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Tu B’Av

08/15/2019 12:38:18 PM


Rabbi Sam Trief

I was just at Publix picking up a sandwich. The customer in front of me ordered a Turkey Sandwich. She asked for Provolone Cheese. The man making her sandwich accidently put cheddar on her sandwich. The customer became enraged with the man making her sandwich. The server’s face dropped, and he looked like he was holding back tears, as she berated him.  I watched quietly, my heart aching. What was going on in the server’s life that made him so distracted? And what was going on in the customer’s life that made her react so harshly? 
At times, the simple act of existence seems difficult. Sometimes, here and now in 2019, it feels as if stumbling blocks lurk in every corner, impeding our speech and our progress. The many good things we do in a day become overshadowed by the one mistake. An absent-minded statement to our friends, family, or co-workers. A harsh and reckless slip of the tongue.

We all know the 24-hour ubiquitous global news culture can send us spiraling downwards. These days, it often feels like we focus on making things bigger or better, instead of focusing on the beauty of what we have. Instead of loving with compassion and kindness, we often look for ways to improve ourselves and those around us. And well, sometimes, that is exhausting, a cocktail for sadness and burn-out.  

So on this Shabbat, in partnership with the Blue Dove Foundation we are taking a break. On this Tu b'Av, we are choosing love, gratitude and self-care. Tu B’Av ( the 15th of the month of Av), begins tonight. Tu B’Av has often been likened to the “Jewish Valentine's Day” - a day filled with unabashed love and kindness. It is the opposite of the somber holiday that occurred 6 days ago, Tisha B’Av, when we mark tragedies caused by baseless hatred. Today, we mark the triumphs of baseless love. The Mishnah teaches: 

“There were no better (i.e. happier) days for the people of Israel than the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur, since on these days the daughters of Israel/Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards. What were they saying: ... consider whom you choose to be your wife? (Ta’anit, Chapter 4)” Tu b’Av was considered a date for finding your besheret and falling in love. 

SO today, especially today, let us celebrate love. In the face of forces trying to pull us apart, let us reinforce the glue of our human family. In the miracle of each passing moment, let us love with carefree abandon, and rid ourselves of negative thoughts and speech.
A simple idea to help us all on this path: Click here and send an E-card to someone you want to sprinkle with a bit of love: Together, we let the warmth and wisdom of our Jewish tradition shower us with abounding, limitless love. 

Sun, February 23 2020 28 Sh'vat 5780