Jewish Valentines Day Just Doesn’t Cut It

It’s TuB’Av! Hag smayach! Wait, what? You’ve never celebrated Tu B’Av?!

Did you know that only one in ten American Jewish people that I have randomly surveyed in the last two days even knew what this holiday was?  A whopping 0 in 10 non-Jewish people knew. Now, clearly that’s just my own amateur survey while chillin’ here in Memphis, TN. But none the less, it is a tragic statistic my friends.

This is one seriously long lost holiday. Tu B’Av is like the quiet Beatle of Jewish holidays.  It’s the Bermuda Triangle’d  holiday that just up and disappeared. And mind you, it used to really be something spectacular. Tu B’Av and Yom Kippur are called the two happiest days of the entire year. Clearly, Yom Kippur stuck around, but where did his poor forgotten happy-day sister run off to? How did we lose touch with one of the two most essential pieces of Jewish spiritual technology for happiness-making?

And how do we reconnect to it already? Because it really is worthy of celebration. Tu B’Av could very well be the stealthiest secret weapon of Geuladik-Redemption yet.  It’s an uber fixer-upper of a holy day.

Now, you may note that a quick Google will show that it is – in theory at least – already being fixed up.  It’s been recycled as the Jewish Valentine’s Day; a yiddishe Sadie Hawkinstein Day.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not going to argue with schlepping in a little celebration of romance into our unarguably less-than-sexy tradition. Sexiness is great for Jewish continuity and all…but, I think were missing out on the full Tu B’Av turbo power when we boil it all down to romance.

I much prefer to view this mystery holiday as the ultimate celebration of the Rise of the Feminine & the ushering in of Circle Consciousness.

What is Circle Consciousness? It is a Kabbalistic model for an enlightened state of mind that is based on principles of equality, supportiveness, presence, embodiment. It is understood to be the Messianic goal of humanity’s spiritual evolution.

Tu B’Av just drips with circle consciousness.

It is taught that on this day women would share their finest white dresses with each other. Utterly without competition. The wealthy would lend to the poor and vice versa and they would all go out to the vineyards and dance in circles.

Now you have to understand that circle dancing is the Torah mega-symbol for circle consciousness and the ushering in of the Messianic era. First off, in a circle there is no hierarchy. Everyone is equidistant from the center and that center is G!d. Everyone has equal G!d access. Equal stature. Equal depth of wisdom. In a circle, everyone’s an expert. Everyone is Professor Doctor Rabbi this or that. Everyone wears the pants, the badges, the glasses, the expert’s hat.

The uniform of the World to Come is actually the white dress borrowed from someone either richer or poorer than yourself. This is the World to Come business suit.

The sharing of dresses takes the old school hegemony of hierarchies and flattens the heck out of them. Because our clothes reflect our status, our socio-economic standing. It’s a symbolic act of defiance against the entire corrosive world order of haves and have-nots.

The rich girls give up their edge because they know that in the end the real EDGE – the place where we all benefit – is when we all have equal benefits!

And what’s more, we have this gorgeous teaching in the Gemara about the Messianic Era. At the End of Days the tzadikim, the righteous ones, will dance in a circle and in the center will be G!d. Each tzadik will extend their hand and point to the middle and pronounce, “This is the G!d I’ve been waiting for!”

Now tell me friends, what happens when you dance in a circle and point at the center? What do you point at?

Lo and behold – it’s the person across from you! Each finger points straight as an arrow across to another lit up face in the circle. And then you call out, “THIS is the G!d I’ve been waiting for!”

What a crowning moment of circle consciousness…to see the divine countenance in the person in front of you! And for them to see yours. Even the hierarchy of the Divine is leveled.

This is the invitation of Tu B’Av.

This final push of empowerment of the feminine is a pathway of equality and embodiment for all people…and animals and plankton and angels and even G!d Him/Herself!

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It is imperative to our evolution as a people and a planet for folks to just get it together and GET TOGETHER. Shatter the heck out of lines of inequality and rather instate circles of witnessing, acceptance and flowing self-expression.

This Tu B’Av get together and support each other. Get together and witness the wisdom, the godliness, of the people around you…and the person within you. And not just on Tu B’Av, but whenever you have the opportunity.

In fact, I’m going to be leading a Pre-Rosh Hashana Women’s Retreat which is all about the power of being in a supportive circle of women. I’ll be leading it with one of my oldest and bestest friends – Sheva Chaya – of Tsfat glass-blowing mind-blowing fame! We will gather in a villa on the Mediterranean and it will be exquisite.

Come join us or do it on your own. Dance in a vineyard if you got one!  Swap some clothes. Wear something white and shiny and shimmy around. Or just tell someone else how beautiful they are and then tell yourself that too!

This Tu B’Av, let us dance unembarrassed
and share our abundance.
And we’ll point incredulous at the Divine Presence
that dances among us.