible Word of Guidance. The good and the bad things from the day can be put aside. We can present them to our Adonai and thank them for His Guidance. The evening coming over us we can testify of the things heard, and tell our kids about events in our family history and about things that happened with our people.

Every year anew, a cycle starting again, we can bring remembrances forward to recollect what may not be forgotten. From childhood we bring forward the many events that our people had to undergo so that they may be printed in memory.

There have been many bad things but let us mainly concentrate on the many good things that happened, and look forward to the world we can come out of our seed.

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Preceding

A healthy world to come

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Additional reading

  1. In the night His song shall be with me
  2. Coming to understanding from sayings written long ago
  3. As always God has a Plan
  4. Many opportunities given by God
  5. You Need Light for Your Path
  6. God Will Lead
  7. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  8. A voice and a Word given for wisdom
  9. the Bible – God’s guide for life #1 Introduction
  10. the Bible – God’s guide for life #2 Needs in life
  11. the Bible – God’s guide for life #3 Fast food or staple diet
  12. the Bible – God’s guide for life #4 Not to get the best from our diet– or from ourselves
  13. What sort people of faith do we want to be
  14. Be happy that the thorn bush has roses
  15. Finish each day and be done with it
  16. A heart in the right place and brightly burning faith
  17. Testify of the things heard

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